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Substitute for instant tapioca in sour cherry pie?

I want to make the pie in this recipe from the NYTimes:


But, no instant tapioca and don't feel like buying any. Does corn starch serve the same purpose?


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  1. Yes, corn starch should serve the same purpose in thickening the juices, but I am not sure whether it would be a 1 to 1 substitution. Two to three tablespoons of corn starch sounds like a lot, but I guess it depends on how juicy your cherries are.

    I will be very curious to hear how this pie turns out. Will you let us know? I was intrigued by the recipe, but wondered if the crust at the edges would get too dark. I guess one could use a pie shield or foil if it starts getting overdone..

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxlet

      Tapioca is a more neutral flavour than corn starch, but corn starch will suffice.

    2. Corn starch should work fine. I use clear-jel in my pies which is a modified cornstarch. I'm not sure how much you would need but I use 1Tb of the clear-jel in my cherry pie. You might need a little more of regular cornstarch. The Argo Corn starch site suggests 3 Tb but their recipe appears much wetter than the NYT recipe. Mix the cornstarch in place of the tapioca with the other dry ingredients.

      1. OK, I stand corrected -- I just looked at a recipe for sour cherry pie on epicurious, and they said three tablespoons of corn starch, so it is a 1-1 substitution.

        1 Reply
        1. re: roxlet

          Thanks to both of you - will post back. Guess I need to go buy a pie pan first though!

        2. I seond the Clear-Jel. I get it from King Arthur Flour Co. Works like a charm in all my fruit pies. Just follow package directions.

          1. Personally I much prefer the texture of a pie made with tapioca. Minute Tapioca is widely available for about $3/ box. Next time give it a try -- you may not go back to cornstarch!

            6 Replies
            1. re: visciole

              i'm here because of the same question: well looks like after 6 months (since you replied above), a box (w/c is like a cup) of this ingredient is now $5.45 (86406 area)! that's why i need substitution like cornstarch-w/c i already have. just fyi, do not mean to offend:-))

              1. re: chow2x

                Tapioca pearls, or tapioca flour, which I wouldn't use for pie or even instant tapioca can be found in Asian grocery stores for much less than that. I know where 84606 is, and you may not have Asian grocery stores out there, but I would seek out a different grocery store if it is costing you that much; it's only $3.99 in the heart of NYC. Also, remember that a little tapioca goes a long way; you don't use much in a pie or pudding recipe. So it may seem expensive for the start up, but you get your money's worth.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  A box lasts at least 6 months unless you're a maniac pie baker. The tapioca flour in Asian stores costs under $2.00 for a pound in Manhattan. That'll last you semi-forever.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Exactly. When I wrote $3.99 I meant at my local supermarket, not Asian store; it would be much cheaper there. I just don't know if chow2x has the Asian store option.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      And we both know those local supermarkets ain't cheap! I think I've seen MT for $2.99 in Iowa.

                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                    I paid $4.50 for instant tapioca at Thanksgiving at one of my local grocery stores in Queens - expensive, but worth it IMO. First off, I'll probably never have to buy another box since I only make a couple pies a year, and second, the results were SO MUCH BETTER than I have ever been able to achieve with cornstarch. Cornstarch gives inconsistent results in general, but with sour cherry it's particularly bad - I think the acidity in the cherries is the problem. I probably could have found tapioca flour cheaper but I was being lazy - it was worth the extra $2 not to have to go to another store!

              2. If you do make the pie using cornstarch instead of instant tapioca, I would be very curious how your pie turn out. Like you, I hate to have to paid more than $2 for a small box of Miinute Instant Tapioca. In the past, I've baked various fruit pies using a master recipe from an old Cooks Illustrated book that calls for either 3 tablespoons of cornstarch OR tapioca. I've always used cornstarch and the results have been mixed. Sometimes the filling is thick enough, other times too runny (including cherry). I know I baked the pie long enough for the heat to activate the starch. Last week, I used instant tapioca for the first time for a sweet cherry pie after reading a recent article/recipe on their magazine that specifically called instant tapioca instead of cornstarch. The filling came out perfect; not too runny or too thick with beautiful clear juice. Maybe, from now on I'll have to break down and splurge.

                7 Replies
                1. re: PBSF

                  Hmm, maybe I'll have to give the tapioca a try after all. It was more that I just didn't feel like adding one more ingredient to my pantry!

                  1. re: PBSF

                    That little box lasts through a lot of pies....

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Speaking of Cook's Illustrated, I am wondering if anyone has tried one of the techniques from their newest blueberry pie recipe for a sour cherry pie. In addition to tapioca to thicken, they use a grated Granny Smith apple, which adds pectin - this plus a modest amount of tapioca supposedly creates a filling that is just firm enough, and the apple just melts into the pie. I was wondering if this might work equally well with sour cherries - I prefer a juicier pie, and I've never been able to achieve consistent results with cornstarch (no doubt due to the acid content of the cherries). I'm going to try tapioca next time (I have some of this summer's harvest in the freezer), but I'd like to use as little as possible to keep the pie nice and juicy, and was thinking the apple might be the solution - however, I don't want anything to interfere with the flavor of my favorite fruit! If you've tried it, let me know what you thought!

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        CI thinks instant clearjel is the best thickener out there. I recently used it for a sour cherry pie and I agree. I got it from the Baker's Catalog....buy two bags!

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          Since blueberry is not my favorite for pies, I have not tried CI recent recipe with a grated apple. A few months ago, I made a sour cherry pie using a recipe from one of their older books, The Best Recipe. It uses 4 tablespoon of tapioca starch (no grated apple) and it turned out great.

                          1. re: PBSF

                            Thanks PBSF. I think I will try it with tapioca this time, and if I don't like it, experiment with the apple or maybe Clearjel next time. Anything has to be better than cornstarch, ugh.

                            1. re: biondanonima

                              Tapioca starch is cheap as dirt in Chinese grocery stores (it's a preferred thickener in Taiwanese recipes).

                      2. Recently had a blueberry pie from a friend who doesn't bake much. it was excellent! She said her mother had always used instant tapioca and so she did too. I had never heard of using it - I always have used cornstarch but sometimes have runny fruit pies. This is something I will definitely add to my pantry. (BTW, she was showing me her "secret" ingredient and I pointed out to her it's use by date was 3 years ago. Still good!)

                        1. Actually, I usually use tapioca flour, which comes in a small bag from King Arthur. I don't know where I once read it, but I had read that tapioca flour was the best thickener for pies, and have used ever since. I don't think that I have ever used instant tapioca...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: roxlet

                            clear little jelly balls of cherry juice... it's why i use instant tapioca. plus, a crispy, dry crust

                          2. Rose Levy Berenbaum has, typically, a long dissertation on pie thickeners in "The Pie and Pastry Bible." Super shortened summary: (1) She doesn't like tapioca because you're aiming for "super smoothness" not a "pebbly" texture. (2) Tapioca is made from cassava; cassava powder is available from King Arthur and Asian food stores. (3) She's done innumerable tests with cassava powder and cornstarch and says cornstarch is her favorite for both flavor and texture.

                            She goes into even further detail on how to adjust the thickeners if the pie is to be eaten shortly after baking or is being held until the following day. I'll spare you the detail on that. Unless you tell me not to.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: JoanN

                              Well, would be interested in the details for a pie that is to be eaten later that day.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Now that you ask, I have to admit to having been a bit facile. What she's talking about is making sure the filling is firm enough to slice well. If a pie hasn't had a chance to cool completely, the filling will be runnier and she will add cassava to the cornstarch to compensate. Guessing you don't have powdered cassava on hand, and that you will be serving the pie within hours after its coming out of the oven, she recommends using the full amount of cornstarch rather than cutting back on it as she would if the pie were to be served the next day.

                              2. re: JoanN

                                I guess I'm going to have to go out on a limb and disagree with RLB here. I dislike the texture and mouthfeel cornstarch gives a fruit pie filling, and I don't think I want a fruit pie's filling to be "super-smooth." Tapioca never gives a "pebbly" texture unless you don't let it sit with the fruit first. But to each her own!

                                1. re: visciole

                                  I agree with visciole to disagree with RLB. The tapioca (instant tapioca or tapioca starch) needs to be combined with the pie filling ingredients and allowed to set for 5 minutes or so, until it absorbs liquid, which is the technique in the NYT recipe. I've never experienced the pebbly effect; that would only occur if regular or pearl tapioca was used. The recipe calls for grinding the instant tapioca in a food processor, which will completely eliminate any pebbly texture issues. If you can get tapioca starch, all the better, no grinding.

                                  Tapioca is often recommmended for fruit pie fillings over cornstarch because cornstarch breaks down if it's mixed with acidic ingredients, cooked for a long time, or frozen and thawed. Instant tapioca tolerates prolonged cooking and freezing. Cornstarch needs to be dissolved in liquid and cooked briefly in the liquid before filling the pie; no need for that with tapioca. If you use cornstarch in the filling from the raw state, it may not bake thoroughly and you'll have varying degrees of success, as PBSF did in the post upthread.

                                  The Clear-Jel other posters wrote about is also a great product, and superior to regular cornstarch, but I don't have it often have it.

                                  I use tapioca and really recommend using it for this recipe, or just about any fruit pie (except apple or pear, I use flour for those.) Unless you have a specific recipe that calls for cornstarch, I'm concerned that if you substitute cornstarch you may not get the correct consistency, and adjusting the thickening ingredients can get a bit dicey. If the pie didn't turn out the way you'd like, it would be a shame, with all the time a pie like cherry takes to make.

                                  I like tapioca pudding in the cooler months, which is the other way to use up tapioca. It keeps forever, btw.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    Thank you for detailing the thickening properties of cornstarch. I know the temperature issues but did not know that it will break down when mixed with acid. I frequently use lemon juice to either bring up the flavor of certain fruits or to cut the sweetness as in the case with sweet cherries. This explain why some fruit fillings do not thicken with cornstarch.

                                    1. re: PBSF

                                      I was just going to post a question about the clear jel for pies--I saw it in a bulk store and it came with a label but no directions. I am a pretty experienced pie baker, but I usually used cornstarch. So how does one use the clear-jel? Combine with the uncooked filling or does it need to be heated? Also how much, say per cup of fruit? Just looking for guidance, thanks!

                                      1. re: dberg1313

                                        I use 2 - 21/2 tablespoons of clear jel to a pound of fruit. Mix the clear jel with the dry sugar first and the add the sugar mix to the fruit to prevent clumping. Sometimes I use more, sometimes less depending on how juicy the fruit is. No need to pre-mix or heat it.

                                      2. re: PBSF

                                        I have read that if cornstarch is cooked with a little liquid before being used with acidic ingredients, it will be able to thicken them.

                                        If your supermarket has a Bob's Red Mill section, look there for bags of BRM tapioca flour, though it's not as cheap as TF in Asian markets.

                                      3. re: bushwickgirl

                                        So if I could jump in and ask a question. I am a fairly new baker but having great luck with the vodka crust so making more and more pies. The one problem I have noticed with the minute tapioca is when I use it with the blueberries I had frozen from last summer. Joy says not to let the berries sit with the tapioca for the usual 15 minutes when using frozen berries, but unfortunately not all the tapioca pearls completely dissolve. The pie still tastes good, but not very Visually or mouth feel good...suggestions? Thanks

                                        Ps is there a difference between quick cooking and minute tapioca?

                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                          I bake a lot of pies, and I prefer tapioca. However, I always grind it in a coffee grinder first. This solves the pebbly issues and creates the best consistency.

                                  2. I hope this is sufficiently related: just made my first sour-cherry pie of the season and it was good but not amazing. It should be amazing (if you're a person who feels amazed by great fruit pies, which I am).

                                    Truth is, I never feel like I get cherry pie quite right, filling-wise. I've tried a number of recipes (I tend to assume traditional all-american is best here so I've gone with Joy of Cooking, Fanny Farmer, stuff like that) but haven't found the balance of sweet-tart cherrypieness that I'm looking for. Do folks have recipes (for the filling) that they feel hit the nail on the head?

                                    35 Replies
                                    1. re: GDSwamp

                                      Fresh sour cherries already? Where, where???
                                      I've found that any of the standard recipes work well - I reduce the sugar by 1/4 and add 1/2 tsp almond extract as well as a dash of salt.
                                      I've seen roxlet post about Nick Malgieri's blueberry pie method (from Bake!) and am planning to try that this season. Hmm, roxlet indahouse?

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Yes. I made a sour cherry pie from canned sour cherries this past March and I used Nick Malgieri's method that I had great luck with in making blueberry pie. Essentially, you cook some of the cherries -- about a quarter -- with the sugar until the juice is released. You add some of the juice to cornstarch to make a slurry, which is then added back to the cherries on the stove. You cook this until it begins to thicken and turn translucent. You then add this to the remainder of the cherries, mix, and then fill and bake the pie as usual. It turned out beautifully and did not slop all over when it was cut. I would do this for any berry pie as well as for cherries. I will try to post the exact amounts later, but as far as taste goes, I know I added a bit of almond extract to the cherries and it added great taste.

                                        OK, here is the method: 2 1/4 lbs of sour cherries, rinsed, dried and pitted. 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 3 tablespoons butter cut into pieces. Put all of the sugar and 1 cup of cherries into a saucepan over a medium low flame, and stir often to get the cherries to give up their juice. Continue stirring until the mixture is boiling. Whisk the cornstarch and water together and add about 1/2 cup of cherry juices. Pour that mixture into the saucepan, stirring continuously as the cherries boil. Keep stirring until the juices until the cherry mixture thickens and returns to a boil and becomes clear. Put the rest of the cherries in a large bowl, and stir in the cherry cornstarch mixture. Fold in the butter and put into an unbaked pie shell.

                                        This yielded the most perfect cherry pie I have ever made. The pie was not overly sweet (in fact, my son thought it could be sweeter), and the cherries held together when the pie was cut instead of slopping all over the plate.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          No cinnamon!!! Otherwise I am definitely doing this as soon as.

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            I used some almond extract instead of the cinnamon. I happen to love cinnamon, but not in this I think.

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              I can see it more with blueberries for some reason, but a lot of the sour cherry recipes have it. Beats me why.

                                      2. re: GDSwamp

                                        My feeling is that most sour cherry pies are killed by too much sugar. I also, as I said above, dislike cornstarch as a thickener. here's what I do:

                                        Take your pitted cherries and mix them with about half the amount of sugar called for in your pie recipe. Let it sit for a bit. Taste. Does it take sweet enough? If so, you're good to go -- if not, add more sugar. Then add tapioca. This is kind of a feel thing, but until you get the hang of it, use the amount in the recipe, not on the tapioca box! I also like a bit of almond extract but that's optional. Let it sit 15 minutes after you add the tapioca. Do your tasting before.

                                        Make a good pie crust ;) and bake it. Good luck!

                                        1. re: visciole

                                          I agree. I think most fruit pies call for too much sugar especially blueberry (although I seldom make sour cherry, but I may have to change that.) The sugar is only right if I use twice the fruit. I do find that even tasting, it gets a little more sour with baking (at least for my sour apple it does), but if my pie is a little sour all the better to complement the sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. Saying all that a lot of people like things sweeter then I do.

                                          1. re: mscoffee1

                                            Me too, I like my sweets tart! You should definitely try using sour cherries if you usually find fruit pies too sweet. They are great! And they play very well with many other fruits. I think sour cherry-peach pie may be my personal pie nirvana....

                                            I love blueberries fresh, but never can make a decent pie with them, since they're already so sweet. For this reason I usually prefer to at least mix some tarter fruits in with them.

                                            Since everyone has a different idea of how sweet is sweet enough, and since each batch of fruit is different, everyone should taste their own pie fillings rather than just follow the recipe religiously. You can cut the sugar in a fruit pie by quite a bit without affecting the filling's texture much. So taste it, and adjust it according to what you like.

                                            1. re: visciole

                                              then you need some good wild blueberries. Try WV, or northern PA. sweet and tart!

                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                Yeah, those are starting to get there... but I still need to add in some blackberries or raspberries!

                                                1. re: Chowrin

                                                  Yes. I love all blueberries. I make a buckle that is almost solid blueberries. All the recipes are way, way too skimpy with the blueberries.

                                                2. re: visciole

                                                  Cherries with peaches what a wonderful thought. So now I have to figure out when sour cherries are in season. I know I have seen them at the farmers' markets in the past. Are frozen ok or is the texture ruined? How do you pit them without a pitter? Like olives? My cherry knowledge is near zero.

                                                  1. re: mscoffee1

                                                    Sour cherries will in in season in about a week here in the NYC area; depending on where you're located it could be another week or two. Unfortunately the orchards around here are saying that there will be very low yields this year due to frost damage to the trees. I'm hoping to go picking this weekend at the one orchard that is still planning to offer U-pick, but we'll see. Anyway, sour cherries are very perishable and too sour to eat plain, so freezing them is fine - they do get soft, but they're fine for pies, baked goods, sauces, etc. I use an unfolded paper clip to pit them - I unfold the first two bends and leave the smallest one - it fits right inside the cherry and hooks the pit with minimal damage to the fruit. Fastest and most efficient way I've found.

                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                      Aren't you resourceful? Well done. Thanks.

                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                        I was afraid of that (poor season) because of the winds and rain when the fruit was setting.

                                                        My husband will be so disappointed. He buys enough to freeze and get himself through the cherryless season of the year (does it himself, this is the pitter of choice at the mo: http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Int...

                                                        We (especially he, and me whan I can wrest them from him) actually love them raw - they're no sourer than a sour candy and the flavor is spectacular.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          I just called the orchard and cherry picking is supposed to start a week from tomorrow (June 24). He said the sweet cherry yield is very poor but that sours are looking ok; however, they may not be ready until a little later than the sweets.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Nice looking pitter. Does it work for anything else?

                                                            1. re: mscoffee1

                                                              Haven't tried but olives should work.

                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                              FYI Buttertart - I went up to Newburgh today for cherry picking. As advertised, the sweet cherries were a bust - 95% were split and rotting. However, the sour cherries were absolutely perfect - weird, since they are so very perishable once they're picked, but they seemed to tolerate this wet weather better than the sweets. We ended up with 15 lbs of two different types - they had mostly Montmorency trees, but they also had two or three of a darker variety (whose name the lady helping me didn't know). They are slightly sweeter than the Montmorencys, but still quite tart - they are fantastic for eating plain. Anyway, this is the weekend if you want to get your hands on some fresh ones!

                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                The sweets always crack more! Can I ask what the name of the farm is? Thanks.

                                                                1. re: visciole

                                                                  Sure! Today we went to Lawrence Family Farms - they were the only orchard I could find that was even offering U-pick cherries this year. In past years we've gone to Jones Farm, Hurd Family Farm and maybe one other, but all of them canceled their U-pick this year.

                                                                  BTW, we're eating the pie I made right now! The cherries are TART this year - I usually use 1 cup of sugar to 6 cups of cherries but I might increase that just a little for the next one I make.

                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                    That's great news! We'll lay hands on them this week, by hook or by crook. The darker ones may be Balatons, they're really delightful. And the sourer the better (if the season lasts, the ones that are in in July tend to be sweeter).

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      Yes, I was doing some reading about sour cherries last night and supposedly they are sweetest when they can be shaken loose from the tree. Ours were definitely not that ripe - it didn't take a ton of effort to pull the stems loose, but they weren't shakable. I think this orchard times their U-pick schedule according to when the sweets are at their peak and doesn't pay as much attention to the sours. Almost no one else at the orchard was picking sours, actually - I feel like most people in NY don't really understand or appreciate their awesomeness (being a Michigan native, I have been a sour cherry freak since birth, practically).

                                                                      Anyway, whether they were at their optimal ripeness or not, they are delicious. I prefer them tart too, for baking, but I was thrilled to find the darker Morellos (still not sure which variety, need to call the orchard!) so delicious for eating straight up. I only got about a pound of Morellos but I will definitely get more next time, as I'd like to see how they perform in baked goods (the few that are left are reserved for me to eat plain!).

                                                            3. re: mscoffee1

                                                              I pit sour cherries by hand. It's very easy and has better results for me than using a pitter, since the fruit is so soft. Here's what I do: over a saucepan, take off the cherry stem, hold the other end of the cherry and squeeze. The pit should pop right out into the pan along with some juice. Then put the pitted cherry into your bowl and repeat. When you're done, simmer the pits in the juice to get all the pulp off, and to add some of their almondy flavor to the juice. Then you can add some sugar if you like, put the cherries into the juice, and use or freeze.

                                                            4. re: visciole

                                                              Although I like them fairly well sweetened (unless serving with ice cream), tart fruits do make the best pies. I made a blueberry/rhubarb/plum pie that was really good. I'm thinking of doing blueberry/rhubarb soon, using frozen wild blueberries. Concord grapes also make an great tart filling - we get local seedless ones in season which are perfect.

                                                              True confession, I don't make my own pie crust. So I use a frozen bottom but make a crumble topping because my pies aren't about the crust. obviously. This plays well against more tart fillings so I reduce the sugar in some recipes. As mentionned with lattice-top pies, I find the crumble absorbs some liquid and allows evaporation, so you get more leeway with the filling. It's not purist's pie but the fillings are still so much better than storebought that I find it well worthwhile for the 10 minutes it takes me to throw a pie together. Oh and "team tapioca" all the way!

                                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                                Yeah, "Bluebarb" is good! I am also Team Tapioca; and hey, you should really make your own crusts! ;)

                                                          2. re: visciole

                                                            I agree with visciole. The last sour cherry pie I made was perfection IMO, and I used about a cup of sugar to almost 3 lbs (6 cups, more or less) of sour cherries. I also prefer tapioca due to inconsistent results with cornstarch, and I used 4 scant tablespoons, which I ground fine in my spice grinder before adding to the cherries. No cinnamon or any other spices - I just don't like them with cherries. I used a little vanilla extract but almond would be nice as well. Toss everything together and let it sit for 15 mins or so - this helps to get the juices flowing and hydrate the tapioca. Pour it in your pie crust and scatter some butter pieces on top, then top with a lattice crust (which encourages more evaporation than a full top crust. If you make a full top crust you may want to increase the tapioca).

                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                              Check out the Nick Malgieri recipe I posted above. I used tapioca flour for years, and now I am completely sold on his method.

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                Roxlet, this is interesting - it's sort of similar to the CI method for blueberry pie, which I think I referenced upthread when I was looking for a better alternative to cornstarch last year. They add a grated apple for extra pectin, but the key seems to be cooking down some of the fruit first. Do you find that it creates a weird texture, though? I was concerned about the skins and pulp creating an unpleasant texture in the goo that holds the pie together.

                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                  No, I find the texture to be perfect. There are mostly whole berries/cherries, so the texture is like a regular pie, except that when baked and cooled and sliced, the fruit tends to be just firm enough to hold together. I hate a pie that I can't slice because the fruit is too loose. I love it this way.

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    I can't wait to try it. Wonder if the last frozen ones could be released to me for this purpose...

                                                          3. re: GDSwamp

                                                            Thanks for everyone's advice. I did a version of the Malgieri method (from roxlet's post below; cooked a cup of cherries, plus all the juice captured while pitting, with all of my sugar, then added cornstarch and then added all the rest of the cherries off of the heat), plus a bit of tasting and adjusting w/ some almond and vanilla extract and a bit of salt. Ended up with, definitely, the best cherry pie I've made so far.

                                                            I also made a blueberry pie the same night, and tried tapioca as the thickener for that one. So I had the cornstarch-thickened cherry pie and the tapioca-thickened blueberry pie side by side. And I think, really, that both additives worked fine, with no clearly better option.

                                                            1. re: GDSwamp

                                                              I'm so glad you liked the Malgieri method. Ever since I started using it for cherry and blueberry pies, I have been thrilled with the results.

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                yeah, it worked really well. I should add that I had pitted all my cherries into a tupperware and let them sit for just a bit before I got started on the filling. So when I did the part where you cook a cup of the cherries w/ the sugar, I also poured in all the cherry juice that had collected. It works nicely because you get to cook down the juice without overcooking the actual fruit.