Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds

Here’s how to make a classic fresh cherry pie completely from scratch. Add a little sprinkle of toasted almonds to amp up the flavor!

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Happy almost 4th of July!! I’m taking this seriously patriotic time of year as an excuse to get down to business in the kitchen and bake up some all American classics.

When summer hits, I rush to my rolling pin in delight. “It’s time for fruit pie! It’s time for fruit pie!” I don’t say to myself. But you know. I’m really excited. One of the first pies I make of the season is apple pie. This you already know. Runner up is cherry. Cherry pie always makes an appearance on my table in July. There’s no denying the indulgence of this brightly-hued delicacy. In fact, it’s one of summer’s finest rewards.

Cherries are in their peak season right now and rather than eating them by the fistful as per the usual, try today’s recipe.

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now that you know everything about making homemade buttery flaky pie crust, let me teach you how to make a sweet cherry filling that trumps canned cherry pie filling goop.

Thanks to the short ingredient list, this homemade cherry pie filling is a cinch to prepare.

Start with cherries. You can use sweet or sour cherries, just adjust the sugar in the filling as needed. I always use sweet cherries and around 2/3 cup of sugar. This makes the filling just sweet enough; a squeeze of fresh lemon juice balances things out and adds flavorful depth.

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

As Cooking Illustrated Baking Book (bible) suggests, I cut my cherries in half when making a from-scratch cherry pie filling. Why? This encourages the cherries to soften and release their juice. Prior to slicing in half, use a cherry pitter (the one I own) to fish out all those pits. And make your husband do it. Haha? Uh, his reward can be cherry pie.

A splash of vanilla extract adds flavor to the filling while cornstarch thickens it up.

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Something Unusual

You might notice a few smashed raspberries in that bowl. Your eyes are not deceiving you. I add a small handful of a juicy fruit, like raspberries or sliced strawberries, to “fill in the gaps” between all the rounded cherry halves. It’s optional, but I find the filling is much more compact with this small addition. Try it, it totally works.

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

A lattice top shouldn’t intimidate you! It actually comes together rather quickly: using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or a sharp knife, cut strips of your pie dough 1/2 – 1 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. For this pictured pie, I used my trusty fluted pastry wheel (similar one here) to cut the pie dough strips. Pretty stuff, right?

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And now the best part. Drumroll please…

Sliced almonds!! A sprinkling of Diamond of California sliced almonds on top turns the pie’s flavor profile up a notch. As the pie bakes, the almonds become toasty and even more crunchy. If you’re a texture freak like I am, you will LOVE this addition.

They’re the “cherry” on top. Get it? Get it?

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

“The best pie I’ve ever had” was the reply I got from my friend after dropping off a few leftover slices. No argument necessary. This is the cherry pie of your dreams.

Oh. You don’t dream about cherry pie?

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds

Here's how to make a classic fresh cherry pie completely from scratch. Add a little sprinkle of toasted almonds to amp up the flavor!

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
  • 4 cups halved pitted fresh cherries1
  • 1/2 cup (38g) fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries2
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup (100-150g) granulated sugar1
  • 1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (it's good!)
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (28g) sliced almonds, such as Diamond of California sliced almonds
  • optional: coarse sugar for garnish
Helpful Equipment

Directions:

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir the cherries, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside as the oven preheats. This gives the filling a chance to rest.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the filling into the crust and discard some of the leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling.
  5. Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut strips 1/2 - 1 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small paring knife to trim off excess dough. Crimp the edges with a fork, if desired. (Alternatively, you can simply cover the filling with the 12-inch pie dough circle. Cut slits in the top to form steam vents. Trim and crimp the edges.)
  6. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with almonds and a little coarse sugar, if using.
  7. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
  8. Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  9. Make ahead tip/Freezing: This a great pie to make 1 day in advance since it is so juicy - the filling will have time to "set" overnight. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Pre-pitting and slicing, this is a little under 2 lbs of fresh cherries. Measure 4 cups after slicing in half. Use sour or sweet cherries, just adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of them. I use sweet cherries in their peak season and 2/3 cup of granulated sugar. You can also use frozen cherries. Thaw completely before using and make sure you discard the juice in step 4.
  2. The very small amount of an additional fruit like raspberries or sliced strawberries helps to "fill in the gaps" between all the rounded cherry halves. Try it!

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Sweet Cherry Pie with Toasted Almonds on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is my favorite recipe for Homemade Cherry Pie!

I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you this recipe!

72 comments

  1. Cherry pie has always been my least favorite kind–the cherry filling was always so gloopy and gross and I couldn’t imagine how anyone would like it. But when I saw this post a couple days ago, it looked so nice I thought maybe I’ve been missing something and should try it out. Bonus: cherries were on sale at the market.

    My husband was dubious as he’s never had a good cherry pie either. I said, “Look, maybe we always had the junk from the can. This one is made with fresh cherries, and those I love. I want to taste what a quality cherry pie tastes like. It’s a Sally recipe so we know it’s good. But if we don’t like this one, we can say honestly it’s just not our thing.” I pitted those cherries by hand (a pitter is one of the few tools I don’t own) and added some fresh strawberries like you suggested to fill up the spaces (what a clever tip) and topped it with the almond slivers (great addition) and I had a slice for dessert. And what do you know? Turns out I DO like cherry pie! I had a second slice just to make sure. 😉 Thanks for another winning recipe. I may’ve doubted cherry pie, but I didn’t doubt YOU for a minute.

    • Ahhhh I’m so happy that this pie made you realize that you like cherry pie. So much better than that bright red canned gooey cherry pie filling! Thanks Natalie!

  2. hi Sally,

    I made this on 4th of July. I will give myself a pat on the back..everyone liked it. I added strawberries and almond extract to the mixture.

    i do have 1 ?, i used salted butter in my crust so i omitted any other salt that was called for in the recipe. did i do the right thing?

    • For every 8 Tbsp of salted butter you use to replace unsalted, reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe. So, there was missing salt in your pie crust. Next time you use salted butter, use around 1 teaspoon.

  3. I made this exactly as written, using your pie crust recipe and it was AMAZING…I posted a picture on Instagram and linked your site to it…it was the best pie I ever had!

  4. Oh yum! I definitely have to try this! It looks sooo good.

  5. We tried this the other day and it was overall really good 😀
    Since I’m gluten free and I forgot to add xantham gum to the pastry :/, the crust turned out quite crumbly and turned almost ash grey at the edges (???). However the taste was still amazing, I loved the idea of adding other berries to fill out the filling!
    Can’t wait to try this again, this time with xantham gum in the crust!
    Thanks for the amazing recipe and best wishes from the UK x

  6. Can you make this pie day before you need to serve it?  How far in advance can you make it?

    • Please see make ahead instructions.

      • Thanks. I saw the instructions re: the crust but I missed it regarding the filling. One last question – I am thinking of making the cherry pies into mini-pies for an open house.  What do you suggest regarding the baking times and temperatures?  It looks so delicious and that would be my first opportunity to make it!

  7. As I can’t get fresh cherries right now and my daughter requested a cherry pie, would frozen cherries work?

  8. This pie is absolutely amazing… I highly recommend it. I made it for Christmas 2015 the day before and left it in the fridge overnight to set. It’s very easy to make and Sally’s instructions and very clear and helpful! Everybody loved it. Thanks, Sally 🙂

  9. Ok I am guilty of making cherry pie with the canned filling but I actually love it!

  10. Hmmm the rest of my comment got cut off. I going to try am this recipe for 4th of July cuz fresh is better right?!? I was thinking of making it with your crust from the vanilla mascarpone tart. How do you think that would turn out?

  11. I made this pie this evening (with a gluten free crust from

    Jeanne Sauvage’s recipe). This pie is spectacular- probably the best
    I have ever made. Thanks Sally- you rock!

  12. I made this pie AND your amazing pie crust recipe last night and everyone loved it! The almonds made for a nice addition as well as gave it a beautiful presentation. My filling was slightly more than I would have liked but that’s just baker error. Will definitely make this again! I’m currently making a few batches of your pie crust to stockpile in the freezer for future pies and quiches! Thanks for never disappointing Sally!

  13. Holy wow, Sally, this pie and your crust are both winners! I found a fruit vendor selling luscious sweet cherries, and to me that says PIE. Even my friend who normally doesn’t like sweets loved this pie. Now she wants me to make her one to take to a family gathering! Keep the recipes coming, your blog is now my go-to when I feel like baking something new.

  14. can i use canned cherries

  15. Where does the unsalted butter go

  16. Hi Sally,
    I would like to make this pie for Easter next week. I have a vintage 12 inch ceramic pie plate with a lid. Should I use 1 and half of the filling or double it?
    Never made a pie, this sounds good!
    Thank you!

  17. Hi Sally! thanks so much for this post, i am super excited to make my first no apple pie with amazing california cherries i just picked this week!

    my plan is to have the pie after tomorrow night, but planning to make the pie tonight.. you mention that its a great pie to make a day in advance, great! my question though, is how best to store it tonight/tomorrow until we are ready to eat it? fridge? counter? freezer?

    Thanks!!
    Michelle

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