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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slice of cherry pie

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

188 Comments

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  1. This recipe is amazing! I used a little less sugar as I made the filling with dark red cherries, and it was delicious!!!!

    1. This recipe is incredible. I am living in bosnia where cherries are very popular and they are very fussy about cakes and this was a HIT
      Thank you

  2. Despite your emphasis to not use frozen cherries, I did it anyway. Generally turned out fine. My cherries let off a lot of juice as they thawed, so I drained it off (and that is a bonus good drink). By the time I mixed up the filling, there ended up still being a fair amount of juice in it, so I should have let them thaw longer to drain off more juice. I drained off liquid after having the filling mixed up overnight, although I could have left a bit more in. The thawed cherries were a bit harder to try to halve, it would be easier to do that while frozen. I added a little bit more cherries since they were dense and wish I had added more because my filling was pretty thin. But overall, the pie turned out well. I did egg wash the pie crust before filling and no sogginess at all.

    1. Sally, thank you for the step-by-step. It is one of the things that makes your blog so valuable! I made this cherry pie recipe and it was great. A few tweaks: I only had frozen tart cherries that I had picked over the summer (the U-pick place has a pitter, thank goodness!). So, I did two things to keep the pie from getting a soggy bottom. First, I followed your steps for blind-baking the crust (which I made from your recipe). Then, I drained the cherries and simmered them with the other filling ingredients + a little bit more sugar as suggested, until just slightly thickened. After cooling, I put them in the blind-baked shell and baked as directed. It was a big hit at Thanksgiving. Everyone wanted the cherry pie and raved about it! Thanks again.

  3. I made this for my knitting group and they loved it and so did I. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I have never attempted homemade anything but this was very easy to follow and according to my family was off the charts great!! I made the homemade crust as well! So good!!

  5. I make an all-butter crust, since that’s what my mother made when I was growing up, and it’s never lost its shape. the key is refrigerating or freezing the whole pie before popping it into the oven.
    I also use Tapioca flour instead of cornstarch…I can taste the cornstarch, plus the tapioca flour is foolproof — especially for juice fruit like cherries.
    I used to use fresh cherries until I discovered Trader Joes’ jars of Morello cherries…that’s all I use now. Cheers!

  6. To begin, follow the instructions on both the pie recipe and the suggested crust. Crust was PERFECT! Due to winter season, only had access to sweet dark cherries. Made a test run to make two pies, the first being the test bed pie made as directed. Results: Dark Cherries only caused the pie to be soupy and the pie wasn’t to my liking. On pie #2, sautéd the cherries in a sauce pan and reduced the sugar adding 1/3rd cup sugar, then approx 1/8 cup to top of that (still using 1/4 cup cornstarch). Cooked this mixer on top of stove slowly. At same time, cooked down 2 cups of organic dried cranberries mixed with approx, 1/4 cup orange juice. As this mixture came to a slow boil, added approx. 3 Tablespoons Grand Mariner , and zest of one orange. When both mixtures were cooked, combined them both, and squeeze 1/2 orange into the mixture. Poured this mixture into pie crust (this was completely set up no runny liquid),made the lattice and baked as instructed. This pie turned out PERFECT! Had the right amount of sweet and tart that I could not get with only sweet dark cherries.

  7. I made this pie Friday (came out beautifully) let it cool and refrigerated it so I could make my second pie today –coconut cream–( requests for a Superbowl party tomorrow)
    What I am trying to find out– how can I reheat this cherry pie tomorrow afternoon before bringing to the superbowl party– what are your recommendations? (Or your reader’s recommendations?)
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Mary! You can place the pie (covered) in a 300°F (149°C) for 15 minutes or until warmed before serving.

  8. Thanks Sally, I’ve never made pie before but with your crust recipe and this guide I managed a pretty decent one!

  9. Hello, I love your recipes and I have total faith that this recipe will be a success, but I was wondering if there is any way to use frozen cherries. I live in Canada and fresh cherries are ridiculously expensive and hard to find and it would make things much easier.

    1. Hi Isabella, Unfortunately I do not suggest using frozen cherries. I found the filling turns out quite liquid-y and soupy.

    1. I don’t recommend it. Unfortunately, for the best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste ingredients or your time!), fresh cherries are best.

  10. It turned out great.
    The first time I did it I got a soggy bottom so this time I blind baked it and it was great thanks for all the great recipes

  11. This was fantastic!

    I made some tweaks to work with what we had: Frozen cherries sub for fresh; flour for cornstarch, increased amount of starch; added an extra tbsp of lemon.

  12. I made your recipe with frozen cherries and it turned out great. Also used your pie crust recipe that I love. I refrigerated filling and crust (separately) overnight and assembled the next day. My husband was delighted with it! Thx!

  13. I used fresh cherries just picked, drained off the extra liquid from the filling before putting into the crust to bake. Turned out VERY soupy. I would not make again without modifications — may try tapioca flour next time.

  14. There is a asterisk (*) Next to ‘fresh cherries” in the ingredient list, but I don’t see a corresponding reference note.

  15. Thank you for the reply! What about freezing the filling – would that be possible? If so, is there a specific way to do it, and should it be thawed before assembling the pie?

  16. Awesome pie tutorials for the pie, crust, and lattice weaving. Thank you!!! I finally made a pie so beautiful it could have been photographed! BUT, the filling was still a bit liquidy and runny when cut into – why, Pie Gods, why?!?? I feel like it’s always “something” with pie, which is annoying as I consider myself an above average baker otherwise. It was ever so slightly still warmish on the bottom after 3 1/2 hours when cut, but I had an impatient 9 yr old so I cut anyway. Do you think it would have firmed completely if I had given it longer? It was enough liquid to spoon out 2-3 times so it didn’t seem like it. Of course, liquid meant soggy bottom crust which I find so frustrating. It baked 55 min in a metal USA pan. I finally gave up on glass pans after too many soggy bottoms. My quarantine goal is to master pie and this is as close as I’ve come – crust was excellent and so easy to work with, and filling flavor was great, so I’m getting close! Wondering if I should add more cornstarch or a little flour or gelatin – I did use fresh cherries. Thanks for any tips! I love your site. 🙂

    1. Hi Erin, thank you so much for trying this cherry pie recipe. I swear, swear, swear by letting pies cool completely before cutting into them. Pies with supremely liquid-y fruits/fillings like cherry pie will drastically hold their shape better the cooler they are. Additionally, your filling may benefit from an extra Tbsp of cornstarch. I promise your next cherry pie, with these changes, will be perfect. Feel free to email me if you want to troubleshoot further, too!

      1. Thank you for the reply! I made the pie again the next day since it was so close to being perfect and take two was total success! I made a few adjustments, several of which I took from a King Arthur Flour pie troubleshooting article (I am also a huge KA fan!) – 1. I combined the sugar and cherries and let sit for 30 min, then I drained the liquid and proceeded with adding the rest of the filling ingredients. This was an extra “drain” which I think helped. KA says you can reduce that initial liquid into a syrup and add it back, but I didn’t. 2. I baked my pie on the lowest rack closer to the oven floor for better heat transfer to cook the bottom crust. 3. I made sure to watch that my filling bubbled and boiled through the lattice for 10-15 min, which KA says helps thickening. 4. I cooled my pie overnight. It was fully cooked and not soupy at all! Yay!!! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

        Also, your pie crust is a DREAM – I made it twice in two days, and all four discs were easy to work with and rolled effortlessly. I’ve always tried to do all butter with varied success, but I agree the shortening/butter combo is easier to work with, tastes just as delicious, has fab texture, AND it doesn’t turn rock hard in the fridge! I’m not anti-shortening, but I am anti-hydrogenated oils, so I used Spectrum Organic non-hydrogenated shortening. Perfection! I have finally slayed the “Pie Dragon,” thanks to you – I read that you weren’t even making pies until several years ago, so I figured if anyone could get me over my pie hurdle it would be you. Love your website and recipes and can’t wait to make more pies. 🙂

  17. I think this is the most common pie recipe I make of Sally’s. I make this pie minimum 3 times per year. My father is a “cherry pie snob.” He has been presented cherry snobs over the years from other relatives and he has not been 100% happy. I make this one and he states it’s the best one. This has nothing to do with me of course – this is all because of Sally. I wouldn’t be too intimidated by pitting the cherries. I use one I bought on Amazon that pits I believe 6 cherries at a time which speeds of the process. Don’t shy away from the almond extract – I loathe it but it does work very well with this pie and I feel it’s really needed to complete the pie. I’ll be making this pie again really soon now that I’m seeing cherries at the grocery store. Happy Father’s Day pie in the works soon!

  18. I have never made a cherry pie because I have always been turned off by commercial cherry filling. This recipe was absolutely AMAZING!!!! My husband could not wait 3 minutes let alone 3 hours for the pie to cool. It isn’t overly sweet and the crust recipe is perfect.

  19. So excited to make this. We went cherry picking yesterday. My pie crust is chilling in the fridge right now and tonight or tomorrow I’ll assemble the pie. I saw your post on blind-baking the bottom crust. Is this a necessary step for cherry pie? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made chicken pot pie and the bottom crust is raw while the top crust is crispy brown. I would be so sad if this happened to my first ever homemade cherry pie. Since it’s not listed in these directions above, I’m probably going to skip it until I get a response before I start baking my pie.

    1. Hi Allison, I do not find it necessary to blind bake this pie crust. If you have a glass pie dish I recommend you use that – so you can see the bottom of the pie to make sure it’s baked! You can cover the top of the pie with foil if it’s browning before the bottom is done.

  20. We used fresh cherries, just picked and slightly underripe. There was an inch of liquid in the bottom after cooling. Next time maybe I’ll precook the cherries?

  21. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made your lemon meringue pie several times – it is a great recipe, so I’ve decided to make this cherry pie tomorrow. I noticed a few folks blind baked the crust but the recipe doesn’t call for that. Do you think it is a good idea?

    1. Hi Rita, I never pre-bake this bottom crust and haven’t had any issues. As long as you bake the pie long enough and let it cool completely, you’ll be great. I like using a glass pie dish so I can see when the bottom pie crust has nicely browned. (So I know it’s done!)

  22. Thanks! I didn’t blind bake and it looks great. Used the glass dish. Can’t wait to try it!

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