Sweet Cherry Pie

DessertCherryPie

Cherry pie made with fresh, sweet cherries, baked in a buttery crust.

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.

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.

Sweet Cherry Pie

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

By the way, it does help to have a good cherry pitter. Those pits can be rather time consuming to remove.

Sweet Cherry Pie Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • 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

  • 5 cups sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling

Method

1 Toss cherries with sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, cornstarch: 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.

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 Place filling in pie, dot with butter, top with top crust, chill: 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.

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).

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.

5 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.

6 Bake: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the pie in 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.

Allow to cool completely before serving.

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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.

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40 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Susan

    I’m a long-time pie baker, but I avoid fruit pies because of their inconsistency in sweetness, runniness, etc. Dark cherries are my favorite fruit in the world and a bargain at this time of year, so I decided to take the plunge and try a cherry pie. LOVED IT! I followed the directions precisely (baked it for the full length of time) and it was not overly juicy at all. I think the key was in not overhandling the cherries when mixing them with the other ingredients and in following the directions to spoon them out rather than just dumping everything into the crust. By doing that, there was a fair amount of sugar-cornstarch mixture in the bottom of the pan that did NOT go in the pie. That was a good thing, allowing the pie to be about the cherries and the crust, not polluted with a cornstarchy goo. This recipe’s a keeper!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Cassie

    Hi there. Have you ever prepared the pie ahead of time and freezed it? We did some cherry picking and made the cherry cobbler yesterday which was amazing! Today we made the pie, but need a break before eating it. Was hoping it wouldn’t be a big deal to freeze before cooking, but not sure if that will make the pie soupy when I cook it. Thanks.

  • Carol

    I just made this pie for the very first time . It is absolutely delicious. Not too sweet , not runny , perfect. I followed the recipe exactly as printed Thank you for this. Oh by the way it is my very first cherry pie ever

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Abby

    Been making this for years and it’s perfect every time. I halve the sugar and it’s

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Angie O.

    Oh, this was a recipe for cherry soup. I blame myself for not reading the other comments. Halfway into baking, I saw that a puddle had gathered into my pie plate. Using a food syringe, I siphoned the juice, cooked it with a ton of corn starch to thicken it, then injected it back into the pie. Waiting now and hoping this salvaged it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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