Cherry Pie has been a tradition in my family my entire life. My Grandma Clara, whose resemblance to Southern Grand Dame Nathalie Dupree still brings me goosebumps, made it every June - for Father's Day or my stepfather John's birthday...or both. To me, cherry pie meant celebration with family and a declaration that summertime had fully arrived.
My Grandpa Frank, a tall, barrel-chested, big-hearted man, loved pie crust as thick as the skin on his weather-worn, farm hands. So our cherry pie - and every pie my Grandma made - had an extra thick crust.
These Double Crust Cherry Pie Bars are my version of my family's beloved Cherry Pie. They're made with tart, frozen cherries in a 9" x 9" baking dish with two sets of refrigerated pie crusts for that extra thick crust. I add fresh lime juice to the cherries because cherry-lime to me is a luscious combo. Before serving, I finish the bars with a drizzle of confectioners icing and zest of fresh lime. I think my family would fully approve of this iteration of cherry pie. I think you will, too. Enjoy!
For the pie
- 5 cups frozen cherries
- 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 boxes refrigerated pie dough (4 individual rolls of pie crust)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (if desired)
For the Icing/Topping
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
- Lime zest to taste
Place a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Turn the oven on to 450°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherries, tapioca, cinnamon, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lime juice. Gently mix with a large wooden spoon to fully combine. Set aside.
Knead together 2 rolls of refrigerated pie crusts on a clean surface until the crusts come together. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9” x 9” baking dish. Prick the crust several times with a fork to help release the steam during baking. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place pie weights or 2 cups of dried beans or rice on top to hold the foil and crust down. Place on the center of the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights/beans. Continue baking 20 more minutes until the crust is golden and flaky. Take out of the oven, rest on a cutting board or steady, heat-proof surface. Turn the oven temperature down to 400°F.
Spoon the cherry mixture on top of the crust in the baking dish.
Meanwhile, knead the remaining 2 rolls of refrigerated pie crusts on a clean surface and roll out to somewhere between a ¼”- ½" thick square with a rolling pin – it should be about the same size as the 9” x 9” dish. Take a sharp chef’s knife and cut the pastry diagonally into ½” wide lattice strips.
To make the lattice, lay 7 or 8 strips diagonally on top of the cherry filling – be careful not to touch the hot edges or sides of the baking dish. Trim the pastry to the inside edge of the dish with a knife or scissors. To complete the lattice, weave the remaining strips in the opposite direction one at a time, going over and under the pie strips already in place. Trim the excess pastry to the inside of the baking dish again. You should have a beautiful, crisscross lattice on top of the cherries.
Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl for the egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the wash evenly over the lattice. Sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top of the pastry.
Place the baking dish back on the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the lattice is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack - at least an hour if not more.
Before serving, whisk together the confectioners sugar and milk/cream in a small bowl. Place in a sandwich sized plastic bag, cut the corner of the bag to about ¼” with scissors, and drizzle on top of the pie. Finish with lime zest.
Use a small serrated knife to cut into 9 even bars.