apple & sour cherry pie with crumb topping

apple & sour cherry pie

Making pies gets me all nervous. I talk a lot, I pace the floor of our tiny galley kitchen, and past pie crust goofs are replayed ad nauseum in my head. In other words, making a pie crust turns me back into a shy awkward teenager and it undermines any strides I’ve gained into adulthood. Pie crust terror sends me back and trust me, it ain’t a good look for anyone.

about to be baked

However, I wanted to make my break with the past. Sure, I’ve made some serious strides forward in the last few years. Remember this pumpkin chiffon pie? Or this dream crust contender? And I’ll always remember my first true crust success with this cornmeal pate brisse. But in my eyes, I was still searching for pie crust gold: a pie crust that I could become part of my repertoire of “good things”.Recently I read that colonial women made 8-10 pies a week which seems like insanity to me – especially since they were probably rendering their own lard, chopping firewood, and doing pretty much everything else to run a household. When put into perspective, it kind of makes my stupid fears seem that much stupider.


Getting to business, I settled on a half butter/half shortening crust recipe from Simply Recipes. I cut the crust recipe in half because I was making a pumpkin pie. When I realized that I’d have to do a little math, never my strong suit , I could feel the teenage-me sneaking in through my pores. Uh oh, the panic was setting in. And then it happened, I had a goof moment and doubled the amount of butter by accident. I was too far gone to back down, so to settle the score I used the full recipe and ended up with enough for 2 pie crusts. Not a bad dilemma actually.

2 pies are better than 1

The pumpkin pie recipe came from Martha Stewart & I’ve made it a few times. It’s a good standard version but it really needs to be spiced up a lot, so double up on the spice and add in some nutmeg and cloves if you choose to go the pumpkin pie route. But the other pie is my pride and joy and it would just be wrong for me not to share it’s goodness with the world. It’s the Supreme Pie. It’s Freaking Amazing Pie. It’s the pie that toppled from the tallest peaks of greatness to land with nary a crumb out of place onto my kitchen table. Get the picture?


Originally, I was just going to make an apple pie, but then decided to toss in some frozen sour cherries leftover from summer. It was a good move as it gave the pie that subtle almond flavour – and, each soft, juicy cherry was perfection. I used 3 kinds of apples – Granny Smith, Ambrosia and Gala because they looked so pretty together and figured if they were that good-looking, they had to taste great. The pie was a success. The dough was tasty and flakey and everything that a good pie dough should be. The filling was tart and sweet and who can argue with crumb topping? (Didn’t we have this discussion recently?) We ate the pie topped with a maple-bourbon whipping cream and it was decadent. A few days later, I ate the remaining slice and was shocked to find that it tasted even better than the day it was made. Look at that, this pie improved with age. That awkward girl sure grew up right!

the last pie

Elsewhere: If pie-making is too much to handle at the moment, check out my post over at Poppytalk where I make the easiest & best chocolate pudding.

41 comments to “apple & sour cherry pie with crumb topping”

  1. 1
    Joanne   October 15, 2010 at 3:19 am

    8-10 PIES a WEEK? Where did they all go? Certainly not straight to their hips. Hmm. Maybe I should take up pioneering.

    This apple sour cherry pie sounds amazing! I still haven’t found my perfect pie crust yet but I am going to have to try this one!

  2. 2
    karen   October 15, 2010 at 4:49 am

    oh my! it’s pie! they both look gorgeous! do you think cranberries would be a good substitute for sour cherries? i wasn’t smart and didn’t freeze too many when they were in season this summer.

  3. 3
    Meister @ Eat This Neighborhood   October 15, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Eight to ten pies a week, really?!? With all the other stuff they had to do — churning butter, darning socks, scrubbing floors, cooking meals all day, scraping drunken husbands off the floor, fighting Imperial England?? That is seriously impressive, and makes me feel tremendously lazy for occasionally ordering takeout!

    This pie, meanwhile, looks like a triumph. I don’t think you should ever have anx-pie-ty again. (That was terrible, I apologize.)

  4. 4
    Megan Gordon   October 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

    So jealous you have leftover sour cherries…or sour cherries at all, actually. I missed the boat on that one this summer. This looks awesome. Looks like that crust turned out just fine 🙂

  5. 5
    Maddie   October 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

    These pictures are beautiful — I’m trying to control myself from drooling all over my keyboard. Maple-bourbon whipped cream and crumble topping ? This is going straight to the top of my must-bake list. (I’m so glad now that I pitted and froze all those sour cherries back in June!)

    Clearly, you have nothing to feel nervous about on the pie-making front. 🙂

  6. 6
    Eva   October 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Oh well, hello there….THAT PIE looks A-MAZING! I have a weakness for crumble toppings…can you tell? Um and maple bourbon whipping cream…! I can’t wait to try this 🙂

  7. 7
    Nicole   October 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    The combination of apples and sour cherries with spice sounds oh so good. I hope your pie anxieties have subsided!

  8. 8
    Jacqui   October 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Now I really wish I had saved some of summer’s cherries! This sounds too good!

  9. 9
    LizAndrsn   October 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Well bless your pie making heart!
    I can do many things, but pie crusts make me sweat.

    Probably a good thing I like cake. And anything chocolate!

  10. 10
    lo   October 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Hey, Lady – you done good!
    The apple sour cherry combo is brilliant… and it just so happens I froze some of the sour cherries from this summer’s harvest. So, this sounds like a perfect idea for one of the upcoming weekends!

  11. 11
    Amy   October 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    This pie looks really delicious. Pie crust also makes me nervous! Good work!

  12. 12
    LimeCake   October 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    what a gorgeous pie! love all the flavours!

  13. 13
    Bijoux   October 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    What a handsome pie you have there. It looks fantastic! It’s been many years since I made a pie. I used to make the crust using Crisco and flour and sugar and then throw in a can of neon cherry pie filling, and then viola! instant pie for my teenage cravings. I cringe just thinking about that now.
    I’d like to make a pie from scratch one day. I guess fresh cherries are out of the question this time of year. Some Eastern European delis carry sour cherries and their juice in a glass jar. I wonder if that would work? Hmmm…

  14. 14
    melissa   October 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    do you think frozen cranberries would work in place of the sour cherries?

  15. 15
    kickpleat   October 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Joanne, I think pioneering is the way to go 😉 And try the pie crust, it’s a good one!

    Karen, I think cranberries would work….but add in extra sugar since cranberries are much more tart. Enjoy!

    Meister, no kidding about feeling lazy in comparison 🙂

    Megan, I’ve got a whole freezer full!

    Thanks Maddie, the pies were great and the sour cherry apple one was to die for. Thanks for your vote of confidence.

    Eva, totally hear you on the crumble front!

    Thanks Nicole, I’m feeling pretty pie-confident!

    Jacqui, I think subbing in cranberries going with an all-apple pie would still be fantastic.

    Liz, don’t be afraid of pie! You can do it.

    Lo, be thankful for your frozen cherries. I treat them like gold and this pie was definitely worth it.

    Why thank you Amy!

    Thanks LimeCake.

    Bijoux, you have to give pie making a chance. It’s actually quite fulfilling! I’ve seen the sour cherries in a jar and I think they would work here for sure.

    Melissa, yes cranberries would be a worthy substitute. Just add more sugar since cranberries are so much more tart.

  16. 16
    tracy   October 18, 2010 at 7:43 am

    that crumb topping looks HEAVENLY. I’d fill a whole pie crust with it and just eat it alone in my car in an abandoned parking lot. no one would know!

    p.s.- YOU DID AN EXCELLENT JOB on the crust!!!!!! Soo pretty!

  17. 17
    Beth @ Baking Therapy   October 18, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Oh YUM!! I adore cherries and your cherry/apple pie sounds wonderful! And pumpkin is such a classic. This post screams “fall” to me – love it! And well done on the crusts!

  18. 18
    kickpleat   October 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Tracy, I love your commitment to covert pie-eating operations! Thanks for the props on the crust.

    Thanks Beth, i think it feels like fall too. Hooray for pie!

  19. 19
    Kristie   October 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I love your overhead shots of food. Really unique style 🙂

  20. 20
    Alicia   October 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Yay pie! The more the merrier, right?

    I must admit pie crust scares me too. But this looks wonderful. Congrats on the success!

  21. 21
    kickpleat   October 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks Kristie!

    Alicia, I think so too (two!). As for your fear, it can be conquered. Just a little practice and all is good.

  22. 22
    Foodie in Berlin   October 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I came to pie making late enough and it scared me just as much as it seems to scare you but I love pies so I guess in the words of that silly self help book – you have to feel the fear and do it anyway!

  23. 23
    Christina   October 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

    That pie looks fabulous! I need to start trying some fall pies and this one is on my list for sure!

  24. 24
    Lynn   October 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Oh my goodness, a slice of heaven on a plate!

  25. 25
    Heavenly Housewife   October 21, 2010 at 7:45 am

    What a great apple treat. I have so many apples from my trees this year and I’m having trouble figuring out how to use as many of them as I can. THis looks like a great recipe.
    *kisses* HH

  26. 26
    kickpleat   October 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Foodie in Berlin, yes, let’s get over our pie making fears together! Lots of pies in the future is never a bad thing.

    Thanks Christina, it was a fabulous pie.

    Thanks Lynn.

    Having too many apples is never a problem, HH!

  27. 27
    lyndsay   October 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    PIEMASTER! you are the piemaster! those look fabulous jeannette!! i hear ya about “fear of pie crusts.” especially when you bring a pie to a party or potluck and you can’t taste it beforehand. will it be tough, overwrought??

    through my (limited) pie crust making experience, i always say to myself when i’m making it: “don’t touch it. don’t even TOUCH it.” i almost let it mix itself, haha. i barely mix it and there’s hunks of butter still visible but because i touch it for like ten seconds to bring it together (and of course everything is very cold!) it has worked out for me so far! hooray!

    anyway. love the sound of this pie and i am totally going to try making it though i will have to buy some sour cherries! ^_^

  28. 28
    Kate   October 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    That’s crazy! I just made an apple + sour cherry pie with root beer glaze last weekend. We must have fall on the brain. Can’t wait to try your crumb topping next time.


  29. 29
    kickpleat   October 24, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Ha, thanks CAKEMASTER!!

    Rootbeer glaze, I’m curious Kate!!

  30. 30
    Dana   October 26, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I’ve been looking for an apple cranberry pie recipe, but I may just have to switch gears and make this instead… sounds so delicious!!

  31. 31
    kickpleat   October 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Dana you could most certainly use cranberries here (just up the sugar), but the sour cherries are a nice touch.

  32. 32
    BrucesMom   November 1, 2010 at 5:39 am

    You had a pie that lasted more than one day?

  33. 33
    kickpleat   November 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    BrucesMom, yup, true. But there were 2 pies, 2 extra guests for dinner and the 2 of us. The pumpkin pie lasted almost a week!

  34. 34
    Ashley   November 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I’m still scared of pie crusts too. I think I need to just set aside a weekend and make pie after pie and get over the fear!! Both of these pies look really good. I love how you did a crumble topping on the apple cherry pie.

  35. 35
    Toby   September 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I know this post is several years old… but I’m starting to plan Thanksgiving and have sour cherries in my freezer. This sounds excellent. Question… did you thaw the cherries before adding them to the pie or did you add them in frozen? Thanks!

  36. 36
    kickpleat   September 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Toby, you can use frozen sour cherries. No need to thaw!

Leave a comment