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(Credit: ABC)


The actual recipe for the 'Twin Peaks' cherry pie

I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people
terribly uncomfortable.” – David Lynch

David Lynch’s seminal 1990 television series Twin Peaks has garnered a cult following over the years for its characteristically bizarre adventures into the realm of the surreal. Considered by many to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Twin Peaks was cancelled in 1991 but it was revived in 2017 for a limited series. Time has proven that Mark Frost and Lynch’s experimentation with surreal humour and modernist symbolism was undoubtedly successful, managing to turn the avant-garde into a mainstream hit.

Audiences have always struggled to find common ground when it comes to interpreting Lynch’s narrative elements. The filmmaker has always maintained that interpretations are not authoritative; the viewer’s ideas are as mysterious as the creator’s. “I don’t ever explain it. Because it’s not a word thing. It would reduce it, make it smaller,” he said. “A film or a painting – each thing is its own sort of language and it’s not right to try to say the same thing in words. The words are not there. The language of film, cinema, is the language it was put into, and the English language – it’s not going to translate. It’s going to lose.”

Twin Peaks presents itself as a classic mystery thriller on the surface level. An FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) arrives in a small town to investigate the suspicious murder of a young girl called Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). However, the show deviates from the clichés of the genre and asks penetrating questions that unsettle the normative value systems we are all familiar with. In doing so, it indulges in the manifestation of Lynch’s fiercely original vision of the universe.

In the show, Agent Cooper falls in love with a slice of Double R pie he orders at the eponymous fictional diner which was actually the Mar-T Cafe (now Twede’s Cafe) located in North Bend, Washington. The famous pie was made by a Mar-T employee named Garnet Mae Cross, whose creation became a popular tourist attraction. Thanks to the show’s immense popularity, there were days when she had to bake 50 pies a day. Twin Peaks’ prop master Jeff Moore explained, “There was a reason why the pie worked, and there was a reason doughnuts worked. Those two things represented Twin Peaks, the normal American town.”

Although the cafe’s owner refused to reveal the original recipe for the iconic cherry pie, fans all around the world have put their heads together in order to deconstruct and recreate the delicious dish. Check out the full recipe for the Twin Peaks cherry pie below:


For the crust

– 1/2 cup cold whole milk, plus more if needed
– 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
– 2 2/3 cups (340g) unbleached plain flour
– 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 250g cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
– 1 large egg
– 1/4 cup whole milk
– raw sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling

– 8 cups (1.1kg) pitted sour cherries, fresh or frozen
– 1 cup (200g) sugar (see tip)
– 36g (3¾ tbsp) cornflour
– 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
– 45ml cherry liqueur or cherry-flavoured brandy


For the crust

1. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and vinegar.

2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the flour, sugar and salt with a fork to combine.

3. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter cubes until the butter is the size of small peas, add to mixing bowl. Using a fork or large spoon, slowly add the liquid in four or five additions, stopping after every pour to combine, until the dough just sticks together. Knead lightly in the bowl until it forms a taut ball.

4. Separate dough into two equal-size disks and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the filling

1. Mix the cherries, sugar, cornflour and salt in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium heat until cherries thaw (if frozen) and the cornflour and sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally to keep cherries from burning, and cook until the mixture thickens slightly. (Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes).

2. Add liqueur, stir and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the pie

1. Heat oven to 220C. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough into a three-millimetre thick circle about 38 centimetres inches in diameter. Transfer to a 22-centimetre deep-dish pie plate and chill in refrigerator as you work on the top crust.

2. Working quickly, roll out a second disk into a three-millimetre thick rectangle about 38 centimetres inches long and 30 centimetres wide. Cut into six strips about five centimetres wide. Remove pie plate from refrigerator and fill with cherry filling. Weave lattice strips over the top. Seal, trim and crimp the edges. Or cut dough into five zigzag strips and lay on top of pie filling, trimming excess.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk to make an egg wash. Brush the crust with it, and sprinkle with raw sugar.

4. Place on a baking tray and bake pie for 20 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Lower heat to 180 degrees and bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is thick and glossy. Juice may bubble onto a baking tray. Remove pie to wire rack to cool before serving. The pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.