Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Week 6: Cheering Up with Cherries and Berries

I was feeling up for a challenge this week and decided to make the pie that won the competition on the recent Food Network "Pie Challenge" show.

This pie is called "Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie." The original recipe has pretty specific ingredients, such as "dried Michigan cherries" and "Montmorency tart cherries." Seeing as I was trying not to spend my entire weekly grocery budget on this project, I chose to go with the frozen cherries and dried cherries I could find at Winco. This may have affected the final product, but face it, I'll never know, because I won't be buying those fancy cherries to try it again. It cost enough to get the ingredients at Winco.

Since the recipe included a crust recipe, I decided to try it, and it turned out fine.

The filling went just fine as well. There was a little error in the recipe I had at the time--it mentioned adding the blueberries to the cooked cherry mixture, and then says to put the blueberries on the bottom. I compromised by putting 1/2 cup of the blueberries in the cherry mixture, and then 1 cup of blueberries on the bottom of the pie. After re-looking up this recipe to include in this blog, I realize that I must have had a defective version, because this one doesn't mention putting blueberries in the cherry mixture.

The cherry mixture was VERY juicy, and pretty much filled up the pie shells. By the time I added the massive amounts of crumb topping, the juice was spilling over the sides of the pie. Good thing I had already put the pies on cookie sheets.


When baked, the pie undergoes an amazing transformation. The crumb topping shrinks and caramelizes into this amazing crunchy surface--mmmm delicious.

I'd never made a topping like this for a pie before. Now that I have, we are envisioning similar pies with blackberries. I also saw one at the grocery store the next day with a similar topping, that had peaches and raspberries inside. That sounded delicious.

Cherry Pie is not my husband's favorite, but he tried one piece and would like me to make a blackberry one next time I try the crumb topping.

I took one of the pies to a friend who just moved, as a housewarming gift. She loved it. And the other pie went to our dear Relief Society president, who has been having health issues the past several months. Their happiness made me happy.

Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie
by Linda Hundt, shared on the American Pie Council website


1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup Crisco shortening

Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed swiftly until crust appears "pea like." Carefully sprinkle ice cold water in crust mix until it just starts to be fully moistened and gathers together. Pat into disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least one half hour. Roll out on floured surface and make and crimp piecrust. Freeze until ready to use.


4 1/2 cups Montmorency tart cherries, frozen
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp real almond extract
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup dried Michigan cherries
1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries

Combine frozen cherries, dried cherries, sugar, cornstarch. Stir constantly on med-hi heat until boiling. Boil for one minute or until thickened. Add almond extract, lemon juice and zest. Pour blueberries in bottom of pie shell and pour cherry mixture over them.

Crumb Topping
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter softened

Mix together all crumb topping ingredients by hand or a pastry blender until crumbly.

Cover filling with crumb topping. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until filling is bubbling over crust.


  1. I am going to try this one--it looks absolutely fabulous. I also got a great deal on frozen blueberries and frozen mixed berries at the dollar tree. Any ideas? LOL! :-) You've become my go-to pie girl!

  2. Today I made mixed berry pies with 1 1/2 cups each of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup tapioca mix. Stir all together and put in unbaked pie shell, put on crumb topping as above, and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. So try that!