a dedication to my father-in-law
The recipes I post on here all come from memories of mostly my childhood or young adult years. Today’s homemade cherry pie post is something that will now be a new tradition in our home, and it’s dedicated to my father-in-law who passed away yesterday from cancer. This cherry pie was one of the last things he requested and it was an honor to make it for him. He actually asked for it to be like his mother used to make, but because I don’t have that recipe and time was of the essence, I scoured the cookbooks I had and online for the next best thing. Not to say that I rush through my pie baking, but for this one, even with it being a simple design, I took my time making sure it was absolutely perfect. It was the least I could do for someone who had treated me like I was his own, especially after losing my own father to cancer 4 years ago.
My father-in-law was a brilliant, smart, and funny man. He was different and quirky and I loved that about him because I’ve always felt like that’s who I am. We’d always say hello and goodbye with a typical Euro kiss on the left cheek and a kiss on the right, and then a big bear hug. From the moment I met him, he instantly made me feel like I was apart of the family and, naturally, would then give me a hard time about how I liked my steak cooked. Do I have any well done steak lovers out there? Anyone?
I’ll miss watching the occasional Eagles game with him while eating shrimp dipped heavily in a cocktail sauce he swears was spicy, and our yearly birthday cards that were more of a history lesson than anything else. I was fortunate enough to get one last card on my birthday this year back in the beginning of November. It was basically a short and sweet “Happy Birthday Jenn…” followed by several paragraphs and photos of his time spent teaching over in India. I miss this guy so much already. This post and this pie is for you my dear father in law. Thank you for all the love you gave me…and for all those filet mignons you said you’d have to start grilling hours in advance of dinner time. You were the best father-in-law I could have ever asked for. Love, Jenn
how to make homemade cherry pie from canned cherries
This homemade cherry pie is the perfect combination of tart and sweet, and comes together quickly, especially if you use a store-bought pie crust like I did. Typically if time allows, I do like to make homemade pie crust and I even had some frozen, but it would’ve taken too long to let two of the discs I had in the freezer thaw out in time. So store-bought pie crust worked like a charm.
For the filling, I used three cans of Oregon Specialty Fruit’s red tart cherries that are—and this is key—packed in water and not heavy syrup. You can find these in the canned fruit aisle and not in the baking aisle with the cans of pie filling. Also for the filling I added in cornstarch, sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and almond extract. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a medium to medium-low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens. I felt the amount of sugar I used was perfect so it wasn’t overly sweet, but feel free to taste test the filling to see if you’d like to add more. Before adding the filling to the unbaked pie crust, allow it to cool completely.
For the top pie crust design, I used my newly purchased medium-size dala horse cookie cutter (which came in a set of 3) from the Touch of Finland ($7.99). You certainly don’t have to create the same pattern, but thought I would share the link in case you wanted to.
what is a dala horse?
A dala horse is a hand carved, painted wooden statue of a horse that originally comes from Sweden. It was known to be a child’s toy years ago, but today it’s mainly known as the symbol of Sweden, specially the province of Dalarna. The most common of all the dala horse statues are a bright lacquered red with a colorful painted saddle, harness, and mane. You might also see them painted in a bright blue, yellow, green, white, and black.
Neither my husband and I are Swedish, but we have friends that live there, absolutely love the country, and clearly love the dala horse (we have several throughout the house)!
check out these other delicious pies from the Beyond the Butter recipe box!
- Easy Key Lime Pie
- Chocolate Chip and Pecan Pie
- Easy Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- No-bake Chocolate Cream Pie with Chocolate Wafer Crust
- Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Funny Cake
- Berry Nutella Galette
- Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Impress your guests with this Homemade Cherry Pie that has the best cherry filling with just the right balance of sweetness, and it’s all baked in a buttery pie crust! It’s easy and delicious and one you’ll make over and over!
- 2 Pie Crusts (store bought or homemade, one for the top and one for the bottom)
- 3 Cans of Red Tart Cherries Packed in Water (plus the water from 1 1/2 cans)
- 4 tbsp. Cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/8 tsp. (or Pinch of) Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp. Almond Extract
recommended baking tools
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the cherries (plus the water from 1 1/2 cans), cornstarch, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract to a boil. Reduce it to a medium-low heat, stirring continuously until it thickens and bubbles. I felt the the amount of sugar I used was perfect so it wasn’t overly sweet, but feel free to taste test the filling to see if you’d like to add more. Set aside and allow it to cool completely.
- Prepare bottom pie crust and place into pie plate. Put back in refrigerator or the freezer while the cherry pie filling cools.
- Pour the cooled filling into the pie crust and place 2nd pie crust over top in a design of your choosing (lattice, cookie cutter, etc), trim and pinch/blend top crust to the bottom.
- As an option, you can beat an egg white and using a pastry brush, brush a little over the crust.
- Bake at 425ºF for 20 minutes and lower oven temp to 375ºF and bake for another 30-40 minutes. At this time, add strips of aluminum foil on top of pie crust to avoid over baking. Alternatively you can add a sheet of aluminum foil with a hole cut out to cover the crust.
- Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool on wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Alternatively, you can place the pie in the fridge after cooling to chill. Both methods will allow the filling to set properly.
To catch any possible drips from the pie filling, you can add a jelly roll pan on the next rack below the pie. I used Oregon Fruit Products canned Red Tart Cherries packed in water (found in the canned fruit aisle of your grocery story).
Recipe adapted from A Taste of Bedminster Elementary cookbook and the ArtfulParent.
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