‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Cherry Pie Recipe Includes a Secret Ingredient

Ree Drummond makes an easy cherry pie that has a secret ingredient she doesn’t tell her family about. The Pioneer Woman star has two versions of the pie, one with a top crust and one that has a simple crumble topping.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles standing a kitchen counter wearing a printed purple shirt on the set of 'Today'
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond adds 1 secret ingredient to her cherry pie recipe

Drummond made the pie as part of a mother’s day menu on an episode of The Pioneer Woman and she shared one secret ingredient that makes a big difference in flavor.

“A great pie has to have a fantastic filling and cherries are just the thing for that,” she explained. She boiled two bags of sour pitted cherries with sugar in a saucepan.

Drummond also shared the special ingredient she adds for extra flavor. “This is nice and plain and unadorned,” she said. “But I like to add a little secret ingredient and I definitely don’t tell the members of my household that I add this.”

She continued, “Just a splash of balsamic vinegar. Of course, with a cherry pie filling you want it to be nice and thick so I’ll add a lemon juice/cornstarch slurry.”

The Pioneer Woman star turned up the heat and allowed the mixture to bubble up and thicken for 2 minutes. “When it’s done, it’s thick, glossy, and delicious,” Drummond said. She removed the filling from the heat and allowed it to cool, then covered it and chilled it in the refrigerator.”

Drummond gives her standard pie crust a sweet touch

Drummond made her foolproof crust but added a touch of sweetness. “This is a sweet version of the perfect pie crust I’ve made for years,” she explained. “Cherry pie is really a scrumptious fruit pie because it’s not overly sweet. And that means you can add lots of vanilla ice cream [or] sweetened whipped cream to the top.”

After pouring the filling into the crust, she added the top crust. “One of the hardest parts of a two-crust pie is getting the top crust on in one piece,” she noted. “It helps to roll it onto the rolling pin — that sort of keeps it together”

Drummond removed the excess pastry with a sharp knife and tucked the edges underneath. She finished the crust with a simple crimp. “I’m not winning any prizes for this being perfect but my family doesn’t need perfect,” the Food Network host said.

She cut vents into the top crust and brushed it with an egg wash. Then Drummond sprinkled sugar over the top and baked it on a sheet pan lined with foil in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 50 minutes.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star makes an easy crumble-top cherry pie

Drummond also makes a crumble top cherry pie that eliminates the need for a top crust. She wrote about the recipe in a 2021 post on The Pioneer Woman website when she made it for Thanksgiving dessert.

“The filling for this recipe relies on frozen cherries — easily found in the freezer aisle year-round,” Drummond explained. “Cook them on the stovetop with sugar until bubbling, then stir in balsamic vinegar to make things interesting. It can be made up to a day ahead of time, along with the brown sugar crumb topping and perfect pie crust.”

Drummond provided answers to some commonly asked questions, including whether to use frozen or fresh cherries. “Unless it’s peak cherry season, you’re better off using frozen cherries for pie,” she wrote. “It’ll save you the hassle of needing to pit 2 pounds of cherries and no one will be able to tell the difference.”

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