Sweet Cherry Pie

DessertCherryPie

Cherry pie filled with ripe sweet cherries is a summer favorite. This easy pie can be made with fresh or frozen sweet cherries. A touch of almond extract in the filling and a light hand with the sugar helps the cherries shine.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Most commercial cherry pies, and the cherry pies my grandmother used to make for us growing up, are made with sour cherries, which are bright, bright red, and almost impossible to find fresh.

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But if you have access to fresh sweet cherries when they are in season (or even frozen out of season), you can easily make a pie with them, too!

What makes the recipe work is to not add too much sugar. The cherries are already naturally sweet. We also add some almond extract to the filling.

There’s something magical about the flavors combination of cherries and almonds (see our cherry clafouti), and they work great in the pie.

From the editors of Simply Recipes

The Best Cherries for Pie

Look for dark, sweet Bing cherries for this pie. Yellow-red Rainier cherries will also work just fine, but they have a milder flavor than Bings and will therefore make a more mild-tasting pie.

Make sure your cherries are firm and plump. Avoid cherries that look shriveled or blemished.

Frozen cherries can also be used to make pie. Just let them thaw completely in a colander before making your pie.

How to Pit Your Cherries

As Elise says, "It does help to have a good cherry pitter. Those pits can be rather time consuming to remove." If you don't have a cherry pitter try one of these options:

  • Hit the cherry with the flat of a knife and remove the pit
  • Use a bamboo chopstick to poke out the pit
  • Use a paperclip to snag the pit
  • Push the pits out using a pastry tip.

Read more about these methods here: 4 Ways to Pit Cherries if You Don't Have a Cherry Pitter.

The Best Pie Crust for Cherry Pie

Elise likes an all-butter pie crust for her Cherry Pie, but any favorite pie crust will work for this recipe (even a store-bought one).

Want to make a lattice top crust for your pie? Follow the steps and photos laid out in this post.

Make Ahead Instructions for Cherry Pie

Good news! Cherry pie is best made ahead and cooled completely to room temperature before serving. As tempting as it is to slice into the pie fresh out of the oven, you'll get cleaner slices if you wait.

Your baked pie will keep at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for about three days. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 5 days, but the crust tends to stale more quickly.

You can also freeze the entire pie. Let it cool completely, then wrap tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Love Cherries? Try These Recipes!

Updated July 21, 2020 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Sweet Cherry Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Pie chilling before baking time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings

We've used 1/2 cup of sugar for the filling, which results in a pie not overly sweet. You may want to use more or less sugar, depending on how sweet you would like your pie to be, and how sweet your cherries are.

Ingredients

  • Pie dough for top and bottom 9 or 10-inch pie (see pie crust recipe)
  • 5 cups sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling

Method

1 Make the cherry filling: Place the pitted cherries, sugar, almond extract, lemon juice and cornstarch in a large bowl. Toss until the cherries are well coated with the sugar and other ingredients.

A metal bowl with fresh cherries coated in sugar show how to make cherry pie.

2 Roll out bottom crust: On a lightly floured clean surface, roll out the bottom crust. Form it into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edges so that they extend beyond the edge of the pie pan by 1 inch. Place in the refrigerator while you roll out the top crust.

3 Roll out top crust: Roll out the top crust to about the same size as the bottom crust. If you want to make a lattice top (it's pretty and it's easy to do) follow these instructions for making a lattice pie crust.

4 Fill the pie: Use a slotted spoon to lift the cherries out of the bowl and put them in the pie plate. (Leave any excess liquid behind.) Dot with small dabs of butter. Cover with the top crust. Trim the edges. Crimp to seal the edges together.

How to make cherry pie by using a homemade crust and filling it with cherry pie filling. Unbaked homemade cherry pie on a counter and filled with cherry pie filling. A lattice top crust is constructed over the sweet cherries.

5 Score the pie and chill: Score the top crust with several cuts so that the steam can escape while the pie is cooking (unnecessary if you are making a lattice crust). Chill the pie for 30 minutes before cooking.

6 Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

7 Brush with egg wash (optional): In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water or milk. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.

8 Bake: Place the pie on the middle rack, with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any pie drippings.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350°F and cook for 45 to 55 minutes longer, or until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is thick and bubbly.

How to make a cherry pie from scratch using sweet cherries and a lattice crust. The pie is baked in a metal pan pan and the crust is golden brown.

9 Allow to cool completely before serving. Store pie covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

64 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Deborah

    The best dark sweet cherry pie I’ve ever had.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Vicki

    Overall, this is a really good recipe (using the All-butter Crust). The first time I made it, I used way too many cherries since I read it as 5lbs of pitted cherries. Even in a deep dish, it took over 2 hrs to cook and was just too much. This should be 5lbs pre-pitted which equals to about 3-3.5lbs pitted cherries. This was my misinterpretation, not the recipe

    With the correct weight of cherries, the pie had just the right amount of juice and flavoring. I cut the cherries in half to pit them. This made pitting soooo much easier. I think it also makes for juicier cherries. This means using 6 tbsp of cornstarch was perfect.

    While my hubby prefers the sour cherries, using only 1/2c of sugar worked great for the sweet cherries. Thanks for posting. We enjoyed the pie and I had a good time making it!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  3. Carol H

    Not worth the effort; left the “excess” liquid behind as per instructions in filling the pie and the filling never firmed up. Cut two slices (both uneaten after one bite each) and threw the rest away. Will try something else tomorrow as I bought another pound of bing cherries today (just in case).

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Kate

    I have been using this site for years to make just about everything and this is the first SimplyRecipes recipe that absolutely did not work. The corn starch called for is about 5-6 times too much. (1 or 2 tablespoons is sufficient — if you do make this recipe, hold back on so much corn starch unless you want a gluey, gelatinous pie.) Sweet cherries just don’t have the flavor (when cooked) that sour cherries do. It takes a long time to pit 5 cups of cherries, and the resulting pie is just not worth it. Most of ours went uneaten.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. robert

    This is basically the same recipe I have used successfully for years and years. I normally only use tart cherries for the taste . The top crust I sprinkle with cinnamon as the egg and sugar coating reminds me of the tasteless store bought pie that have very little filling

    xxxxxyyyyy

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A slice of a cherry pie with a fresh cherry filling visible on the plate.Sweet Cherry Pie