‘Twin Peaks’ Cherry Pie

‘Twin Peaks’ Cherry Pie

This is a composite sketch of the perfect cherry pie. The buttery, well-seasoned crust is adapted from the Cherry Pie That’ll Kill Ya at Butter and Scotch, a bar and bakery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that holds an occasional Twin Peaks Tuesday, with cocktails and diner foods named after the characters in David Lynch’s quirky 1990s television show. It uses a mock buttermilk crust, meaning that you curdle regular whole milk with apple cider vinegar instead of having to buy buttermilk. Instructions are given for a lattice top, but you could make it with a double crust or the chevron shown here, depending on your mood. The filling is all about maximizing the flavor of pure sour cherries (sometimes labeled pie cherries). This is the pie to make at the height of sour-cherry season, or using a bounty you freeze yourself (see the tip below). Frozen sour cherries are also available online. The pie will keep for up to five days, refrigerated and wrapped in plastic.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Make the crust: In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and vinegar. In a large mixing bowl, toss the flour, sugar and salt with a fork to combine. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter cubes until the butter is the size of small peas. Using a fork or large spoon, slowly add the liquid in 4 or 5 additions, stopping after every pour to combine, until the dough just sticks together. Knead lightly in the bowl until it forms a taut ball.
  2. Step 2

    Separate dough into 2 equal-size disks and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.)
  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Mix the cherries, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium heat until cherries thaw (if frozen) and the cornstarch and sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally to keep cherries from burning, and cook until the mixture thickens slightly. (Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes.) Add liqueur, stir and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Step 4

    Assemble the pie: Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough into a 1/8-inch (3 millimeters) thick circle about 15 inches (38 centimeters) in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch/23 centimeter deep-dish pie plate and chill in refrigerator as you work on the top crust.
  5. Step 5

    Working quickly, roll out a second disk into an 1/8-inch (3 millimeters) thick rectangle about 15 inches (38 centimeters) long and 12 inches (30 centimeters) wide. Cut into 6 strips about 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide. Remove pie plate from refrigerator and fill with cherry filling. Weave lattice strips over the top. Seal, trim and crimp the edges. Or cut dough into five zigzag strips and lay on top of pie filling, trimming excess.
  6. Step 6

    In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Brush the crust with it, and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  7. Step 7

    On a baking sheet, bake pie for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, rotating once halfway through. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is thick and glossy. Juice may bubble onto baking sheet. Remove pie to wire rack to cool before serving. The pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.