Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Pie

Chilling pie dough is standard practice, but it's especially important for this recipe because vegan butters remain soft even at cooler temperatures. The pie crust is flaky and tender, while the sweet-tart cherry filling gets a mild warmth from black pepper. Bake the pie on a preheated baking sheet to help the bottom crust cook through and to catch any syrupy filling that bubbles over during baking. If you like, serve slices topped with a scoop of Vegan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Pie
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
4 hrs
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 35 mins



  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (about 9 5/8 ounces), plus more for rolling

  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 cup salted vegan butter (8 ounces) (such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen

  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 2 ¼ pounds fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries (about 7 cups)

  • 1 ¼ cups organic cane sugar

  • .33333333333 cup cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Additional Ingredients

  • Oat milk, for brushing

  • 2 tablespoons organic turbinado sugar


Make the dough

  1. Pulse flour, cane sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. Add butter, and pulse until butter resembles small peas, about 12 pulses. With food processor running, gradually add 3 tablespoons ice water through food chute, processing until mixture is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Dough should hold together when pinched; add up to 2 tablespoons ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing 3 times after each addition, if needed.

  2. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Knead just until dough comes together. Shape into 2 even disks, and cover each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Make the filling

  1. Combine cherries, cane sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a small Dutch oven over medium. Cook, stirring often, until liquid comes to a boil and thickens, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in black pepper and almond extract. Let cool completely.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F with an aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet positioned on the middle rack. Unwrap both dough disks, and transfer to a well-floured surface. Roll each dough disk into a 13-inch circle (about 1/8 inch thick). Fit 1 dough circle into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Cut remaining dough circle into 1-inch-wide strips. Pour cooled filling into pie shell, and arrange dough strips over filling, weaving to create a lattice pattern. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang; discard scraps. Fold edges under, pressing and crimping to seal.

  3. Brush top of pie lightly with oat milk, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place on hot baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and filling is thick and bubbly, 50 minutes to 1 hour, covering edges after 30 minutes if needed to prevent excess browning. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack, about 4 hours, before serving.


Increase salt in crust to 1 3/4 teaspoons if using unsalted butter.

Make Ahead

Filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Let come to room temperature before filling pie and baking.

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