Homemade Cherry Pie

slice of cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a silver plate with a fork

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.

cherry pie in a glass pie dish

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!

cherries on a wood cutting board with a cherry pitter

cherry pie filling in a glass bowl

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.

pie dough rolled into a circle with a wood rolling pin

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!

latticing pie dough on top of cherry pie filling

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. 🙂

cherry pie with lattice pie crust before baking

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!

cherry pie in a glass pie dish with a slice removed with a pie server

slice of cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a silver plate with a fork

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slice of cherry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a silver plate with a fork

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


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


  • 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


  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.


  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.

slices of cherry pie on silver plates with forks


  1. I’m definitely glad you started baking pies – your pies alway look fantastic with the pie crust designs, especially. Cherry pie is my favorite, so I’m all over this recipe! 🙂  Have a wonderful holiday weekend xx

  2. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    I have never had fresh cherry pie before but this looks sooo good, and I really want a slice NOW. And thank you so much for all the tips on how to make the best pie. I love the tip about adding butter to the pie to prevent all those bubbles from forming. That would have totally helped if I knew earlier. lol. Can’t wait to try this. Now… to buy a cherry pitter because I’m not willing to sit there and remove cherry pits individually. Have a great 4th of July weekend, Sally!

  3. Cherry pie is always battling it out with key lime and lemon meringue for the top spot on my list 😉 If it comes up short, it’s just because I don’t like pastry crust…but your recipes are always so amazing, I’m sure this recipe would make me forget that preference!

  4. Pies for me are a huge challenge…still.  I married into of women who canned their own pie filling, make their own pie and known to pick their own fruit.  They can make amazing pies and food in general. So this is the first challenge that has me feeling challenged.  I am going to tackle the pie crust one crust at a time.  Anybody need a pie?

    1. You can totally do this. Read through the crust recipe a couple times before starting, as well as the pie recipe too. Make sure the pie is ALWAYS cold– even refrigerate it for a few minutes before putting into the oven. A cold pie is so important!

  5. Jenny from jennyisbaking.com says:

    I love that your lattice is not perfect, perfect! And of course homemade cherry pie is unbeatable! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- this pie looks oh so yummy! Happy 4th!!

  7. I love cherry pie with sour cherries, but I have a difficult time finding fresh sour cherries. Any ideas?

    1. It depends on the area where you live. If you can’t find them, just use another variety you can find. Dark sweet are pretty common in most major groceries 🙂

    2. A pie made with dark sweet cherries is just not the same as one made with tart — it’s like a totally different pie.

      Unless you live where sour cherries are grown (Michigan mostly, but maybe Washington, New York, and a few other states), you will likely only be able to find them frozen or canned because sour cherries do not travel well. Even then, they will be hard to find. Gordon Food Service often has big bags of tart cherries if there is one near you, or you may be able to find them at Sam’s Club or Costco. My local grocery store has frozen tart cherries available seasonally, but they don’t last very long, so I always buy a few bags when they are available. These make excellent pies — much more of that classic cherry pie I assume you’re looking for. Hope this helps 🙂

  8. Yesss, I’m definitely a pie over cake girl (sorry, cake, still love ya) and cherry is among my favourite varieties. Blueberry is my absolute favourite but it’d be a shame to not take advantage of all the different types of berries in season now! Can’t wait to try this one 😉

  9. This pie looks adorable and so delicious!! You nailed it! 

  10. Pies are my favorite so it’s really difficult to choose just one favorite! In the summer I absolutely love peach pie and in the fall, its apple or my granmother’s recipe for sweet potato pie. Your Key lime pie with macadamia nut crust is just delightful when I’m looking for a cold dessert. This cherry pie looks fantastic too! Can’t wait to bake one!

  11. I can’t wait to try this! Cherry is my very favorite and my husbands too. Would love to win something as I never do! Ha ha. Thanks for doing your giveaway…… We all appreciate it!

  12. YES!!! I love cherry pie! It’s my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PIE EVER!!! This recipe looks fantastic! So excited!!

  13. Kimberly W. says:

    I make cherry cheesecake A LOT and I always use canned cherry pie filling.  I would LOVE to use your filling as it sounds delicious but since the cherry filling isn’t going into the oven, how do you recommend me making it more “filling-like” to put on top of my cheesecake? Thanks!

  14. You’re speaking my language, Sally. I LOVE cherry pie!!! 🙂

  15. My favorite pie is a glazed strawberry pie with fresh whipped cream. I decorate with my many dishes, pictures and anything with a strawberry. I love to pick strawberries and eat pounds of them in season. I won a contest with my homemade strawberry pie. My nickname is the Strawberry Queen!
    I am ready to try your delicious cherry pie, as soon as I go cherry picking this week.
    Have a great holiday!

    1. I looooove glazed strawberry pie!

  16. Can you use frozen cherries that have been defrosted and drained  or just add it to the sugar mixture and bake the pie longer.  Also instead of cornstarch how much flour can you use instead as I prefer that when making pies. I am very excited and can’t wait for your response.

  17. Austria Azaceta says:

    Hi Sally!
    I was never a fan of cherry pie until I made your cherry pie.  Its just SO good!!  And the crust is my favorite part. I just made a cherry pie for a family gathering last week.  I do however, want to make your flag pie for 4th of July so thats happening! It just looks so fun & festive!! 🙂
    And since I started making pies from scratch (thanks to you!) its become my favorite thing to bake!
    Have a happy 4th Sally!!! 

  18. Sally- you should have a random recipe generator link on your page! I find myself wanting to try something new, but not knowing where to start. It would be so cool if I could click a button and it randomly picks a recipe for me!! 

  19. This is the first challenge I’ve done and I think it came out great!  My family commented on how amazing the lattice ended up looking : ) Thanks for the recipe and detailed instructions!

    1. Wonderful job! I’m so glad you made it already.

  20. So I just happened to buy a big bag of cherries yesterday and when I got the recipe today I thought, why not make it today? I don’t have a cherry pitter so I ended up using a smoothie straw to push the pit and stem out from the bottom up. It worked rather well because it’s a little fatter and doesn’t bend like a regular straw and they are in the grocery store:-)

    Happy fourth to everyone!

    1. That’s a great trick if you don’t have a pitter! I hope you enjoyed the pie 🙂

  21. Angelina | Baked Ambrosia says:

    this pie is perfect!! thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. I’m going to tackle this – it looks delicious!!

    One question – if you use sour cherries, would you use only that type of cherry? Or still a mixture?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Whatever you prefer. I personally would do a mixture of dark sweet and sour, but that’s just me!

  23. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    This is cherry pie perfection! Love your pretty mix of cherries!

  24. Sally, your pie looks delicious and gorgeous! Have you ever tried fresh, fresh cherry pie? I love how it preserves the fresh cherry taste. I went cherry picking a couple weeks ago, and I wanted to keep that fresh-off-the-tree flavor. I think you would love this: I will try your tip of using almond extract next time, or even add ground almonds to the crust…

    1. I haven’t tried it without baking the filling– ground almonds in the crust would be soooo good!

  25. Paige Flamm says:

    I’m dying to make a pie today! I totally think I’m going to make this one, or the flag one you shared last week!


    1. Let me know which you try!

  26. Made it today, I don’t know what happened but I think my cherries were way too juicy and the pie looks more like soup with cherries and pie dough. Any tips??? I followed your instructions to the T.

    1. What type of cherries did you use?

  27. Cherry pie is my favorite!!! I see a lot of cherry pitting in my future! Fortunately, I have a cherry pitter, which my boyfriend likes to point out that I barely use, along with other baking tools I have. lol.

  28. I’m making this tomorrow for the holiday. Thank you for sharing what sounds like a great recipe. I’ll report back with my review!

  29. I made your cherry pie you posted a while back and I followed everything exactly but it seems like there is a lot of liquid sloshing around inside. It’s been cooled for a couple hours now. Will it thicken even more by tomorrow?

    1. Ddi you use frozen cherries by chance? Make sure they are fresh. Refrigerating it will help set it up. By the way, was it this pie or the one from a couple years ago?

      1. I used fresh dark sweet cherries. The pie still tasted delicious. I just drained out the excess liquid. It was the pie from a couple years ago.

  30. Melissa Griffiths says:

    Homemade filling beats canned ANY DAY. This looks so delicious! Perfect for the 4th!

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