Homemade Cherry Pie

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today is all about the summertime essential. And no, I’m not talking about sunscreen. Though sun safety is equally as important as dessert, right?

Anyway. We’re all making a big ol’ cherry pie.

  • Zero canned filling.
  • Zero store-bought pie crust.

All from scratch because YOU CAN DO THIS.

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I love baking pie. You already know this. But this wasn’t always the case. Up until 4 years ago, baking pie from scratch was foreign to me. Something for the bakeries, certainly not me. Pie crust? Forget about it. Homemade filling? Nope. It’s all too complicated and scary.

But guess what? Baking pie is nothing to fear. In fact, after having lots of practice, I now think of baking pie as my own little cheap therapy session. Something about mixing that pie dough by hand, rolling it all out, making cute pie crust designs, and smelling that glorious fresh-baked pie in the oven is therapeutic for me. It’s my me time and something I enjoy doing just because. No other baked good gives me the content satisfaction that pie does. Plus it tastes pretty awesome no matter which flavor is on the menu. (Apple Pie, anyone?!)

And that’s why I wanted to share this cherry pie recipe with you. Out of all pie flavors and varieties, I feel like cherry pie is where most depend on canned filling. Which is certainly delicious and convenient! But that’s the challenge– making it with fresh cherries.

See how approachable it is in this quick video!

Fresh cherry pie filling for homemade cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh cherry pie filling for homemade cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Which Cherries to Use

The cherry filling can be made with your favorite cherry variety. I chose a mix of rainier cherries and dark sweet cherries. You can use all rainier or all dark sweet– or if you opt for sour cherries, add a little extra sugar. See my recipe note below.

Pitting Cherries is Definitely the Pits

You’ll need to pit your cherries and if you feel like spending 3 hours doing this without a pitter, go right ahead. But let me tell you– you will save so much time (and headache!!!) using a cherry pitter.

What Else?

Not much goes into the filling besides sweet cherries. Some sugar and cornstarch to sweeten and thicken, respectively.  Since we use enough cornstarch for stability, this homemade cherry pie is the perfect amount of juicy. It’s solid enough that you’ll be able to cut some gorgeous slices, but still tender and oh-so-juicy. Also inside? A squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of vanilla, and my favorite addition of all: almond extract. Cherry and almond extract are a power flavor duo!! A pairing you most certainly need to try in this homemade cherry pie.

Homemade pie crust for cherry pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I encourage you to use a quality pie dough and recommend my dependable pie crust recipe. As the base of pie, pie crust is in every single bite. So it’s pretty important to use a pie crust recipe that not only WORKS, but tastes pretty epic as well.

My recipe makes 2 pie crusts: one for the bottom and one for the top. I wrote and filmed an entire tutorial on this buttery flaky pie crust a couple years ago. Warning: that’s a very long post! But it discusses common questions, issues, and solutions for making pie crust from scratch. A must read if pie crust intimidates you!

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I made a simple lattice pie crust design, but decorate the pie however you’d like.

Don’t Forget the Extras!

Butter: Dot the pie filling with little cubes of butter before baking. Why? Um, because butter is delicious. No but seriously, a little butter enriches the flavor of the pie filling. And it also helps prevent the formation of lots of bubbles on the surface of the filling.

Egg wash: The egg wash is brushed on top of the pie crust. Do you know the point of an egg wash? It’s to help develop a gold brown crust. Without it, the pie crust will brown but will look quite dull and lackluster. An egg wash, which is a mix of milk and egg, creates that golden sheen and even gives the crust a little extra crisp flavor.

Coarse sugar: Because doesn’t everything deserve a little sparkle?! You can totally skip the coarse sugar but I’m partial to sparkly pies. 🙂

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Marbles and speckles of butter in the homemade pie dough = layers and layers and layers of flakiness!! I promise you don’t get this level of flakiness with store-bought.

Bake the pie until golden brown. I prefer to use a glass pie dish so I can see when the sides/bottom of the pie crust are browning. Whichever pie dish you use, the pie will take about an hour. The downside? Waiting for the cherry pie to cool.

But it’s all so worth it. You’ll see!

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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Homemade Cherry Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade cherry pie features a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling.


Ingredients

  • Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
  • 4 and 1/2 cups halved pitted fresh cherries*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (it’s delicious!)
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on crust

Instructions

  1. My #1 tip? Keep the dough, filling, and prepared (unbaked) pie as cold as you can at all times. Refrigerate (or freeze) the prepared pie before baking for up to 1 hour. Refrigerate the filling before you need it. Keep everything cold cold cold– always.
  2. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside in the refrigerator as the oven preheats. This gives the filling a chance to rest.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  5. 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 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the filling into the crust and discard any leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling.
  6. 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 of dough– I cut four strips 2 inches wide and two strips 1 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. (See video above!) Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small paring knife to trim off excess dough. Flute or crimp the edges with a fork, if desired.
  7. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar, if using.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead / Freezing Instructions: A couple ways to make ahead of time! Make 1 day in advance– after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. 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 also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared fillings can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Special Tools: Cherry Pitter | Rolling Pin | Pie Dish | Pastry Blender | Pastry BrushEat Dessert First Fork
  3. Cherries: You can use any variety of cherries (about 1.5 lbs)– I use a combination of dark sweet and rainier. If using sour cherries, increase sugar to 3/4 or 1 cup depending how sweet you like it. I do not suggest using frozen cherries. The filling will turn out quite liquid-y and soupy.

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Learn how to make the best homemade cherry pie from scratch! With a buttery flaky pie crust and juicy cherry filling, this is the essential summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

149 Comments

  1. Can I blind bake the base crust in this recipe? I only have a ceramic dish, not glass and have never made a pie that didn’t end up soggy!
    I’ve made the cherry filling with fresh cherries, but as I had to leave it overnight there is so much juice now.
    Should I just give it a go as is and see what happens??

    1. Hi Jenny! You can blind bake the crust to ensure that it won’t be overly soggy. Drain the juice a bit before adding to the pie crust.

      1. Hi, I have a couple suggestions for the dreaded soggy bottoms on pies that have worked for me for many years.
        1. If using frozen fruit be sure to defrost it and cook with your sugar and thickener on your stovetop for about 15 minutes before you put it in the pie shell.
        2. If it is a fruit pie brush your bottom crust with a thin layer of a complimentary jam or preserve before adding the filling. It can be the same flavor or something else you think would go well.
        3. Make sure the pie is cold before it is baked, and
        4. Bake the pie on a cookie sheet.
        These simple steps have helped me avoid soggy bottom crusts. Hope they help your readers too.

    2. This is an excellent recipe! To combat soggy crust, make the pie and freeze it before baking. When you’re ready for a fresh pie, pull it out of the freezer and put directly in the oven and bake it as you would any store-bought frozen pie. I’ve done this for years and it works fantastic! Plus, your house smells like fresh pie when baking! YUM!
      Especially handy to make holiday pies ahead of time, it eases the crunch of holiday baking.

  2. This is the best cherry pie I’ve ever made, the crust is so buttery and flakey while not being dry at all. The filling is to die for and all in all this pie is probably my greatest achievement to date. Thank you so much for the recipe and really easy pastry guide you goddess !!

  3. Made this pie last night! Brought a piece to work for a co-worker and she said it was AhhhMazing!!! Just found your sight and love what I’m seeing. Thank you for this awesome recipe, I plan on making some of your other pies as well!

  4. I made this pie tonight. I think the crust may have been too dry? The lattice was breaking apart into little pieces when I picked it up to place it. In the oven now, smells great!

    1. If the pie crust is cracking, it’s too dry. If you decide to try it again, add a little more ice water or use moistened fingers to shape the crust back together. Works every time!

  5. Such a fabulous recipe, the pie turned out so good!! Made it on the 4th with cherries we picked fresh on Monday. I and am a little short on cherries so I did about 3 cups cherries and 1.5 cups fresh blueberries. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

  6. I loved the all-butter crust, but the cherries were WAY TOO JUICY. The bottom crust is soggy. What did I do wrong????

    1. Hi Rita! I’m surprised they were so juicy, especially with 1/4 cup of cornstarch in the filling! Sorry you had trouble with it. Did you use fresh dark sweet cherries? Another variety?

      1. I had this problem as well!

        What I do now is prep the cherries first, then set them aside while I make the pie crust. That extra time helps them release their juices and when I spoon the cherries into the crust I just don’t add that extra liquid. The pie is still delicious, but it’s definitely sturdier.

        Hope that helps!

  7. I *cannot* wait to make this tonight! My husband and I adore cherry pies, and this is the first year in a number that we have found fresh Montmorency cherries. We have ten pounds! Enough for at least one pie and several pints of jam! Yum!

  8. Great pie! The Norpro deluxe cherry pitter( I found it at Ace) is a brilliant pitter. It self loads and has a spring loader arm; definitely worth it for those who have access to a cherry tree. Thanks for the recipe, it’s delicious!

    1. Hi Brenda! You can simply omit the almond extract and use vanilla extract instead. Make sure you read the vanilla label to make sure it’s not processed in a facility that also handles nuts!

  9. Thank you so much for doing the metric conversion, I always struggle with volume measurements like cups and ounces. Since I didn’t have a pie dish, they’re not easy to come by in Germany, I used a cheesecake dish with a 12 Inch diameter. Doubled everything and it worked very well! I also used all margarine instead of shortening and butter and added a bit more water. This is a fantastic recipe, very much appreciated!

  10. Hi Sally!
    I have some overripe plums at my house and I really want to make this pie. Can I use plums instead? Also, I’m out of cornstarch. What can I substitute cornstarch with?

  11. Just bought some supposedly “sweet cherries” but they are not very sweet. Would like to make a pie. What ratio of sugar and cornstarch should I use to get the right taste? Thank you.

    1. Hi Barbara! The cherry pie will still be plenty sweet, that’s my promise! 2/3 cup of sugar is enough to sweeten.

  12. I just made this for my folks. It was a huge hit. The only change I made was to cut back on the sugar a bit because the cherries I was using were so sweet. It is definitely a pie that needs to cool before eating. It looked like something out of a magazine.

  13. I can’t speak to the pie crust recipe, because I had some leftover shortcrust pastry from a different recipe that I was thinking to use up (it was very similar to this one, though, so I imagine the effect would have been the same). The filling, however, came out AMAZING. The almond extract with the cherries is a WINNER, and the ratio of cherries to juice was just right. I erred closer to 4 1/2 cups of chopped cherries, and I did also add a few tablespoons of almond flour to the filling just to amp up the almond flavor without adding more extract–that stuff will knock you over! I also ran out of cornstarch, so I subbed some all-purpose flour for the rest of that. I did end up leaving it in a bit longer than prescribed, because my decorations on top just weren’t browning to my liking, despite using the wash… but the end result was worth it, because the filling set really well, the flavor was dead on, and the overall effect was delicious. Would definitely make this again!

  14. First time I made this pie I used cake and pastry flour and it came out fantastic. Second time I used all purpose flour and had the worst time rolling it out. I used the vodka and water for the pie crust and followed your recipe and tips to a tee! I could not roll the dough right out of the fridge. It was way too hard! The second pie I left the crust overnight wrapped in the fridge before rolling it out in the morning. It rolled out better. The first pie I rolled it out after two hours of chilling. Any suggestions? The filling is amazing. The first one everyone said should win a prize! I consider myself an intermediate pie maker so I am thinking a beginner would be ripping their hair out! Lol

    1. Hi Arlene! I’m happy to help. Did you perhaps add too much fat or flour to the 2nd pie crust? If the pie dough is too hard, there was either too much flour or too much fat. The shortening and butter are solid when cold, so if there was too much– the dough would be too stiff. Spoon and level with all-purpose flour and stick with around 1/2 cup or 10 Tbsp of ice cold liquid.

      1. I will make this recipe again and be sure to measure exactly. I had 1/4 cup chilled vodka and 1/4 cup ice water, but I felt I didn’t need the entire half cup of liquid as the dough would have been too sticky. I will make it again in the future using cake and pastry flour as I liked that crust better. Thank you!

  15. I have never baked a pie. Ever. I’m the typical “guys don’t bake” sort of person. But I picked some cherries from a neighbor’s tree in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and decided to actually do something with them. I found this recipe and followed it with careful exactitude. Wow. This is the best cherry pie I’ve ever tasted. It turned out perfect in every way. I’m no longer the stereotypical “guy who doesn’t bake”. I’m now a legend in my own mind.

  16. HI, I’m curious about using sweet cherries instead of sour. I’ve been told sweet are too delicate for pies so I always search for sour cherries (which are not prevalent in my neck of the woods. I live in the Pacific NW west – the sweet cherry mecca. I’m making a pie this evening for a gathering tomorrow and very excited to try them in a pie.

  17. Hi Sally! First time pie maker using mom’s pie dish!
    I’m pitting cherries right now (building muscle ) to make your cherry pie recipe.
    1) I have 4 cups of pitted whole cherries but it doesn’t look like enough for deep dish pan pan.
    Increase recipe by half?
    2) If necessary can I save filling & bake tomorrow?
    Thank You

    1. How special to use your mom’s dish! I used a 9X2 inch pie dish which is considered a deep dish and I use 4.5 cups of pitted cherries – so yes, you will need to add a half of a cup to your 4 cups.
      I recommend you make the filling in advance as it should be refrigerated and cold when going into the pie!
      Enjoy!

  18. So….I didn’t read the make ahead instructions well and froze my unbaked pie! Any suggestions about how to bake this or is it ruined? Thaw in fridge and then bake?

    1. You didn’t ruin it, Julie! Bake it right from the freezer – keeping in mind it will take much longer to bake! If you thaw it first and then bake it you will end up with a mushy crust.

  19. I made the filling (but not the crust – I cheated and used store bought) and the flavor is amazing!
    I saw some comments regarding concerns over a soggy bottom crust. Borrow an old gluten free baking tip from me – coat the bottom crust with the egg wash before adding the filling and use a metal pie dish to bake it. I use a durable “USA Pan.”
    The egg wash will set once it hits 160°F creating a semipermeable film over the unbaked bottom crust to prevent sogginess. The metal pan conducts heat faster than glass or earthenware and further prevents problems – and bakes faster.

    I cooked my filling to get rid of the cornstarch flavor and texture and if anyone does so, either add more water after the cornstarch is fully dissolved or reduce the amount of cornstarch as this thickens quite a bit. BUT, the flavors are unaffected. I also added a dash of cinnamon/clove mix. Makes the filling’s flavor really pop.

    Definitely a keeper!!! Thanks.

  20. This recipe is easy to follow and the pie turns out exactly as it looks. I wish I had used both sweet and sour cherries. I used only sweet so there was no real depth to the flavor of the pie. The almond extract brings out even more sweetness- and was not a good fit for my families flavor profile. I hand pitted the cherries and it took all of 20 mins. to get 4.5 cups worth. Glad I didn’t run around town searching for a Cherry Pitter. If you like Cherry pie this one is a winner.

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