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— and especially if you also want to make cherry crisp and/or cherry buckle too!

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. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. 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.
  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 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.
  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 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.
  6. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with 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.


  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. Do you have any suggestions? My hubby loves cherry pie, one of his all-time favorites. He buys the Costco cherry pie whenever he can, but it’s too sweet for me. I liked your recipe and the pictures looked amazing. I used your recipe and made it for the July 4th weekend. First, thank you for the crust recipe. It is one of the best I’ve made. The crust was buttery and flaky without being greasy and will go into my “starred” recipe list. Very tasty! For my pie, I used ripe black cherries that I found at our local farmer’s market. The pie turned out beautiful, just like your pictures. When it came to the taste test, my husband was not impressed. He felt the cherries were not soft enough and “too hard.” I think he prefers canned cherries, but I don’t want to go there. Any suggestions? Should I cook the cherries a bit before filling the pie crust? Or try a different cherry? Thanks for all your recipes and your website.

    1. Hi Russell! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this pie and the pie crust, too! For the husband stamp of approval, I would try cooking down the cherries first. However, the pie may be a little more juicy that way so keep that in mind. But it sounds like that is what he wants anyway!

  2. I made this for our 4th of July dessert and it is delicious! The hubby loved it. I will never use canned cherry filling again! Thanks Sally!

    1. What a compliment! Thank you so much for reporting back, I appreciate it so much!

  3. Sally, Sally, Sally!!!

    When this came through my email I got very excited as cherry pie, well cherry anything really, I my favorite. However, I have never been a pie maker. I was convinced at a very young age that I would never be able to make a pie from scratch. My mom had an awful time making them and thought I had inherited that gene. Conversely, my dad loves to make pies. Strawberry rhubarb is his favorite. After reading the recipe. That I might be able to do it so I gathered the all the ingredients and began on my way. Thankfully, a cute boy invited me out for drinks after I made my crust so this was the perfect opportunity to let the crust chill! When I returned home with a fresh gin and tonic glow, I pitted the cherries, made the filling, rolled out the crust, and cut the lattice. Everything was going perfectly… I couldn’t believe it! After a baked it look gorgeous and I let it sit overnight in anticipation of taking it to work the next day.

    Sally, this is the best cherry pie I have ever put in my face. Ever! People at the office were absolutely raving and frankly I was raving as well. I even saved the slice for the cute boy!

    Thank you for instilling pie-making confidence in this girl!

    1. This whole story made my day– you are the BEST for coming back to let me know how well you did. Congrats on conquering your pie fears!!! This is so wonderful!!! 🙂
      Now you have to try strawberry rhubarb pie for your dad. Because you’re a pro at lattice now!

      1. Oh, I was just looking at that one. Definitely on the short list. All I want to do is bake pies now!! Living in Montana (after moving from Baltimore) find myself often camping. What…a treat this (and the strawberry rhubarb) would be fireside with an assist from a pie iron! #latticeforever

  4. I made this for my family’s fourth of July party and it was a hit! My mom said that it was hands down the best cherry pie she has ever eaten. My grandma who doesn’t even like cherry pie ate a whole slice too. Keep the delicious recipes coming!

    1. WHAT a compliment!!! Thanks Lexi, I appreciate it so much!

  5. Like many people I am intimidated with making my own pie crust. Besides hating my small apartment with little to no workspace I;m not sure why I have such a hard time of it. Going to try to attempt a from scratch pie crust again and mentally tell myself I wont fail haha

    1. Let me know how it goes! Remember to stay patient, don’t overwork the dough, and keep it as cold as possible 🙂

  6. Oh Sally I am terrified of making pies, no one eats it in my house I’m afraid it will waste and i’ll mess it up 🙁 even though you made it look super easy. I think I’ll give the fresh peach cobbler a go instead, I should be able to make half the recipe without messing it up right?
    Hope you’re well.

    1. Hi Abby! You can halve the peach cobbler recipe 🙂

  7. Hello Sally, I’m new to baking and was confused about something that is different about your recipe. I’ve looked all over the Internet for a good pie recipe and I found I like yours the most, I really like how you really get down and explain how everything works, but I’ve noticed almost every other recipe says that one should cook the cherries on the stove first and then put them in the oven. I was wondering why your recipe doesn’t call for that. 
    Thank you for posting this awesome recipe and I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

    1. I don’t really prefer super soft cherries in pie, so that’s why I skip it. If you prefer otherwise– absolutely try cooking them first. The filling will be much more liquid-y.

  8. Hi Sally,
    I know you mention this in the tips, but I just want to clarify for myself. I can prepare the cherry pie filling and freeze it? I want to make this but I am going on vacation next week so I thought I could make the crust and filling and freeze them and then put it all together when I get back.

    Thank you!

    1. Yep! You can freeze the filling and pie crust separately.

  9. Hi Sally, I’ve tried so many of your recipes and love them all! I made the pie and it was delicious, however, the coarse sugar on my crust burned a little. I followed the recipe exactly and the baking times you gave. Don’t know why this happened.

  10. I made flag pie and it turned out perfectly but when I made the crust for this pie I don’t think that I added enough water.  Is there any way to correct this mistake if you don’t catch it until you start rolling it out?  I think I will need to practice more

    1. Hi Taylor! You can moisten your finger and press the dough down to try to work a little more moisture in. I’m glad you had luck with the crust the other time you tried it! It really does take practice.

  11. Hi Sally! I’m a huge fan of your recipes and I’ve made of a bunch of them! Tried this pie last night and did a combination of cherries and blueberries but the filling never set. Other than subbing half blueberries, I followed the recipe exactly but it is still very watery even after sitting overnight. Any ideas what might have happened? 

    1. Blueberries– so juicy! I would recommend adding more cornstarch when subbing out a more firm fruit (cherry) for a juicier one.

      1. Thanks I’ll try that next time! 🙂

  12. I made this pie and my filling seems to have not set up right because it was very juicy and al the juices ran out when I cut and served it. Any ideas? I believe I followed the recipe and all instructions. The only thing g j can think of is when I put the filling in there was no liquid left in the bowl. Should there have been? It was just powdery stuff like sugar and cornstarch left in the bowl and so I scooped. It out and put it in the pie. Other than the runny juices, we really enjoyed the pie. 

    1. Hi Layla, Next time you make it try using a slotted spoon to scoop the filling into the crust and discard some of the leftover juices in the bottom of the bowl. This should help!

  13. Elizabeth Addis says:

    This turned out amazing!  The crust is so good – I’m so inspired to make all the pies now! 

    1. YAY!!! Inspiring you to make more pies is the biggest and best compliment 🙂

  14. Mary Harrington says:

    I found the filling to be too wet- the sweet dark and rainier cherries I used released a lot of juice as they cooked, which I was afraid of. I waited a full three hours to cut the pie. I definitely used the 1/4 cup of cornstarch. The next time I made the pie, I followed America’s Test Kitchen’s idea and blended the cherries and sugar together, waited one hour, then drained the lot and reserved 1/4 cup juice. I then added that back in with the cornstarch, lemon juice and extracts. Others pictures posted look like the bakers had a nice filling that wasn’t too soggy, but mine was.

    I loved the crust recipe, though I substituted lard for the shortening.

  15. I loved your cherry pie! The only other pies I’ve made were ricepudding pies and strawberry-puddingpies, both of which require blind baking before filling it up. Cherry pies are one of my favorite pies to eat, but I never dared to tackle them. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    I have one question though: it seems that my cherries were a bit too juicy. After baking and a 3,5hrs cooldown, it was still fluid inside. The bottom and sides were sturdy enough, luckily, but I was wondering what I could do to make the filling more stiff? I followed your instructions to the T. 

    1. I’m so glad you made my cherry pie and enjoyed it! My only suggestion would be to slightly cut back on the cherries but keep all of the other ingredients the same (including cornstarch).

  16. Niki Daugherty says:

    This pie was absolutely amazing!!! I just love cherry with almond flavor, so summery and sweet! Also, I must say that I will never use a different pie crust recipe again! This one was so perfect, none of the other crusts I’ve tried even come close. And I’m pretty proud of myself with the top crustof this pie. I’ve never been able to get it to look good, and this time I did so well (if I can pat myself on the back lol) 

  17. Made this for my family today and they loved it! I’ve always felt all butter crusts are the way to go… but I decided to just follow your recipe and not make any substitutions – delicious!! The almond extract also adds an interesting flavour to the pie that I actually really enjoyed. Great recipe, definitely one for the keeps pile. 🙂

    1. Thanks for trying a different crust! I’m so happy you liked it 🙂

  18. It took a couple of tries, but I finally nailed this recipe! It’s SO delicious. The almond extract and the citrus are amazing – I LOVE this recipe. Thanks for the hard work, Sally. Recipe testing makes all the difference! And thanks for working so hard during your pregnancy so you can keep posting during your maternity leave, I don’t know what I would do without you this fall!

  19. Caroline Driggs says:

    Question – help help! I want to make this pie for Thanksgiving but can only find frozen cherries. Any suggestions as to how to avoid a goopy soupy filling (which you warn about). I live in fear of soggy bottom crusts so would really appreciate a quick tip here on the best way to make frozen cherries work.

    1. I really don’t suggest frozen cherries for this pie! If you really want to try it I might defrost more than you think you will need and not using any of the liquid that collects in the bottom of the bowl.

  20. Can you use frozen cherries for this recipe?

    1. See recipe note. I do not suggest using frozen cherries. The filling will turn out quite liquid-y and soupy.

  21. Hi Sally!

    Thank you for this beautiful cherry pie recipe. My mother-in-law is a southern bell and I learned how to make various pies from her but not cherry pie! I love cherry pie but usually the store-bought ones are either too sweet or taste too much like they used canned cherries (probably they are!) and always wanted to try making it myself using fresh cherries. Your recipe is so simple to make and looks beautiful! It’s coming out beautifully and tastes super yummy! I am going to try your strawberry cake recipe next! Looks and sounds delicious! Thanks again!

    1. Hi Susan! So glad to read you’re enjoying the cherry pie recipe 🙂 It’s my favorite!

  22. Hi Sally,

    I made this recipe today and it turned out very watery and not very sweet (was actually less sweet than the cherries before I baked them). After mixing the cherries around with the cornstarch, sugar, etc. there was a ton of liquid. I used a slotted spoon so as not to get the liquid in the pie. After baking there was still a lot of liquid. And even then it never thickened up. Were the cherries too warm possibly? The pie was latticed to allow for proper evaporation.

  23. Can I use frozen, pitted cherries in this recipe? Do I need to modify it?

    1. Hi Carol! See my recipe note. I do not suggest using frozen cherries. The filling will turn out quite liquid-y and soupy.

  24. Hey Sally – I made this today – Harris Teeter was having a crazy cherry special – 2lbs of Bings for $3.89. I used the Cook’s Illustrated No-fail pie crust instead of yours, it works so why tinker with that?

    The filling I followed your instructions. It was a little more than 4 cups of cherries, so I extended the baking time by about 15 minutes.

    It’s absolutely beautiful, I can’t wait to taste it – tomorrow. I am going to let it set out for several hours, then pop it in the ‘fridge. Even if it’s a little wet, it’s still going to taste outstanding.

    Falls Church, VA

    1. Thank you so much for trying my cherry pie recipe, Clark! Let me know how you like it.

  25. Hi Sally,
    Virgin pie maker here! Followed your recipe for the cherry and crust mixture and it turned out truly amazing!! My father’s favorite pie is cherry – so It was a perfect Father’s Day present. Served just slightly warm with vanilla ice-cream – – – – Holy Delicious!!!

    I did however have a hard time rolling out the dough after chilling for 1 hour – it kept cracking and breaking apart at the sides. Instinctively I put some water on my hands to give a bit more moisture and that helped a lot – but not completely. I’m at a higher altitude (a bit dry up here) so I wonder if I should add more butter, shortening or water in the future during mixing crust to keep it moist?

    I also put vanilla and almond extract in the crust recipe accident instead of the pie filling – although it turned out delicious and wonderfully flakey I was wondering if this could be the culprit?

    Thanks for all of your creativity!!!

    1. Hi Deborah! While I’ve never baked at high altitude before, I know that the higher elevation means drier pie crust. More moisture is key. When you notice the pie crust cracking as you roll it out, it’s thirsty! Add a little more ice cold water as you prepare the dough next time and you’ll be on the right track!

  26. If I don’t have a lemon for the lemon juice, would lime work?

    1. If you think you’d enjoy the hint of lime with cherries, then go for it! I’m sure it’ll be delicious.

  27. Made it today! First cherry pie ever. It looks good-my lattice was not perfect but not bad either. Luckily I have a lot of boys in my house who don’t really care what the dessert looks like-as long as its tasty!

  28. Roberta L Erlandson says:

    Hi, my name is Roberta and my favorite pie/bar is amish rhubarb dream bars. Which can be made into a pie.

  29. Hi Sally,

    I had lots of cherries and home and needed to get rid of some. So, the first thing I did was come to your blog to see what delicious things you have whipped up with cherries.

    I decided to make your cherry pie and homemade crust today! The family and I are so excited to taste it tomorrow! Quick question: how do you know if the bottom crust is cooked all the way? Also, can I place the pie back in the oven after I have taken it out and allowed it to cool if the bottom doesn’t looked cooked through?

    Ps. This was my first time making pie dough and a homemade made! Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. Hi Rita! I’m so happy you tried my cherry pie!! And congrats on your first time making homemade pie crust! It’s no easy task when you’re just beginning, but you get the hang of it more and more as you bake more pies. (So I suggest more pies in your future!) I don’t recommend baking the pie again after it’s cooled down. There’s really no way to tell if the bottom crust is cooked enough unless you use a glass pie dish. I usually use glass dishes so I can (carefully!) see the bottom and sides of the pie to help determine when it’s finished.

  30. I made it for Christmas and it came out very good. The party I brought it to everyone loved it and it got eaten up really quickly. I will need to make it again.

    I shared the recipe with some friends so they can also make it.

    1. I’m glad it was a hit, Jenny!

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