Recipe Review

Smitten Kitchen’s Cherry Pie Is an Instant Classic

published Jul 20, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

When I was searching around for contenders for the cherry pie recipe showdown, I knew that I wanted to include a classic recipe in the mix to help me establish if adding more bells and whistles was worth it — or not. Smitten Kitchen’s cherry pie recipe is as classic as it gets, from ingredients to technique, and I’ve always had good luck with Deb’s recipes. I was excited to give it a try to see if simplicity was the key to a great cherry pie.

Get the recipe: Sweet Cherry Pie at Smitten Kitchen

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

How To Make Smitten Kitchen’s Sweet Cherry Pie

First, make the pie dough. Next, stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and almond extract in a medium bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, roll out half of the pie dough and place it in a pie pan. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie crust, leaving most of the liquid behind (it’ll make the pie soupy). Dot the filling with butter. Roll out the remaining pie dough and place it over the filling. Seal and crimp the edges of the two pie doughs together, egg wash the top, and sprinkle with sugar. Cut vents in the top crust and bake for 25 minutes in a 400°F oven. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 25 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown. Let the pie cool before serving. 

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

My Honest Review of Smitten Kitchen’s Sweet Cherry Pie

At first glance, Smitten Kitchen’s recipe is as classic as it gets, which made me worry that it might be another run-of-the-mill cherry pie. After one bite, though, I realized there’s nothing average about this dessert. 

This recipe is not about what new ingredients can be added to spruce up your cherry pie. Instead, it’s about how moderation, balance, and restraint can turn a classic into a work of art. The biggest tip from this recipe is to taste the cherries you have and adjust the amount of sugar to balance the fruit’s natural sweetness. 

The lemon juice in the filling adds acidity, and almond extract enhances the flavor of the cherries. The outcome is a well-balanced, floral pie that marries sweet and tart in one harmonious bite. The filling is loose but not runny — more of a thick syrup that coats the cherries and ice cream, if you choose to serve your slices with a scoop (and I would suggest that you do). The double-crust adds buttery flavor to every bite, with the sugar topping adding texture and crunch. The harmonious flavors and contrasting textures make this pie a pleasure to eat and the recipe is a delicious reminder of the power of simplicity.

Overall rating: 9/10