Impress your guests this summer with a homemade cherry pie recipe! A golden flaky pie crust brimming with a thick glossy filling made from fresh cherries bursting with juicy sweetness is even better when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
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Homemade Cherry Pie
Making a homemade pie is something you can do anytime throughout the year, depending on the season. In the fall, of course, there’s Dutch apple pie, in the spring and summer, we’re all about stone fruit and fresh berry pies, then of course in the winter we’ve got pumpkin pie!
There’s nothing more nostalgic and heart-warming than an easy homemade pie made right from scratch. Or with a few shortcuts if you’re short on time!
This classic cherry pie is one of my family’s favorite summer treats and it makes the perfect dessert for 4th of July. It’s made with a simple cherry pie filling, bursting with the flavors of sweet juicy cherries, inside a buttery flaky pie crust. It’s got the perfect balance of sweet and tart and despite all that it offers, it really is a fuss-free, humble pie.
Remember that you’ll need to chill the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight, so just be prepared for that. Then it’s smooth sailing!
Why This Recipe Works
- Everyone loves pie! Great for picnics, potlucks, backyard cookouts, or just because you want pie and you love cherries. I also know there are plenty of folks out there who prefer birthday pies rather than birthday cakes, well this is the perfect one to celebrate in the summertime!
- Looks impressive. You can decide whether you want to get fancy with a lattice pie crust (don’t worry, it’s not hard), or keep it simple with a bottom pie crust with a crumble topping or streusel topping. Either way, it’s a stunner!
- Customizable. Use this recipe with a different filling depending on what fruit is in season. It’s one you want to keep handy!
Stock up on extra cherries and use them to make cherry pie bars next!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- All-purpose flour: You’re going to want to take great care to measure your flour correctly. This will have an impact on how your pie crust turns out! All-purpose flour is a great choice of flour as it is neutral in taste, holds its structure, and still allows for a light flaky texture.
- Salt: Brings out the flavor in the crust. Otherwise, it would be pretty bland since we’re also using unsalted butter.
- Unsalted butter: Do not remove it from the fridge until just before using it. It needs to be chilled and cut into cubes. Cold butter and cold water are key in achieving a beautiful flaky, buttery crust.
- Ice cold water: This will be added to the flour and butter to help form it into a cohesive dough. Again, it needs to be ice-cold so that it doesn’t melt the butter.
- For the filling: Cornstarch, water, pitted cherries, sugar, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. My recipe for homemade cherry filling has all the details and tips on how to use it for more than just pie.
Best Cherries To Use
I tend to go with Bing cherries as they are quite sweet and easily reduce down to a sweet-tasting syrup. They’re also the easiest to find in grocery stores as they are the most popular.
You also can’t go wrong with Morello cherries as they are probably the best for making the best cherry pie recipe. They are not as sweet as Bing cherries so you’ll need to adjust the sugar to taste.
Queen Anne and Rainier cherries are two other fantastic options. Whatever cherries you decide to use, if they are a bit more sour than they are sweet you may need to add more sugar to your filling.
However, if a store-bought crust is what you want to use, you certainly can.
You can also alter the flavor of your pie filling if you want. Add a bit of cinnamon for warmth, vanilla extract, or almond extract for a taste enhancement.
Although this recipe for cherry pie is from scratch, I won’t tell anyone if you decide to use a canned pie filling instead. I know how busy life can get, so you do you!
How to Make Cherry Pie
- Bring the cherries to a boil. Combined cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch slurry in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Thicken the cherry mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir frequently until the sauce thickens and the cherries have softened. Cool the filling.
- Make the pie dough. In a large bowl, stir the flour and salt. Use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter cubes into the flour until coarse crumbs form. You can use a food processor for this if preferred. Add 1 Tablespoon of cold water at a time until it becomes a dough ball. Cut the dough in half, form each one into 1” disk, and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Lay dough into a pie plate. Bring chilled dough to room temperature for a few minutes then use a rolling pin to roll out one of the pie disks on a well-floured surface. It should be about 1/4” thick and large enough to fit a 9” pie dish. Carefully add it to the pie pan and use your fingers to create ridges if desired. Repeat with the other disk. Leave it whole or cut it into strips for a top lattice crust.
- Add filling. Pour prepared cherry filling into the crust. Add the top crust and fold any excess dough into the edges of the bottom crust. Place on a baking sheet and place in preheated 400°F oven.
- Add top crust and bake. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The top crust should be nice and golden brown and the juices from the filling should be bubbling up.
Tips for Making the Best Cherry Pie
- Use a cherry pitter. It makes the process of removing the pits easier, and cleaner!
- Do not add too much water to the dough, otherwise, it becomes sticky. This is why we use only 1 Tablespoon at a time and stop once the dough has formed.
- The dough must be chilled before using it so that the butter has a chance to solidify once more.
- You will need to bring it to room temperature for about 20 minutes so that it’s easy to work with.
- If you notice the crust browning too quickly as it bakes, cover the edges with foil.
- To make the crust pop with a beautiful golden color, brush the edges of the top crust with an egg wash for the last 10 minutes of baking. Some people even like to sprinkle a bit of coarse sugar on top!
- If possible, use a glass dish. This makes it much easier to see the bottom crust to know when it’s baked until golden.
You can use either fresh or frozen cherries. If using frozen, thaw them slightly and then drain excess water. Reduce the amount of water in the slurry as well, to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup.
If you are looking for a buttery flavor and a flaky texture, butter is the way to go. Shortening can work in a pinch, but it will give you a much more crumbly pie crust.
Certainly! Make two crusts if you can. Double the filling, and then double the recipe. Bake two pies and freeze one for later!
There is no need to blind bake the bottom crust first, for this recipe. The filling isn’t super runny or syrupy. Reducing it as it simmers on the stove, plus the amount it thickens as it cools, is enough so that it won’t make the pie crust soggy.
Keep leftover pie stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze it, allow it to cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Bring it to room temperature before serving, or warm it slightly in the microwave.
More Pie Recipes to Enjoy
Cherry Pie Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups (163 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter , chilled and cubed
- 4-5 Tablespoons ice cold water , add 1 Tablespoon at a time
Cherry Pie Filling
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- 5 cups cherries , pitted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
For serving: Ice cream
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it forms pea-sized crumbles. You'll want to work fast so the butter doesn't have time to warm up. You may also use a food processor for this step, if preferred.
- Adding 1 Tablespoon water at a time, stir until the dough comes together to form a ball. Stop adding water when this happens or you will end up with sticky dough.
- Cut the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. I like to press them into a 1-inch disk so it's easier to roll out. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
Cherry Pie Filling
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch slurry.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Stirring frequently, simmer 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and cherries have softened.
- Cool to room temperature then chill until ready to use.
Assemble the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Once the dough is chilled, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes. On a well-floured surface, roll out 1 disc of dough to about 1/4-inch thick (big enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan). I like to start rolling from the center and then roll out. Turn dough a 1/4 turn and continue rolling from the center out. Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
- Fold the dough in half and then carefully transfer to a pie pan. Roll out the second disc of dough about 1/4-inch thick (big enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan). Leave whole or cut into strips for a lattice topping (see notes).
- Pour the cherry pie filling into the pie crust. Cover with the second half of of dough or lattice strips. Fold any excess dough into the edges of the bottom crust and pinch to close the seam. With a sharp knife, cut several slits into the top crust. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes. Cover the edges with foil if browning too quickly. Leaving the pie in the oven, reduce heat to 375°F. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven. Let cool on a cooling rack at least 3 to 4 hours to let the filling set. Serve with ice cream.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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