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Famous cherry pie recipe hidden on Old Mission Peninsula

It’s cherry season in Northern Michigan, and cherry pie is one of the most popular treats to make with the fruit.

There’s a secret recipe you can only find on Old Mission Peninsula.

Nestled on the peninsula is Island View Orchards, home of Mary Lyon.


It’s the longest-running cherry farm under the same family name on Old Mission Peninsula.

Mary Lyon Claims she makes the best cherry pie around.

“I would say that not just Traverse City but Leelanau County, for sure,” said Mary Lyon. “Someone came and picked up the recipe for it.

All of Lyon’s pies are made from scratch, and she doesn’t measure anything.


Lyon says the crust is the hardest part to get right.

“First of all, the crust has to have Crisco and Pillsbury flour, those two things, and then the milk. You mix it together, and it’s just got to be real soft,” explained Lyon. “I came up with the part of Crisco because my mother used to make pies, but they didn’t have Crisco back then. They used lard, which she swore by lard.”

For the filling, Lyon picks tart cherries from her cherry farm.

“I pit them put in you put in a half cup of sugar for maybe one pie and two tablespoons of graduated tapioca,” said Lyon.


One person got their hands on Lyon’s famous recipe, Bob Sutherland, the owner of Cherry Republic.

“He didn’t announce he was coming, and he just came in and said I want to have your cherry pie recipe,” explained Lyon. He returned the recipe and called it Grandma Mary’s Pie something.”

“Well, too bad I didn’t say I need royalty on that,” added Lyon.

Mary says the key to a good cherry pie is letting the filling spill over the pan when it’s in the oven.

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