Michigan is a cherry lover’s dream. According to the National Cherry Festival, which is held in Traverse City each summer, the state contributes about 75 percent of the country’s tart cherry crop, and much of the United States’ cherry production is concentrated in Michigan. Given that, it’s no wonder that we excel at all things cherry — especially cherry pie.
With National Cherry Pie Day just around the corner — the annual holiday takes place on Feb. 20 this year — we’re rounding up some of the top spots in metro Detroit that serve up the classic dessert.
Achatz Handmade Pie Co.
Originating from a home kitchen, this popular pie company offers pie in all flavors, including four different cherry pies. Cherry Crumb — a blue-ribbon winner at the National Pie Competition — is filled with freshly grown Michigan tart cherries and topped with a crumble consisting of brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and rolled oats. Other popular choices include Double Crust Cherry, which is a classic spin on the Cherry Crumb that’s made with a traditional, flaky crust; and Michigan 4-Berry, which is filled with a combination of local tart cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries and topped with a homemade crumble. All pies are available in a 10-inch size. Pies can be ordered for in-store pickup, home delivery, or mail. See achatzpies.com for locations and prices.
Miller’s Orchard Market
Located in Sterling Heights, this third-generation, family-owned farmer’s market offers its top-selling cherry pies made with New York tart cherries. Miller’s cherry pie dough is made by hand, and consists of vegetable shortening, flour, water, and salt. There are no preservatives, so pies will last about three to four days. Other signature fruit pies include the Triple Berry Pie with raspberries, blackberries, and cherries, and the Miller’s Five Fruit pie with cherries, blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and apples. Sugar-free options are available for apple, cherry, and blueberry pies. Most pies are available in a 9-inch size for $13, but you can also order any fruit pie as a 4-inch tart or a sheet pie, made in a 1-inch by 1-inch half-sheet cake pan. Miller’s Orchard Market, 14711 Clinton River Road, Sterling Heights; 586-247-2487; millersorchardmarket.com
This popular Detroit-based bakery only offers cherry pie when cherries are in season — typically this isn’t until mid-July or August — so you know the fruit is as fresh as can be. A long-time menu staple, Sour Cherry Bourbon is made with hand-pitted Michigan sour cherries along with raw sugar, orange zest, and a splash of bourbon. This pie resembles the classic cocktail the Old Fashioned. Sister Pie introduced Sour Cherry Biscuit — its newest cherry pie — in 2020. The pie consists of cooked Michigan tart cherries mixed with fresh cherries, sugar, and a handmade biscuit topping. Most pies are available in a 9-inch size for $33, serving six to eight people. Pie slices are $4.40, and 6-inch pies are $15.40. All pies can be pre-ordered for in-store pick-up. Sister Pie, 8066 Kercheval Ave., Detroit; 313-447-5550; sisterpie.com
Grand Traverse Pie Co.
With strong ties to the Traverse City area — home to most of the state’s cherry production — this bakery and restaurant is a prime spot for cherry pies. Grand Traverse Pie Co. offers 12 different variations of cherry pie. Its best-selling option — Grand Traverse Cherry Crumb — is made from tart Michigan Montmorency cherries and considered the “signature pie” of the National Cherry Festival. Other options include the Michigan ABC Crumb, which combines the Montmorency cherries with apples and blueberries also grown in-state, and Old Mission Cherry, a traditional cherry pie named after the peninsula located near Traverse City. For those with dietary restrictions, Grand Traverse Pie Co. also offers gluten-free and sugar-free items. Most pies are available in 6-inch and 9-inch sizes at their respective locations. All pies ordered online are $35. Visit gtpie.com for locations.
Verellen Orchards & Cider Mill
This year-round cider mill sells more than just your typical cider and donuts. Verellen’s cherry pies contain a variety of different cherries and are made in a 10-inch round pan with a dough consisting of corn starch, crystal salt, water, and sugar — making the crust extra flaky and crispy. Cherry pies are a local favorite among customers, so the five to six cherry pies the cider mill makes each day sell out fast. Verellen’s also makes a Peachberry pie, which is made of peaches, blueberries, and cherries. Both pies are available for $16, and all pies are available in 10-inch to 12-inch sizes. Sugar-free options are offered for peach, apple, and cherry pie. Verellen Orchards & Cider Mill, 63260 Van Dyke Ave., Washington; 586-752-2989; verellenorchards.com