Make the pie crust: In a large bowl or in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat. Cut in the flour or pulse in the food processor until the butter resembles the size of peas.
Add the water and mix to combine. The dough should come together easily but not be wet or sticky. Wrap the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer it to a pie plate, and trim the edge so that there is only 1/2-inch of overhang all around. Chill the dough inside the pie plate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Fold the excess dough under at the edges, pressing gently to “seal” the dough to the pie plate. Finish the edges as desired. Poke the base of the crust a few times with a fork. If the dough seems warm, chill it again.
Line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, and bake until the crust is golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and continue baking until the crust is fully baked, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool completely.
To make the finished pie, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a small pot until it comes to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit, undisturbed, for 30 seconds.
Starting in the center, mix the chocolate and cream until a smooth ganache forms. Stir in small circles and move outward until the mixture is fully combined and emulsified.
Pour the finished ganache into the cooled pie crust, and refrigerate until the ganache is set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, toss the cherries and 1/4 cup of sugar to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Once the ganache is set, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping on medium high speed until the cream reaches medium peaks.
To finish the pie, pour the whipped cream on top of the ganache and spread until it evenly covers the surface. Top with the macerated cherries. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.