This easy homemade classic cherry pie is a favorite in our family! The filling is easy to make, and you can use either sweet or sour cherries. Here are all the tips you need on how to make it perfect.
My best recipe for homemade cherry pie
This homemade cherry pie is my second favorite pie after apple pie, and it’s the best recipe out there. Trust me, I’ve tried quite a few. It has no fancy ingredients, and it tastes divine. Once you’ve pitted the cherries, the hard work is behind you and all that’s left is mixing the ingredients together.
How to make cherry pie
- Start by making the pie crust. I use my pie dough recipe for almost all my pies. It’s a classic recipe for a flaky, buttery crust that’s simply delicious. It will need to chill for at least an hour before rolling out the dough, so this should be done first. Check out my recipe for perfect pie crust to learn all my tips and tricks for making pie dough.
- Roll out the pie dough. Once your pie dough is chilled, roll it out to a ¼-inch thick circle, approximately 12-14-inch in diameter. Line a pie tin, leaving some excess around the edge to make a border. Then, place the pie tin in the refrigerator so it stays cold.
- Make the filling. This step involves pitting the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, read about other tricks here and choose your favorite one. I use a small round tip and it works like a charm. Combine the cherries with the rest of the filling ingredients and place into your pie shell. Top with another layer of pie dough and use a knife to make a few slits in the top so the steam can escape, or make a lattice pie crust.
- Bake. I recommend baking your cherry pie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in case any cherry juice spills over during baking. This can happen as the fruit cooks and bubbles, so baking the pie on a sheet pan just saves you from any unnecessary clean up. Remove from the oven after 40-50 minutes and allow to completely cool before cutting.
Tips for making delicious cherry pie
- Don’t overwork the pie dough, which can result in dense pie crust. Instead, gently combined the liquid with the butter-flour mixture gently just until it comes together.
- Always chill your pie dough before rolling it out. Otherwise, the butter will melt and it will be very soft, making it very sticky.
- I always prefer using fresh cherries for the best flavor and texture, but if you can’t, use thawed frozen cherries or a canned jar and drain the juices well.
- For this cherry pie filling recipe, you can use either sweet cherries for a sweet cherry pie or tart cherries for a sour cherry pie. As you’ll see in the recipe, the only difference between them is the amount of sugar and lemon juice.
- Adjust the sugar to your taste. I use 1 cup for sour cherries and ¾ cup for sweet cherries. Once all the ingredients for the filling are mixed, you can taste it and decide if you want to add more sugar.
- Serve each slice with whipped cream or ice cream for the ultimate treat.
Commonly asked questions
Why do I start baking the pie at a higher temperature and then lower it?
We do this because baking the pie at 425°F for the first 20 minutes allows the crust to set up and solidify so it doesn’t get soggy from the cherry juices. It also activates the cornstarch in the filling. The recipe then calls to finish the baking process at 375°F so the crust doesn’t burn and everything cooks evenly.
Can I freeze cherry pie?
Absolutely, fruit pies like cherry pie and caramel apple pie freeze very well. Once completely cooled, wrap the entire pie in a double layer of plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, put it in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.
Should I par bake the the crust at all?
There’s no need to pre-bake or par bake the crust at all for this pie. It will bake completely in the oven with the filling inside.
What is Kirsch?
Schwarzwälder Kirsch is a German cherry liqueur. Schwarzwäld is a mountain range in Germany where the liqueur is distilled. It translates to the Black Forest mountain rage, which is where Black Forest Cake gets it’s name. Black forest cake is an indulgent cake of cherries, chocolate, and whipped cream. I highly recommend making this cake if you have Kirsch on hand!
More of my favorite cherry recipes:
- Chocolate Cherry Cake: Moist chocolate cake, rich chocolate chips, and juicy cherries make an exquisite combo.
- Almond Cherry Muffins: These muffins are filled with sweet cherries and have a lovely almond scent
- Almond Cherry Cake: Made with almond flour and baked with fresh cherries, this cake is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Tropical Cherry Rum Cocktail: Made with cherry syrup, pineapple juice and blood oranges, topped with fresh whipped cream!
This amazing pie has flaky, buttery pie crust and is filled with sweet cherry filling.
- one recipe double-crust pie dough
- 5 cups stemmed and pitted fresh dark sweet or sour cherries (that’s about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar for sweet cherries, or 1 cup (200g) for sour cherries
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for sweet cherries , or 1½ teaspoons for sour cherries
- Grated zest from ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Kirsch , optional
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into mini cubes
- Cream or milk , for brushing the top crust
- Coarse or granulated sugar , for sprinkling
Roll out the dough: Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough gently into a 9-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pin and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Roll out the other disc in the same fashion, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Make the cherry filling: In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in cherries. Add lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract, and Kirsch and mix to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the lower third of the oven.
Spread cherry filling in an even layer onto pie crust, and dot with butter on top. If you choose to make a lattice pie,this is how
you do it. Otherwise, place the second crust over the filling. Tuck any excess overhang pastry under the bottom crust, then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Make 4 slits in the center to let steam escape while baking. Brush the crust with a thin coating of milk or cream, then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375F/190C and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the slits, about 40-50 minutes longer. Cover the edges of the pie loosely with foil if it starts browning too much while baking.
Allow pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving so that the filling can set. Store pie in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serve warm or at room temperature.