For The Absolute Best Cherry Pie, Choose This Tart Variety

slice of cherry pie
slice of cherry pie - zefirchik06/Shutterstock

Since most cherries are sold in-store from May to July, spring and summer are the perfect seasons to make a juicy, bubbling cherry pie. But how can you tell which type of fruits you should use? There are over 1,000 types of cherries out there, ranging from big, juicy Cornelians to sweet, red and gold Queen Anne's. But if you want the absolute best-tasting pie possible, go with Montmorency cherries.

Sure, you could opt for any sweet variety here, but part of the appeal of cherry pie is the balance of tart fruit with the sugary components in the filling and crust. If that juxtaposition of flavors is what you're looking for, Montmorency cherries won't disappoint. While these fruits still have some sweetness, meaning they're not as lip-puckering as a mango, their taste is distinctly tart. That quality will hold up throughout the baking process, so you'll be able to notice the difference in your dessert. As a bonus, these sour gems may come with health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties, muscle recovery assistance, and help with sleep regulation.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

The Cherry On Top Of Sweet Summer Desserts

montmorency cherries in bags
montmorency cherries in bags - Nien Nann/Shutterstock

If you get your hands on a container of Montmorency cherries, there's a good chance they come from Michigan; as noted by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board, the state grows about two-thirds of the U.S. supply. However, they're named after a valley in France, where tart cherries come from. You can incorporate them in your pie filling just like any other variety of the fruit -- mix them with sugar, a thickener (like a cornstarch slurry or flour), an acidic ingredient (like lemon or pineapple juice), and any other seasonings (like cinnamon or ginger powder). Then use the mixture as-is, or simmer it on the stove for a few minutes until it thickens.

Once you've got your sweet and tart Montmorency cherry-laced filling, you don't just have to use it for pies. It will work beautifully in any recipe where you can balance that sour fruity flavor with sugar, so feel free to deploy it in tarts, galettes, cobblers, crumbles, dump cakes, and crisps. You can also sweeten the cherries to make jam, smoothies, a cheesecake topping, or ice cream. Or, add them to fruit salads and oatmeal bowls with maple syrup and brown sugar. But if you want the tastiest pie this summer, go for Montmorency fruits when making your recipe.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.