This recipe is better than ever. My homemade cherry pie is perfectly sliceable with a thick almond-hinted cherry pie filling and a golden brown buttery flaky pie crust. The ingredients are exactly the same as when I originally published the recipe in 2017, but quartering *some* of the cherries instead of just halving and reducing some juices on the stovetop both guarantee that the pie filling will set up perfectly. As always, wait for the pie to cool completely before slicing, which is another non-negotiable that helps avoid a soupy pie filling.
No store-bought pie filling or pie crust because today we’re making cherry pie completely from scratch. Does making homemade pie intimidate you? I promise this dessert specialty is nothing to fear and that’s exactly why I’m sharing my recipe with you. Out of all pie flavors, cherry pie is where most bakers depend on canned filling, but I’m going to teach you how to make the most of fresh cherries and a delicious crust.
Cherry Pie Details
- Flavor: While the cherry flavor is front and center in this pie, you’ll enjoy the notes of vanilla and almond as well. Vanilla and almond extracts add richness and depth and a touch of lemon juice keeps the overall flavor fresh and bright. (Without it, the filling can taste a little flat.) A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of homemade whipped cream pair perfectly on top of a slice.
- Texture: If you follow the recipe closely, this cherry pie filling is buttery, jammy, sturdy, and sliceable. You can use your favorite pie crust recipe, but I encourage you to try mine linked below. We use a mix of shortening and butter because they work together to make the BEST crust. Butter adds flavor and flakiness, while shortening’s high melting point keeps the crust tender and workable. If you don’t want to use shortening, try this all butter pie crust recipe instead.
- Ease: It goes without saying that homemade pie is a labor of love, especially if you’re a beginner. Consider this recipe an activity—hopefully fun and definitely satisfying—and set aside several hours from start to finish. My time-saving tip is to prep the pie dough ahead of time because it needs to chill for at least 2 hours before you can roll it out. Plan accordingly if you want to include this cherry beauty in your lineup of Memorial Day recipes.
Best Cherries to Use for Cherry Pie
If you’re making cherry pie from scratch, it’s helpful to know which cherry variety works best. I usually choose a mix of rainier cherries and dark sweet cherries, but opted for all dark sweet cherries in the pictured pie. You can use all Rainier or all dark sweet. If using sour cherries, add a little more sugar as referenced in the recipe note below.
You can also use frozen halved or quartered cherries. Follow the recipe as written below and don’t skip the reducing step on the stove.
Pitting fresh cherries is always a tedious and messy task, so if you want to save time and prep work, pick up a cherry pitter. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like stuffing your kitchen drawers with endless gizmos and gadgets, but a cherry pitter is most definitely an exception. I don’t bake with cherries often, but when I do, I’m VERY thankful for this tool.
- It’s also a timesaver if you’re baking bourbon cherry crisp and/or cherry buckle!
Reducing the Cherry Juices on the Stove Takes Less Than 10 Minutes
After you combine the filling ingredients together, set it aside and roll out the pie dough for your pie dish. During this time, your filling is already working as the sugar pulls juices from the cherries. Normally I discard all this juice, but it’s where a lot of the cornstarch ends up and that’s what helps thicken the filling in the oven.
Instead, use a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit into your crust, then pour the leftover juice into a small saucepan. You’ll only have a few Tablespoons, but this juice is pure GOLD as it holds our thickening agent and a lot of flavor. Reduce on the stove over low heat for about 3-4 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then pour over the cherries and toss gently (in your pie dough!) to combine.
Here’s the filling in the mixing bowl. You can see all the juices at the bottom. Spoon cherries into the pie dough:
Reduce the excess juice on the stove until it has thickened:
Let it cool for a few minutes, then toss into the cherries. The sugars in the reduced juice will harden and you’ll notice this “juice” become almost caramelized and stringy once it hits those cold cherries. This is NORMAL and totally fine! The “juice” will melt down in the oven, but keep the filling thick.
Don’t Forget the Extras
- Butter: Dot the pie filling with small cubes of butter before applying the top crust. Why? It adds buttery richness and actually helps prevent the formation of bubbles on the filling’s surface. We do the same thing when we make peach pie.
- Egg wash: An egg wash is egg mixed with milk (or water) and you use it pretty much whenever you’re baking pie dough or baking other shaped dough such as stromboli, vanilla biscotti, homemade bagels, choux pastry, croissants, etc. Egg wash promises a crispier crust and helps develop that signature golden sheen. Without it, dough is dull and lackluster.
- Coarse sugar: This is optional, but I love finishing sweet pies with coarse sugar because it adds a little crunch and sparkle. I usually use Sugar in the Raw or these coarse sugar sprinkles, both of which can be found in the baking aisle of major grocery stores.
Lattice Pie Crust
Note that our pie crust recipe yields enough dough for a double crust pie—one for the bottom and one for the top. If you’re new to working with pie dough or need a little troubleshooting, our pie crust tutorial walks you through each step in thorough detail and includes a video, step-by-step photos, and all my tips and tricks for pie crust perfection.
I made a simple lattice pie crust design with thick and thin strips, but decorate the pie however you’d like. You could even skip the top crust and use the crumble topping from our blueberry crumble pie!
Start the Pie at a High Oven Temperature
Why do some pie recipes call for an initially hot oven temperature that you eventually lower? Baking this pie at 400°F (204°C) for 20 minutes helps the pie dough set and activates the cornstarch in the filling (as does heating it on the stove). After that, reduce oven temperature down to 375°F (190°C) to continue baking the pie. We use this same trick when we make blueberry pie.
Do I Need to Par-Bake The Crust for This Cherry Pie?
Before you begin, let me answer a FAQ we receive on this recipe. You do not need to par-bake or blind bake this bottom pie crust. Reducing the filling’s juice on the stove keeps excess liquid off the bottom pie dough, plus we bake the pie for long enough that the bottom crust sufficiently cooks through. It’s helpful to use a glass pie dish so you can see when the sides/bottom of the pie crust has browned.
See Your Homemade Cherry Pies!
Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge! Feel free to email or share your recipe photos with us on social media. 🙂Print
Homemade Cherry Pie
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 7 hours (includes cooling)
- Yield: 8-10 servings
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
This homemade cherry pie is perfectly sliceable with a thick almond-hinted cherry pie filling and a golden brown buttery flaky pie crust. The ingredients are exactly the same as when I originally published the recipe in 2017, but quartering *some* of the cherries instead of just halving and reducing some juices on the stovetop both guarantee that the pie filling will set up perfectly.
- Homemade Pie Crust or All Butter Pie Crust (both recipes make 2 crusts, 1 for bottom and 1 for top)
- 4 and 1/2 cups halved & quartered pitted fresh cherries (see note)
- 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
- 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
- The crust: Prepare either pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract together until thoroughly combined. Cover filling and place in the refrigerator as you roll out the pie dough or for up to 24 hours.
- 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. Use a slotted spoon to spoon and spread the cherries into the crust. Reserve the juice for the next step. Refrigerate pie, uncovered, as you reduce the juices in the next step.
- Pour the few Tablespoons of leftover juice into a small saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until juice has slightly reduced and thickened. Cool for 5 minutes, then pour over cherries in filling. Do your best to gently toss together—doesn’t have to be perfect. The reduction will harden and thicken as a result of mixing with the cold cherries. This is normal and it will melt again in the oven. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- 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. 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.
- Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar, if using.
- 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 30-40 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling juices have been bubbling up around the edges or through the lattice/vents for at least 5 minutes. **After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I recommend placing a pie crust shield on the crust’s edges to prevent it from over-browning too quickly.**
- Remove pie from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool for at least 3-4 hours before slicing and serving. Filling will be too juicy if the pie is warm when you slice it.
- Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead / Freezing Instructions: There are a couple ways to make this pie ahead of time. Prepare the pie in full 1 day in advance—after pie 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 filling (with juices) can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before spooning into dough and reducing the juice.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Cherry Pitter | Glass Mixing Bowl | Rolling Pin | Pie Dish | Pastry Wheel or Pizza Cutter | Pastry Brush | Pie Crust Shield | Cooling Rack
- Cherries: You need about 1.5 lbs of cherries for this recipe. Cut half of the cherries into halves and the remaining half of cherries into quarters. Using a mix of halved and quartered cherries helps keep the baked filling in tact. You can use any variety of cherries. I use all dark sweet cherries in the pictured pie, but also enjoy using a 50/50 combination of dark sweet and Rainier cherries. Feel free to use all Rainier cherries if desired. If using sour cherries, increase sugar to 3/4 or 1 cup depending how sweet you like your pie. You can also use frozen cherries. Halve/quarter them while they’re frozen, then toss with other filling ingredients as instructed. Reduce the juices as instructed as well. Bake time may be a few minutes longer.
Keywords: cherry pie
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hands down best pie recipe! After picking 10 pounds of cherries, I needed an East delicious recipe. Especially after my 14 year old son requested cherry pie. This one is a hit! All of the hints and helpful notes were so nice to have. This pie turned out perfect! And I’m not a pie baker…lol…thank you so much!
This recipe was wonderful. I used fresh cherries from my tree and took a chance and left them whole but followed the rest of the recipe to the tee. It was the first time I have made a cherry pie with fresh cherries. It went over so well I made two others and put one in the freezer.
I was delighted with how the pie came out. Sally never disappoints! I made the filling the day before, so there was ALOT of juice, more than a cup I’m guessing. After cooking it down, there was still a lot, so I didn’t add all of it back to the pie for fear of runny pie (I’ve made a million of those!) However I think the pie could use a little more juice. Has anyone else done the filling the night before and added all of the juice, and ended up with a not-too-runny pie?
It is beautiful and a great pie for the Summer Holidays or Any celebration. Definitely recommend using Rainer or sour cherries as Sally recommended. I used store bought bing cherries which had no flavor, and all we could taste was the cornstarch pasty sugar around tasteless cherries. I was under impressed, as were my guests who barely touched it. Due to the great recipe and instructions I will make again with the correct cherries
Well I have a cherry tree full of tart cherries that I could not let go to waste. It’s an awful job to pit them since 1 did 10 cups for 2 pies. But the work was worth it. That recipe is perfect! It was not to sweet, excellent flavor and heating the remaining juice before adding it to the cherries was an excellent idea since it didn’t make a mess boiling over and the pie consistency was perfect. I froze the one to enjoy for later but the 1st one will be gone in no time. Definitely a favorite here
Absolutely delicious! It was my first time making a fresh cherry pie. I’ll never buy one again! The bit of almond extract enhanced the cherries perfectly. Reduced cherry juice as instructed and cooled and refrigerated the pie for a few hours. Cut beautifully and not runny. Already planning to buy more cherries this week and make another one.
Thanks for your delicious recipe
I tried this recipe with your all butter crust one day i felt like doing something i hadn’t tried before and it was an absolute success!!! the instructions were very easy to follow and i really appreciated the more in-depth explanations. i baked it again today and the whole family loved it! you’ve become my go to blog for baking recipes <3
All the tips that Sally includes with the recipes here are worth their weight in. . .cherries? My first try at a cherry pie was served as dessert at a Father’s Day dinner. Two thumbs up! The crust was flaky, the filling was firm, and the lattice (!) top was golden brown. Be sure to read Sally’s notes ’cause her kitchen has skills!
So glad you loved this recipe, Julie!
This pie was amazing! First real success with a cherry pie holding together when sliced. My family loved it.
Have you tried this with any other fruit such as peaches or blackberries? Any tips on that if you have? Thanks!!
Hi Lana, so glad you loved this recipe! Different fruits have different water contents and baking properties so it’s not always a 1:1 swap. Here’s our peach crumble pie and ginger peach pie recipes. We don’t have a plain blackberry pie recipe, but you could use a mix of blackberries and blueberries in our blueberry pie recipe like we do in this flag pie. Let us know what you try!
Fabulous recipe, made exactly as written except for almond extract (nut allergy household). Best cherry pie we’ve ever had!
Let’s say I don’t have a lemon… can I make without lemon juice? This is my favorite go to pie, but I’ve never made it without the lemon!
Hi Liz! Lemon really brightens up the flavor of the cherries, but you can leave it out or even replace it with 1 Tbs of bourbon. Let us know how it goes!
I had always been reluctant to try pies from scratch, but this pie and crust recipe turned out beautifully on the first try. I’ve made it several times with frozen cherries and it’s so delucious. I also added some frozen blueberries in with the cherries and really added a wonderful spin on the pie! I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe! Time consuming, but well worth the time.
Can you use arrrowroot instead of cornstarch in this receipe
Hi Robin! We haven’t tested that substitute but let us know if you do 🙂
I made the pie and it was super! It looked like it had been snatched off the page of a cookbook. The cherry filling was delicious. It made converts out of some who previously didn’t like cherry pie. Definitely a keeper.
My dad requests a cherry pie every year for his birthday. This was the first time I made one for him and your recipe was perfect! I used your pie crust recipe too, which was so easy to work with, baked up great and tasted great too. I used frozen cherries–1/2 sweet, 1/2 tart and added a bit more sugar than the recipe called for to compensate. I let the cherries thaw in the fridge and then mixed together all the filling ingredients and used a mesh strainer to separate all the liquid. I was nervous about the amount of liquid even after reducing it, but it baked perfectly and wasn’t runny at all. Most importantly, my dad loved it.
Thank you Sally for your incredibly good Homemade Cherry Pie recipe!
I’ve made it four times using frozen cherries: twice with sweet dark cherries, and twice with a mix of sweet and tart cherries. The sweet/tart pies had the best flavor. I also tried it with a crumble topping which was good but for this recipe the crust was a bigger success.
On Pi Day 3/14 I made this recipe with extra filling for a deep dish pie pan, and made my first lattice crust. A hard to please neighbor proclaimed it was The Best Cherry Pie he’d ever eaten.
I so appreciate your good recipes, Sally.
Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Jodi! We’re thrilled you’re enjoying our recipes.
How far in advance can I make a pie before serving it (without freezing)?
Hi Tori, see the recipe notes for make ahead instructions. We recommend serving the pie within 5 days of making it.
I’ve got this pie in the oven now. I had made your cherry pie filling recipe and just poured it into my go-to Pate Brisee Tart Crust. I can not wait to eat this at church pot luck tomorrow!
This was amazing!
We all agreed, however, that it would be fantastic hot with ice cream atop to melt.
What might we change to allow for eating the pie whilst still hot and not be too runny?
Hi Paul, Thank you for trying this recipe. We’re glad you loved it! Once the pie has cooled and set, you can place the pie (covered) in a 300°F (149°C) for 15 minutes or until warmed before serving.
If I only have a 9.5 x 2 pie dish, how many pounds of frozen cherries would I need? Is your recipe based on a 2 inch deep pie pan or 1.5 inch? Thanks!
Hi Rachel, Our pie dish is 9×2 inch so you can make this recipe as written. Happy baking!
Fantastic!!! First time that I’ve ever liked Cherry Pie. No… make that LOVED Cherry Pie!!! Can’t wait to make it again!
I needed a recipe for cherry pie, as my son requested it for his birthday, and I had never baked one before 🙂
I like other recipes of yours that I have tried, so I was happy to find this one!
I made the filling as is, using frozen dark, sweet cherries. Once I had let the cherries sit in the sugar mixture, they reduced to about half the size and I had about a cup of juices in my saucepan. So, I ended up having to add about 3/4 cup more frozen whole cherries to the pie shell, because the shell was only half full. I then cooked the juices on the stove as directed to thicken, and added them to the cherries. With those small additions / modifications, it was wonderful! Thank you for the great recipe!
I made this last year for dinner with friends. They haven’t stopped talking about “the best cherry pie EVER!” And I’ve gotten a request for this pie from them, rather than a birthday cake. Thanks for the great recipe.
This is gorgeous! Can it be made with jarred cherries? They are not in syrup (they are in water). Thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Lori, We haven’t tried it but other readers have reported success using them. Just be sure to drain them first. Enjoy!
Thank you Sally for this amazing recipe! I used frozen cherries and after mixing them with the rest of the ingredients I didn’t put them in the fridge but left them at room temperature so they could produce some liquid.
The advice of using a crust shell is quite a good one. I used aluminium foil and it was tricky and I struggled a bit. They are not expensive so it’s worth investing in one of them. I guess it will make everything easier.
Hello! I am a HUGE fan of your recipes, and I made this recipe on Saturday and it was amazing! I am an American living in South Africa and I made it for guests who have never had cherry pie 😮 They loved it! I have some pie crust leftover and some extra cherries and would like to make it into mini pies, like in a muffin tin. Any suggestions for baking time for them? I’d probably do a crumb topping. Thanks!
Hi Stephanie, We are so happy that the pie was a hit! You can absolutely make mini pies with the leftovers, however we are unsure of the exact bake time you would need. Keep your eye on them and bake until the edges of the crust are lightly browned.
How would you modify the baking instructions if you wanted to use a Graham Cracker Crust (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/how-to-make-a-perfect-graham-cracker-crust/)
Hi Jerad, We have not tried it but you certainly can. For the best chance of the crust holding up to such a wet filling, you’ll want to pre-bake it about 10 minutes at 300°F (149°C) or 7-8 minutes at 350°F (177°C) before adding the filling. Let us know if you give it a try!
Can I substitute the sugar with honey?
Best cherry pie ever. I used your buttery crust recipe and frozen cherries and it turned out perfectly. I cut the top crust with snowflake cutters for New Years and it was perfect.
Success! Thank you so much, I made this today and it came out perfectly! Once cooled it served up in big thick slices without falling apart & the whole family loved that. I’ll be making this one again for sure. Many thanks from Australia
I’d never made this sort of pie before but I followed all your advice and it came out absolutely perfectly! I used your all-butter pie crust recipe, a mixture of frozen sweet and sour cherries, and I even attempted the lattice. Your explanations were so good that even THAT was successful. And, oh, the taste was incredible! My husband never liked cherries (I know, and I still married him) but I’m pretty sure he’s been converted by your pie. Thank you so much for this beautiful, delicious recipe.