I live in Washington state. For many people that means that our biggest harvest is apples, but something else Washington is known for is cherries, especially of the Rainier type. Rainier cherries were actually developed in the state of Washington in the 50’s and are a cross between Bing and Van Cherries. Cherries can be extremely expensive even when they are in season, which is just for a few weeks in the summer, especially if you want Rainiers and especially if you want them to be organic. Lucky for me, I live less than 10 minutes away from a cherry orchard that is open to the public and can get cherries for as low as $1.80 a pound. One of my favorite things to make is fresh cherry pies and with the three kinds I got at the orchard on my last picking day, I made this triple cherry pie recipe.
Cherry pie is very easy to make, even for the novice pie maker, but I have to be honest when I say I didn’t make my own crust. I can make a good crust, I just was feeling especially pained on that day as the day before I spent all day picking cherries and when you have chronic pain, an activity like that will leave you pretty useless the next day. I didn’t want my pounds of cherries to go bad, though, so I just opted for store bought crust.
My husband Spencer helped me pit all the cherries. There was so many of them! I wanted to make two pies; one with a lattice top and the other with a classic slit top. To get a bit more creative, I used leftover pie crust to make these cute cherry shaped cutouts using a knife. That’s totally optional, of course!
Triple Cherry Pie Recipe
To make Triple Cherry Pies (makes 2) you will need:
2 cups Fresh Bing Cherries, pitted
3 Cups Fresh Pie Cherries, Pitted
3 Cups Fresh Rainier Cherries, pitted
3 cups of sugar
3/4 Cup Cornstarch
2 1/4 Cup 100% Cherry Juice Blend (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pinch of Salt
How to Make Triple Cherry Pie
1. Clean and pit all the cherries. Rinse well in a colander. It doesn’t matter if some cherries get smashed. I got my cherry pitter on Amazon. It works well and is easy to clean. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. pour them into a large pot with a heavy bottom such as an aluminum one.
3. Slowly add in your cherry juice blend and Almond Extract as well as Vanilla and bring to a simmer. It should be thick enough that when it simmers, you have bubbles that are thicker in appearance, the way tomato sauce looks when it simmers. If it is not thick enough, give the cornstarch some time to work and if after 2-3 minutes it is not working, add in a slurry of 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water mixed well, slowly until thickness is there.
4. Shut off heat and add in cherries, coating.
5. If you did not use prepared crusts like I did, make your own crusts at this point. If you did, you can add the filling to them. Give the cherries a LIGHT dusting of sugar before covering. Brush on some melted butter lightly as well.
6. Place your pies on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet and place in the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
7. Pull pies out and cover edges with foil. Place back in oven and turn heat down to 375 F for 35-40 minutes.
8. Let cool before serving.