Cherry Pie Recipe

Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

After the apple pies I’ve been turning out, there has been demand for cherry pies of comparable quality given that everyone around here seems to prefer them.  I do not have a cherry pie recipe, so I thought to turn to America’s Test Kitchen to find some of their suggestions.

America’s Test Kitchen is one of my favorite sources of excellent recipes.  They approach cooking like the science that it is, and will start with a task (e.g., making the perfect cherry pie), and then make batch after batch, testing ingredients, temperature, equipment, preparation techniques, and much more, until they reach a consensus as to the absolute best results.  I have never had a single recipe from them that didn’t knock it out of the park.  The quality consistency is the best from any recipe source I know of in publication in the world today.  I cannot praise them highly enough.  A professional subscription is only $4.95 per month.

[mainbodyad]Looking through their archives, they created this amazing cinnamon bourbon cherry pie with vodka crust (all of the alcohol burns off – it is for flavor in the pie filling and dough consistency in the crust – so don’t worry about it if, like me, you aren’t crazy about the flavor of raw alcohol).  I decided to set aside the 3-4 hours necessary to prepare it as a preliminary test introduction to cherry pie recipes in general.  

It smells like Christmas.  It’s full of sugar, butter, cherries, plums, cinnamon, and much more.  I wish there were some way to have the scent travel through the blog so you can all experience it.  It smells like home, and happy memories, and good things.

This cherry pie recipe is a big time commitment, and the raw ingredients cost roughly $15.00, meaning the per-slice expense is $1.88 in raw material terms.  Following the 30% cost of goods sold rule in some parts of the bakery industry (the most efficient operators), it would sell for $6.27 per slice at a restaurant, or $50.16 per cherry pie.  If you were talking about a niche artisan bake shop that didn’t have the economies of scale of a massive food corporation, it would retail for around $9.38 per slice, or $75.00 per cherry pie.

That says it all about my passion … even as I’m baking, I’m calculating the gross profit margins, operating profit margins, and total returns based on economies of scale were I to ever sell a pie.  It’s so second nature to me I don’t even notice it most of the time.

Cherry Pie with Bourbon Filling and Vodka Crust

Cherry Pie with Bourbon Filling and Vodka Crust (technically, Johnnie Walker isn’t Bourbon but I still haven’t opened any of those bottles from my days studying the alcohol companies so it got used, instead.  It is made in Scotland, not the United States.)


Cherry Pie Crust Recipe

Cherry Pie Crust Recipe

Frozen Cherries for Bourbon Cherry Pie Recipe

Since it is barely 27 degrees here, fresh cherries are obviously out of the question, so the recipe called for using frozen cherries, cut with a small amount of plums to mimic the flavor of the cherries you find during the height of cherry picking season.  I cut them in half, because that results in more juice saturating the pie filling during baking.


Cherry Pie Filling Foundation

The cherry pie base of the filling began by adding the sugar and salt to the halved cherries …


Cherry Pie Puree

I had to puree cherries and plums, then strain it through a fine strainer to extract the liquid concentrate, which was then added back to the filling to enhance the flavor.


Cherry Cinnamon Bourbon Sugar and Plum Pie Filling

The filling had to sit and thicken … it is cinnamon, cherries, bourbon, sugar, plum, and some other ingredients. It smells like Christmas.


Bourbon Cherry Pie with Butter During Filling Process

Once the bourbon cherry pie filling was poured into the pie crust, I had to cut up chunks of butter and layer it on top, prior to putting the top pie crust over the dish, so that it would melt into the finished product during the baking process.


Putting on the Top Layer of Cherry Pie Before Smoothing and Fixing the Edges

I had thrown the top layer of the cherry pie on and had just began to smooth the top at fix the edges. It was much harder than it should have been because I had other things to do and couldn’t wait another hour for the dough to harden more in the refrigerator. After that was done, I did an egg wash with a pastry brush and then cut pie slits into the top of the cherry pie to vent steam during the baking process.


Bourbon Cherry Pie Cooling

The cherry pie cooling …

I need to get other work done.  This month is flying by so fast.