I didn't grow up with cherry pie; we were engaged when I first learned that Matt liked it, and my first thought was "but cherry pie filling is so horribly sweet!" He quickly set me straight—he wanted a pie made from sour cherries, not from a can. I've never seen any cherry varieties other than Bing and Rainer in local produce sections, though, and he was very sure that sweet cherries weren't right. His mother sent us some from Pennsylvania, I think that first summer we were married, and I made a pie once and wrote down the recipe and never had the chance to try it again.
About a month ago, I was in the ethnic foods aisle looking for sauerkraut when I noticed a jar of cherries on the bottom shelf. Sour cherries. They came home with me and hid in the top of a cupboard until July 4, when I pulled them out to make Matt his pie. I didn't make enough pie crust, so the filling kind of bubbled up and over and made a mess, but it sure tasted good!
3 cups sour cherries, pitted, in juice (or light syrup)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
A double pie crust
Pour cherries and juice into a pot and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk mixture into cherries and cook until thickened, stirring often. Press lower crust into an 8" or 9" pie plate and fill with pie filling (I had a little left over, so watch as you're pouring it in!) Top with upper crust; if using a solid crust instead of weaving a lattice, cut several slits in the top for steam to escape. Set pie plate on top of a baking sheet before putting it in the oven in case it bubbles over. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.
Sweet, but with a pleasant tartness to it. It was good all by itself, or warned and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Note: do not assume that just because you're using an 8" pie plate instead of a 9", a single pie crust recipe will make enough that you can piece together a lattice from the scraps. It won't.