How a Russian might bake a mouthwatering cherry pie à la McDonald’s (RECIPE)

What’s the secret of these cherry pies that are so adored in Russia?

What’s the secret of these cherry pies that are so adored in Russia?

Yulia Mulino
Do you know how American cherry pie differs from a Russian one? We’ll tell you and give some tips on how to make these challenging but impossibly crispy pies.

If you ask Russians what associations they have when they hear ‘cherry pie’ I bet they’d most likely speak about the one from McDonald’s. We love them indeed! If you’ve never heard about hot crispy pies with a gooey rich filling, you should definitely try to make a close variation to the original. I’ll show you how to do that. 

In Russia, we have a long tradition of baking pies in the oven with yeasted dough. They are soft and fluffy. In summer, we make them with fresh berries and fruits, and cherry is one of our favorite fillings. Probably that’s why cherry pies from McDonald’s are so popular in Russia. 

While a classic sweet snack in Russia, cherry pies are surprisingly not to be found in European McDonald's. So, since I live in the Netherlands, I decided to make my own cherry pies at home. 

These pies have plenty of cherries inside, and have a sweet and crispy pastry outside. I had no problem with making a thick filling, but the crispy and sweet crust was quite a challenge. To stick to the fast-food concept, I used ready-made puff dough. I could speculate that originally the pies were cooked in oil. After testing it I realized it was not the best variation – too heavy and no sweet crust. That’s why I moved on to another methodology that required more steps but thanks to which I could achieve the best result. In particular, I let the pies stay for one night in a freezer and covered them with an extra egg and sugar coating. The pies came out utmost crunchy with a delicate filling – just as I wanted. 

Ingredients: 

  • Ready-made puff pastry roll - 270 g
  • Frozen cherries – 250 g
  • Sugar – 90 g
  • Starch – 100 g
  • Powdered sugar – 40 g
  • Egg - 1 

Baking: 

1. Place cherries with sugar in a pan and bring to a boil.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of starch and stir the cherries continuously till the mass gets thick – the filling is ready.

3. Put the filling in a bowl and let it cool.

4. After the filling cools, we can start forming pies. Roll out the dough and cut in equal rectangles (10x12 cm).

5. Place the filling on one long side of the rectangle. Grease the edges with water – this is a very important step that will prevent the pies from cracking while baking.

6. Close the pie, pressing carefully but thoroughly to make sure there are no gaps.

7. Use the starch so the pies don’t stick to the surface of the working space. Level the edges so they look nicely even.

8. Grease the pies with an egg glaze.

9. Sprinkle with starch, remove extras and place the pie in the freezer for about 6 hours or longer.

10. After 6 hours, cover the pies again with an egg glaze and sprinkle with powdered sugar. The oven should be warmed up to 200 degrees by that time.

11. Bake the pies for about 15 minutes.

12. Be very careful with the hot filling and enjoy! 

READ MORE: Master "sausage in dough", a Russian homemade hot dog (RECIPE)

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