This Bourbon Cherry Pie with Cocoa Nibs is for bourbon and cocoa lovers. Dark and bitter chocolate melds beautifully with the vanilla undertones of bourbon and the sweetness of fresh dark cherries. Serve with a Bourbon Soaked Cherry Old Fashioned for an extra fancy and adult treat or some goat cheese ice cream (or regular vanilla).
I’ve been so indecisive lately, an itchy feeling right under the surface of my skin. It’s a mood that crops up when I’m at an impasse in life right before big change happens. The change isn’t anywhere in sight yet but it’s similar to the feeling you get before a big storm comes.
Because of this and some digestive pain that’s making me regret eating, I had a hard time choosing what to post this week. There have been a lot of desserts on the blog lately and I’M NOT A DESSERT BLOG I SWEAR.
I asked for help on my Facebook Page and people wanted the Bourbon Cherry Pie (the Rosemary Lemon Drop Martini was a close second though). Combined with the fact cherry season is almost over, I went with the pie.
Bourbon Cherry Pie with Cocoa Nibs
This Bourbon Cherry Pie wasn’t the greatest hit with my family (geez I’m really selling this). Most of the cocoa nibs dissolved completely but some of them didn’t and my dad was not a fan. And the bourbon doesn’t cook out of the cherries at all really so if you don’t like bourbon (my mom), this pie is also not for you. But I’m all about bourbon and chocolate so I liked it a lot.
The benefit of cocoa nibs is that they have the chocolate flavor without the sweetness. Cocoa nibs remind me of coffee beans because they are cocoa beans that have been dried, roasted, and crushed. They are also fermented too. To me, adding cocoa nibs is a lot like adding espresso powder to desserts because it is a subtle flavor that helps enhance everything else.
But cocoa nibs are not the type of chocolate product that appeals to everyone because they are bitter and dark. Grinding them into smaller pieces or into a powder might be a good idea.
The bourbon and cocoa nibs are also completely optional if you aren’t a fan. The bourbon can be replaced with lemon or orange juice and you can leave out cocoa nibs or replace it by weight with chocolate chips or zest and spices.
Weighing the Ingredients
This is the first pie where I weighed all the ingredients rather than measuring them out. I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder to create my own recipes, especially in baking, without factoring in weight percentages.
I finally decided to buy a scale and I went with this Salter Aquatronic Glass Electronic Kitchen Scale (that’s the affiliate link). This was my intro into weighing ingredients and baker’s percentages. I got these specific percentages from Stella Parks “How to Make the Ultimate Cherry Pie.”
In the recipe, I’m providing the weight first and then the volume measurement on the side. This was very hard to do, as sometimes the weight didn’t correspond to easy measurements. Sometimes it was 1 cup + a heaping ¼ cup or a ½ cup packed. Not the most accurate so I apologize.
As far as weaving the crust goes, I have a horrible time describing it in words. I lay the vertical strips down first. Then I actually weave the horizontal strips in, using an over-under pattern. If I start the first horizontal strip over, then the next horizontal strip below will start under. Make sense???
Bourbon Soaked Cherry Old Fashioned
Try making a Bourbon Soaked Cherry Old Fashioned along with this Bourbon Cherry Pie. The flavors are great together. Yea for an extra recipe! Bourbon soaked cherries are a great way to buy all the cherries in the world and preserve them for your greedy self.
Even though I’ve run out of the cherries, I have about 1 cup left of the liquid, which makes an excellent cocktail ingredient that I use in place of simple syrup.
How was everyone’s 4th? I had a very relaxed one and made smores with the new fire pit in the backyard. I didn’t snag pictures of that but we had grandparents over last week and it got a lot of use. I also practiced taking pictures out there.
I was experimenting with that goat cheese ice cream I mentioned earlier with this beer float but I got the proportions all wrong. Why do you need so much ice cream for a decent sized float?!!!
Bourbon Cherry Pie with Cocoa Nibs
- 150 grams salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes 2/3 cups salted butter
- 257 grams flour 2 cups flour
- 16 grams vinegar 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 81 to 161 grams ice water 1/3 to 2/3 cups ice water
- 941 grams pitted Bing cherries 2 pounds pitted Bing cherries, 3 pounds cherries before pitting
- 226 grams sugar 1 cup + a heaping 1/4 cup sugar
- 50 grams tapioca starch about a 1/2 cup packed tapioca starch
- 30 grams bourbon 2 tablespoons [1 ounce] bourbon
- 17 grams cocoa nibs 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
- 3 grams Morton Kosher Salt 1/2 teaspoon Morton Kosher Salt
Egg Wash Ingredients
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon Morton Kosher Salt
Cut the butter into small cubes and place in a large bowl. I cut them into tablespoon sized squares and cut each square into 9 little squares. Place the butter back in the fridge as you measure out the flour.
Measure out 2 cups of flour and sift the flour over the butter.
Use your fingers to massage the butter into the flour, leaving chunks of butter unincorporated.
Add the tablespoon of vinegar and toss. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough is able to hold together when pressed. It should be very cool to the touch, moist enough to hold together, but not wet enough that excess moisture is left behind in the mixing bowl or your hands.
Separate into equal sized balls of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Take one of the balls out and dust the counter with flour. Roll the dough into a 14-inch round and drape it into the pie tin. Trim the edges or fold them under to reinforce the sides. Place in the fridge to sit for 2 hours.
Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll the other ball of dough into a 10 by 15-inch rectangle and place it on the parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and let it sit for 2 hours.
While the dough is resting in the fridge, pit the cherries. I pit the cherries by placing a cherry on the neck of a glass bottle and punching a chopstick through the center. The cherry pit then falls into the bottle leaving the pitted cherry behind.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the crust is almost done resting for 2 hours, combine all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
While the dough is resting, whisk together all the egg wash ingredients and set aside for the pie assembly.
Pour the filling into prepared pie crust.
Cut the dough on the baking sheet into 1-inch strips 10 inches long. Lay half of them in vertical columns an inch apart across the pie.
Weave the horizontal strips into the vertical, using an over-under pattern. If I start the first horizontal strip over, then the next horizontal strip below will start under.
Trim the edges with a knife or use a fork to smash the edges to create a fringe.
Brush the top crust with the egg wash in a thin and even layer.
Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet (for leaks) and bake for 70 to 85 minutes, until the center of the pie is bubbling. If the crust starts to get too dark, make a foil tent for the pie or place a large baking sheet on the top rack to act as a shield.
Cool for 3 hours before serving. Cover the pie and store it in the refrigerator if there are leftovers. For leftovers, warm the pie up for 10 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Unthaw an equal weight (941 grams) of frozen cherries until softened.
Bourbon can be replaced with lemon or orange juice and you can leave out cocoa nibs or replace it by weight with chocolate chips or zest and spices if you want an especially spiced cherry pie.
Try grinding the cocoa nibs into a powder to prevent biting into small chunks.
Bourbon Soaked Cherry Old Fashioned
Use bourbon soaked cherries for a twist on this classic bourbon cocktail.
Bourbon Soaked Cherries
- 1 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or to taste
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 pound cherries, pitted
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce bourbon soaked cherry juice
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- large ice cube
- orange peel
- 2 to 3 bourbon soaked cherries
Bourbon Soaked Cherries
Add pitted cherries to a mason jar and set aside.
Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the beans, adding them to a saucepan along with the pods.
Add the bourbon, orange juice, sugar, and cinnamon stick to the saucepan. Heat on medium-high, bringing it to a small simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.
Pour everything (vanilla pod and cinnamon stick included) over the cherries. Cool to room temperature uncovered and then screw the lids on. Store in the refrigerator.
Place a large ice cube in a rock glass.
Pour the bourbon, cherry juice, and bitters in and stir for 15 seconds.
Peel a large strip of orange off, twist it over the glass and drop it in. Add some bourbon soaked cherries and stir for 15 seconds.
Be careful when making the bourbon soaked cherries! Depending on the proof of your bourbon, it can ignite. Don't panic and simply turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with the lid, which will suffocate the flames.
The cherries are best after soaking for at least 3 days. By then they have really taken on the vanilla bean and bourbon flavors.