Sour Cherry Crumb Pie is a crazy-delicious, seasonal treat. Did you know that cherries and almonds are natural flavor partners? Chunky brown sugar-almond topping and tangy cherries are a match made in heaven.
If you have access to fresh sour cherries, drop everything and make this pie! If you don’t have access to fresh cherries, go ahead and use frozen or jarred cherries.
I may have mentioned 1 or 1010223039 times that I have a sour cherry tree in my back yard. I swear I planted that tree specifically so I could make sour cherry pie. I love cherry pie that much.
Beyond the classic Sour Cherry Lattice Pie, I’ve also created recipes for Sour Cherry Almond Hand Pies, Sour Cherry Cobbler, Rustic Sour Cherry Cake and Sour Cherry Preserves and New York Cheesecake with, you guessed it, Sour Cherry Topping.
Since I got a windfall of cherries this year, I was eager to make a new sour cherry pie recipe to share with you. So, here ya go…
Scroll through the step-by-step photos to see how to make a Sour Cherry Crumb Pie:
Tips for making a perfect Sour Cherry Crumb Pie:
- You must use sour cherries, not sweet cherries. They’re not the same.
- Frozen or jarred sour cherries are the best substitute for fresh cherries.
- Macerate the cherries and then precook the juice with the starch before the pie goes into the oven. Because the juice is already thickened by the starch, your pie filling won’t be runny. Visit the Peach Crumb Pie post to learn about the science behind macerating the fruit.
- Even though you only need one crust, make a full recipe of Perfect Pie Dough and freeze the other half to use another day.
- This recipe makes a generous layer of crumb topping. You can make half or 3/4 of the topping if you prefer a thinner layer of crumbs.
- Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the pie to catch any juice that boils over.
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- 1/2 Recipe Perfect Pie Crust
- 3 lbs. (1.3 kg) fresh sour cherries, pitted (or 2.5 lbs. pitted frozen or jarred cherries), save the juice
- 1.5 cups (12 oz, 336g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (2 oz, 56g) corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz, 210g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ((2 oz, 56g) almond flour
- 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2-1 teaspoon real almond extract (adjust to taste)
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz, 168g) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- Roll the pie dough to line a deep dish pie pan. Refrigerate the shell while the filling is prepared.
- Toss the pitted cherries with the sugar and allow to macerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Transfer the cherries to a large bowl and set aside.
- Whisk a 1/2 cup of the cherry juice with the corn starch until smooth.
- Place the remaining juice and the salt in a small saucepan. Bring the juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling juice in a steady stream. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil and thickens to a pudding-like texture.
- Remove the thickened juice from the heat and immediately pour it over the pitted cherries. Toss to combine. Pour the cherries into the prepared pie crust. Use a scissors to trim the dough, leaving about 1/2" of dough beyond the edge of the pan. (Save the scraps for Pie Dough Cookies). Fold the dough over and pinch the crust to form a fluted edge.
Assemble and Bake the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine the all purpose flour, almond flour, brown sugar, salt and almond extract in a mixer bowl. Mix on low speed to combine.
- With the mixer running, add the butter a tablespoon at a time. Mix on low speed until it looks like wet sand.
- Grab a handful of the topping and squeeze it together to form a large clump. Break the large clump into smaller clumps over the cherry filling. Continue sprinkling the clumps of crumb topping to cover the filling. (see note)
- Bake about 1 hour until the juices in the middle of the pie are bubbling. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature. The pie will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
You can make a full recipe of Perfect Pie Crust and freeze half to use another day.
This recipe makes a generous layer of crumb topping. You can make half or 3/4 of the topping if you prefer a thinner layer of crumbs.
- 2 cups (10 oz, 285g) all purpose flour (see note)
- 2/3 cup (3.5 oz, 100g) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) leaf lard (or vegetable shortening), cold
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) butter, very cold and sliced into 1/4" thin slices
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 118 ml) ice cold water
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- Combine the all purpose and cake flour with the salt and sugar. Whisk together to mix the ingredients evenly.
- Using your fingers, cut the lard or shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Using your fingers, toss the butter into the flour mixture. Allow the slices of butter to break up into slightly smaller pieces into the flour. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
- Mix the water and the cider vinegar. Pour the water onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently press the dough just until it comes together. It will look a little dry in spots. The water will redistribute in the dough as it rests.
- Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using.
This recipe uses a mixture of all purpose and cake flour to mimic pastry flour. All purpose flour will give the dough enough structure so it can hold the flaky texture and a small proportion of cake flour will help keep it tender. If you have pastry flour you can use that in place of the flour mixture.
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