The Sweetest Crumb

Sour Cherry Pie and a Canadian Recipe

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a cherry craze.

I’ve been buying cherries (along with almost every other kind of fruit available) at our local farmers’ market to fully take advantage of the last few, dwindling weeks of summer produce.

I have helped my parents pick their overflowing Evans cherry tree, essentially stuffing my freezer full of cherries afterwards. I may have even announced afterwards that we need to buy another freezer (don’t worry – Sean stopped me from making that impulse buy).

And, I’m currently drinking a chocolate cherry latte courtesy of Roast… mmmm.

So overall – cherry overload.

Also, since today is the 7th, it is once again time for my monthly post as part of the Canadian Food Experience Project. For those of you who are new to the Canadian Food Experience Project, the series began on June 7, 2013 and involves a collection of monthly articles written by food bloggers, writers and enthusiasts on pre-determined Canadian food topics. The project aims to help us explore and share our Canadian food identity.

As today’s challenge was to share a cherished Canadian recipe, I thought it would be a perfect time to share what I did with all my Evans cherries. As some of you will know, the Evans cherry is a sour cherry variety which grows on a hardy tree, perfect for withstanding our harsh Alberta climate, making it a very popular regional fruit. It might not have the same look or flavour as the better known Bing cherry, but it is still delicious, tart and perfect for desserts – especially pie.

This pie was great – I’ve been having a slice with my lunch everyday since I made it and it never fails to hit the spot. The tart filling goes well with the buttery crust and it would be fantastic with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Now I need to admit that I am very picky about pie crusts – full disclosure! I need the crust to be flaky and sprinkled with sugar. But I refuse to use shortening in my crust to get the flaky effect. First of all, the extreme white colour of shortening creeps me out a little. Second, hydrogenated oils and trans fats are yukky – I want to feel good about what I’m putting in my body regardless of if its a quinoa salad or a slice of pie. And third, nothing beats butter, in my opinion :) Needless to say, I am a butter purist when it comes to baking. So… I use this wonderful recipe from Smitten Kitchen for pie crusts. Deb also provides some great tips on making pie dough for those who may be attempting their first pie here and here.

For the filling, I used the recipe below. It is really easy to throw together and has few ingredients since the cherry flavour stands out well all on its own.

So, if you have a cherry surplus in your freezer too, make a pie. You won’t be disappointed.


Sour Cherry Pie Filling

By Genia Rodnyansky Published: September 7, 2013

  • Yield: enough for one 9

Recently, I've been on a bit of a cherry craze. I've been buying cherries (along with almost every other kind of fruit available) …


  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 lb sour cherries such as Evans, pitted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeeze
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in cherries, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir carefully until evenly mixed.
  3. Use mixture to fill prepared pie crust.

    2 comments on Sour Cherry Pie and a Canadian Recipe

    1. A Canadian Foodie
      September 28, 2013 at 11:49 am (2617 days ago)

      Hey! Gorgeous pie! Did you find your pie sweet enough with only that much sugar with that many cherries? It is tough to get the right balance of sugar to sour cherry mixture in a pie… and, lard is not “hydrogenated oils and trans fats”. I guess you know that would be Crisco or something man made. Lard is as natural as butter. I have even rendered my own, and written about it – even did a pastry tasting with my rendered lard, Kevin’s and Tenderflake. It was a very interesting experience. That being said – everybody loves butter. I do enjoy my pies with half lard, half butter…. but lard is traditional, and still so delicious, too!
      Loved that this is your most cherished Canadian recipe… and would have enjoyed hearing more about why. A cherry latte is new to me. I guess I don’t get out much.
      Thrilled you are participating in The Canadian Food Experience Project with such heart!

      • Genia Rodnyansky
        February 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm (2476 days ago)

        Thanks, Valerie! I did find the pie sweet enough as did my family, but we generally like things on the less sweet side. Of course it is all up to preferences. I’ve also never used lard in baking but am curious about the process of rendering it yourself. I’m sure the pastry tasting was fantastic :)


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