Recipe Review

Ambitious Kitchen’s Cherry Pie Is an Absolute All-Star

published Jul 21, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

A recipe that calls itself “the best” typically raises a red flag for me for being too ambitious. But I figured the swagger was fitting in this case, as the recipe comes from the blog Ambitious Kitchen. Would the touch of amaretto and crumble topping convince me this pie was The Best Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat? As part of my cherry pie showdown, I headed to the kitchen to find out.

Get the recipe: The Best Tart Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat at Ambitious Kitchen

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Ambitious Kitchen’s The Best Tart Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat

First, make and prepare pie dough. Then combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, flour, and almond extract over medium heat in a large pot, stirring frequently to combine the ingredients and help break down the cherries. After 5 minutes, the filling will begin to thicken; stir in the butter and amaretto. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the filling coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool. 

Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. Mix together flour, brown sugar, and oats. Add melted butter and stir with a fork to create a clumpy crumble. Cover and chill for 5 minutes. 

Pour the cooled pie filling into the prepared pie crust. Cover the filling with the crumble topping and bake until the filling is bubbling and the crumble is golden-brown, about 1 hour. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.  

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Ambitious Kitchen’s The Best Tart Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat

I can’t stop thinking about this pie. Even with the extra dirty dishes and additional prep time, the few extra steps to Ambitious Kitchen’s cherry pie are 100% worth it. Cooking the cherry mixture on the stovetop before it goes into the pie shell prevents the filling from exploding out of the crust as the pie bakes. It also gives the filling an enhanced cherry flavor. The addition of butter adds a velvety texture to the filling, and amaretto gives the pie a warm, balanced bite that almond extract just can’t match. 

The photos might lead you to believe that this is just a cherry crisp pretending to be a pie, but don’t be fooled. If an apple pie can have a crumble topping, so can a cherry pie. The crumble topping has a delicious, almost shortbread-like flavor. It puffs up beautifully as it bakes, and once cooled it deflates a little and forms cracks that the cherry filling seeps through. The crumble soaks up the cherry filling and “glues” everything together to create a thick, sturdy slice of pie. 

There was no fear of cutting into the pie and seeing the filling run out the sides; everything stayed intact but was still loose enough for a pleasant, cherry-forward bite.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

If I Make Ambitious Kitchen’s Cherry Pie Again

My only critique is that I wanted salt in the filling and crumble to give it that subtle punch of balance. Also, if you were serving a slice with ice cream (and you absolutely should), adding salt would help marry the sweetness of ice cream with the tartness of the pie. But even without salt, the pie is an all-star. 

Overall rating: 10/10