The Best Cherry Pie Ever

Sheryl and Dan Getman returned to Montana in 2006 where they purchased two farms on Flathead Lake in Bigfork.  One farm is their orchard, Getman’s Cherry Red Orchards, and another is planted with organic vegetables.  Sheryl has returned to her roots.

* I can see why they chose to live here

The couple work together without any staff, except at harvest time.  They are committed to raising the best fruit that “good water can provide.”  They incorporate “new methods and very current science” in their farming practices and use and adhere to natural processes.  Sheryl says, “Our orchard cherries are grown as a ‘total environment crop’ and not just ‘by the tree’.   We work closely with the new thinkers at the Department of Agriculture.”

For the Getman’s, this is a lifestyle and you can sense the passion in what they do.  “We are committed to good food, great art, and beauty in life.  We have remained inspired, moving through life with our seasons.”

* Apricots and plums

“Our harvest is near 30,000 pounds of cherries.  We like to serve people with personally shipped boxes from the orchard.  We have a line of preserves, many unique flavors and recipes.  There is always a new plant to try and a new task to accomplish.  We are finding that we can grow a better fruit.  It is our quest.”

I am convinced they have found the secret to the cherries.  They were fabulous.  They also grow and harvest peaches, plums, apricots, pears, apples, and other seasonal produce.  Some of their products are available for sale and others you can pick yourself at their farm.

The cherries were superb in this pie

“We chose a better life and not just to accept or settle,” Sheryl told me.  Isn’t that what we all should strive for?  We have an invitation to visit Montana once their new house, that they are currently building, is finished.  We look forward to seeing this beautiful part of our country that she says looks much like Switzerland (I would have to agree based on one of her photographs).  Maybe it is “The Last Great Place” and you never know where we just might end up one day.  I see a farm in my future and maybe a ride off into the sunset.  Giddyup!

* Sunset from the orchard

We want to thank Sheryl for shipping these gorgeous cherries to us.  Cherries this good needed to be the star of any recipe.  I chose to make a Cherry Pie with a Lattice Crust and it truly was the best cherry pie I have ever made!  The crust was flaky and buttery and was the perfect way to showcase the cherries.  These cherries were much larger than the ones I can find locally and were incredibly sweet and juicy.

Dot the pie with butter before baking

A scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to this gorgeous pie that is bursting with fruit and succulent cherry juices.  I pitted and froze the extra cherries, not to miss using one of them.  I am looking forward to incorporating them in a few desserts and savory dishes as we move in to Fall.

Lattice Cherry Pie

If you would like to order fruit directly from Getman’s, this is the link to their site.

If you are interested in Beamer’s current condition, this is the most recent update.

Beamer’s friend Suddie writes a blog (well, sort of…Vance).  Suddie’s sister Mary is one of the Getman’s Tibetan Terriers.  Suddie published this very cute post on her blog along with a video of the dogs romping at Getman’s Cherry Red Orchards a few years ago.  As the song says, it truly is a slice of heaven in Montana.

* Photographs are courtesy of Sheryl and Dan Getman

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Classic Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust


For crust:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water

For filling:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries) * I used another cup since the cherries were so large.
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon (about) milk

Vanilla ice cream, for serving


For crust:
1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.

2. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

For filling:
1. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.

2. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

3. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream

Adapted from Bon Appétit, June 2008




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