Michigan - Cherry Pie

As I work my way through Sweet State of Mine, I have enjoyed learning how everyday ingredients made their way to our country.  

Like Cherries for instance - turns out Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian missionary north of Traverse City, started modern-day cherry production in Michigan in 1852. Now, Michigan grows about 75 percent of the nation's tart cherries and Traverse City calls itself the cherry capital of the world.  

Who knew?  

Well, the people of Michigan did - and having an abundant local cherry crop can only mean one thing - lots of Cherry Pie!

This recipe is from Midwest Living Magazine

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
5 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries or fresh cherries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Two crust pie dough*
* you can use the refrigerated store bought pie crust but I made the dough included in this recipe which you will find below.  I think in a simple fruit pie it's best to make the crust from scratch.  


  • in large bowl, stir together sugar, tapioca and cornstarch
  • add frozen cherries and lemon juice, gently toss until coated
  • let stand 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy.  If using fresh cherries, let stand about 15 minutes or until a syrup forms, stirring occasionally.
  • prepare and roll out pie crust 
  • line a 9 inch pie plate with half of the pastry
  • transfer cherry filling to pie crust
  • cover with top pie crust (lattice if you wish)
  • trim overhanging crust to an even 1 inch all around
  • tuck under and flute edges
  • lightly brush with water and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • put foil around edges of the pie
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake 50 minutes more until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  • Cool for 2 hours before serving. 

Helen's Two Crust Pie Pastry
3 cups cake or all purpose flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1 /2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup shortening
7 Tablespoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • In large bowl stir together flours and salt.  Use pastry blender to cut in butter and shortening until pieces are pea-size
  • In medium bowl, stir together 6 Tablespoons cold water, egg and lemon juice
  • Using a large fork, gently toss together flour and egg mixture
  • If any dry parts remain, add last Tablespoon of water and gently toss to moisten evenly (should be a mass of very large crumbs)
  • Turn crumb mixture out onto a lightly floured surface.  Using your fingers, gently form a ball.
  • Using just a bit of flour, knead 4 - 5 times to form a ball
  • Divide in half.  Flatten each half into disc about 1 inch thick
  • Chill 1 - 2 hours or until easy to handle. 

Delicious!  Serve with whipped cream or a la mode with your favorite ice cream!  You just can't beat a homemade cherry pie!  


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