Make the most of the season with this sweet and tart recipe for cherry pie. (from Winning Pick, June 2021). Photograph by Douglas Merriam.

Cafe Pasqual’s Sour Cherry Pie

Makes one 10-inch pie 

Katharine Kagel, the chef and owner of Cafe Pasqual’s, in Santa Fe, shares her recipe for a classic cherry pie filling. She uses an all-butter crust. Use your own favorite recipe for making two 10-inch crusts. 

3½ pounds sour cherries, pitted
1½ cups sugar
½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup cold water, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
½ teaspoon almond extract
Zest of 2 lemons
Two 10-inch pie crusts
1 egg 

Makes one 10-inch pie


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.

  2. In a separate small bowl, mix cornstarch and ¼ cup water, and stir to form a smooth paste.

  3. Stir cornstarch mixture, almond extract, and lemon zest into cherries and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Take one crust out of the refrigerator (after chilling for 30 minutes if you made your own) and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften a bit. Roll the crust into a 12-inch circle about ⅛ inch thick.

  5. Fit dough into the bottom of the pie dish and decoratively crimp edges. Line the shell with a piece of crumpled parchment paper or foil, then fill the pie shell with a layer of dried beans, raw rice, or other pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes or just until crust starts to brown.

  6. While crust is baking, whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Remove crust from the oven, take pie weights out, and brush the egg wash mixture all over crust (this will seal it, preventing the wet filling from making it soggy). Bake without weights for another 8–10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  7. Pour filling into the pie shell. Use the second crust to create a lattice over the filling, pinching at the edges, and bake on rack in the lower third of the oven for 45–50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cover outer edges of crust with foil if crust browns too quickly.