Bourbon Sour Cherry Pie
Love bourbon? Me, too! Bourbon pairs well with cherry, and this Bourbon Sour Cherry Pie is proof! It’s a great summer dessert.
I’m a big fan of bourbon. In fact, one of my go-to drinks is a glass of bourbon with a simple garnish of a cherry or two. I’m also a big fan of sour cherry pie. So the other day, I got to thinking…what if I combined these two and created a sour cherry pie using bourbon as one of the ingredients?
I hit the kitchen to do a little playing around, and a couple of hours later, I had this Bourbon Sour Cherry Pie. Inititally, I was a little afraid that the taste of the bourbon would overwhelm the cherry filling. (After all, you have to heat the bourbon when making the filling…and heated bourbon is a pretty potent smell!)
But once the pie came out of the oven, the bourbon had mellowed a bit and created a nice balance with the sour cherries. Don’t get me wrong, the bourbon flavor is still there…but it doesn’t overpower the pie like I was afraid it might. So if you have someone in your life who loves bourbon, give this pie a shot. It’s different and unique…and quite tasty if I say so myself!
When making fruit pies, I typically just put a full crust over the top. But this time, I decided to go in a slightly different direction. I had a bit of extra time, so I went with a lattice top for this pie. (If you don’t want to make the lattice top, you could certainly just use a full crust instead.)
Lattice topped pies look amazing, and honestly they don’t require that much extra time. Just roll out the second piece of pie dough like normal, and instead of covering the pie, just cut the dough into 3/4″ to 1″ strips. The first step is to lay out 5-6 parallel strips of dough across the pie. Then simply fold back every other strip.
Lay a new strip of dough perpendicular to the first 5-6 strips, and then lay the previously folded strips back down. Next, fold back the alternating parallel strips, lay down a new perpendicular strip of dough, and continue this process in both directions until the lattice-top is done.
I know this probably sounds really confusing, but it’s not! (It’s a lot harder to write it out than to do it…trust me!) Take a look at the collage below for a visual guide in how to make a lattice-top for your pie.
Bourbon Sour Cherry Pie
For the Pie Dough
- 2½ cups of pastry flour if you don’t have pastry flour, substitute with 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup cake flour.
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 sticks 16 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- ¼ cup cold water
For the Filling
- 3½ Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp water
- ¾ cup bourbon
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups sour cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 large egg for egg wash
- coarse sugar such as turbinado or sanding for garnishing crust
For the Filling
- In a small bowl, combine water and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined.
- In a medium saucepan, heat bourbon on medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, add the water/cornstarch mixture and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove mixture from heat and add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully mixed. Add cherries and stir until coated well. Place filling mixture in the refrigerator until cool.
For the Pie Dough
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in butter until mixture forms small pea-sized balls.
- Slowly add water and toss mixture lightly with a fork until dough forms a single ball and pulls away from edge of bowl. If needed, add more water in very small increments until no dry ingredients left in bowl. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
- Flour table well and roll out 1 portion of dough into a circle approximately 1/8″ thick and 11-12″ in diameter. Use caution at this step to ensure that dough does not stick to rolling pin or table. (Immediately dust rolling pin and table if dough begins to stick.) Roll finished dough onto floured pin and unroll into pie pan.
- Fill pie pan with Filling.
- Repeat rolling process with the 2nd portion of dough, stopping after it has been rolled into a circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 12-14 strips approximately 3/4″-1″ in diameter. Lay 5-7 strips horizontally across the pie, leaving space between each strip. Fold every other horizontal strip back and lay a new vertical strip perpendicular to the original strips. Unfold strips and then fold back the alternate horizontal strips. Place a new piece of vertical dough next to the first. Repeat this process of folding and unfolding every other strip until the lattice design is complete. (See picture tutorial in the post above for help!)
- Pinch the edges of the pie dough together, and then use culinary scissors to cut off extra dough. Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl, and then brush the egg wash across the top of the exposed pie dough. (You will likely not use the entire egg for this.)
- Sprinkle pie dough with a generous amount of turbinado or sanding sugar.
- Bake at 425 for 45-48 minutes, or until pie crust turns golden brown in color.
- Allow pie to cool before slicing.
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Wow. That looks amazing. I keep eyeing the sour cherries at the market but am waiting for some divine inspiration. Your lattice top photo tutorial is awesome!
Thanks, Jennifer! Lattice pie crusts always seem harder than they really are!
I am drooling over this cherry pie. However, I am thinking that I will substitute Southern Comfort for the bourbon. YUM.
Thanks, Junecutie! And definitely let me know how that Southern Comfort turns out…I bet it’ll be delicious!
Awesome recipe! Just put mine in the oven. Be careful licking the bowl – you will get a buzz! 🙂 One question – is tin foil needed on top when baking? Or will egg wash keep it from burning?
Thanks, Jim! I didn’t use foil when baking the pie, but just keep an eye on it. If it starts taking on too much color, you can always add a foil cover. Make sure to let the pie cool before cutting it…if you can wait! Enjoy!
Hi David ,do you think I would have any trouble using frozen cherries?
Hey Carolyn! I’ve made this pie with frozen cherries before with no trouble at all. Just thaw the cherries, reserving any liquid that comes out. Then instead of using the 3 Tbsp water (when mixing with cornstarch), just substitute in an equal amount of the reserved liquid. (If needed, you can add more water to get to the 3 Tbsp mark.) Let me know if you have any other questions!!
Are bing cherries sour cherries? We only see those and the Ranier ones in Nashville Tn.
Hey Mary! So Bing and Ranier are both varieties of sweet cherries. You could use those for this pie, but I think it would greatly change the flavor. The bourbon pairs so well with the sour flavor! I suspect that you might be able to find sour cherries this time of the year down there in Nashville. They’ll likely be labeled “sour cherries” instead of a specific variety. Keep your eye out for them! On a side note, my sister lives in Nashville, and I love that city!! 🙂
Looks absolutely amazing! And you did such a beautiful job!
Thanks so much, Katherine! This is definitely ‘one from the archives’ but the splash of bourbon in this one paired so well with the sour cherries. Yum!! 🙂