Door County Cherry Pie

A staple in this part of the country (and in Traverse City, Michigan), cherry pie makes for a delicious dessert, afternoon pick-me-up, and even comforting breakfast treat.

Door County Cherry Pie

Prep Time

60 minutes

Cook Time

90 minutes


6 people

Credit: Excerpted from The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook © by Amelia Levin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

A staple in this part of the country (and in Traverse City, Michigan), cherry pie makes for a delicious dessert, afternoon pick-me-up, and even comforting breakfast treat.

Traverse City folks will tell you their cherry pie is the best. Door County residents might beg to differ. I’ve found joy in both versions. Some are more crumbly, some are sweeter, others are more tart. Everyone seems to have his or her own nuanced variation.

I modeled this recipe after the one from Sweetie Pies in Fish Creek, Door County, but I use an all-butter crust instead of shortening for an even richer, flakier consistency.

Note: Save the juice from the bottled tart cherries in this recipe to use in the Cherry-Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cream.



  • 1-¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, cold
  • 3–5 tablespoons ice water


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups well-drained bottled tart Montmorency cherries in unsweetened cherry juice.
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • 1 For the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until it is the size of coarse crumbs. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the top and stir with a fork. Gently knead the mixture with your hands until the dough holds together. If it is dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and knead until the dough holds together. Shape into two oval disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.
  • 2 Roll one of the chilled dough disks on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and about 11 inches in diameter. Gently roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan or dish. Without stretching the dough, fit it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  • 3 Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
  • 4 For the filling, combine the sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add the cherries and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell and top with the butter.
  • 5 Roll out the remaining dough disk to 1/8 inch thick and about 11 inches in diameter. Drape the dough over the cherry filling. Fold the edges under the bottom crust and flute attractively or use a fork to press down the crust. Cut several slits in the center of the pie to allow steam to escape during baking.
  • 6 For the topping, brush the milk over the top and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the pie.
  • 7 Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.



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