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Fresh Cherry Pie is one of the BEST ways to enjoy cherry season!
Fresh, dark, sweet cherries baked in a buttery, flaky crust – there’s nothing like it!
If canned pie filling has been your only experience with cherry pie, you owe it to yourself to try this easy recipe. Fresh cherry pie is not difficult to make and tastes amazing. As with many fruit-centric pies, if you do it right, the berries, cherries, or fruit will do most of the work for you.
How to make fresh Cherry Pie:
If making your own homemade double pie crust you’ll need:
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- unsalted butter
- solid shortening, like Crisco
- ice cold water
For the fresh cherry filling you’ll need these ingredients:
- granulated sugar
- almond extract
- quick-cooking tapioca
- lemon juice and zest
- fresh or frozen sweet cherries
- unsalted butter
1. First prepare the double crust pie pastry.
We recommend using our easy Pie Crust recipe which makes the perfect amount of pastry for this double crust pie. Our pie crust dough can be prepared up to three days ahead and refrigerated until needed.
You can also make the dough and freeze for up to three months. To thaw, place the frozen disk in the refrigerator overnight and you’ll be ready to roll-out the dough the next morning. Don’t be afraid to make your own pie crust. We’ve included a step-by-step video to help you along the way!
Feel free to use store-bought frozen or refrigerated pie crust, if preferred.
2. Next, prepare the easy cherry filling.
In a large bowl combine the sugar, almond extract, a pinch of salt, tapioca, cinnamon, lemon juice and lemon zest.
For fresh cherry pie you’ll want to pick up an inexpensive cherry pitter. We’ve had our cherry pitter for years and find it easy to use and easy to clean. It removes the pits from 4 cherries at one time. Once you have 6 cups of pitted cherries, add them to the sugar mixture.
Toss everything together and set aside for 15 minutes while rolling out the pie crust.
You’ll want to use a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate for this cherry pie. Fit the bottom crust into the pie plate and fill with the cherry mixture. Roll out the top crust and fit over the cherries. Cut a few slits for the steam to escape and bake!
Can you use frozen cherries for this Cherry Pie Recipe?
Frozen, pitted cherries will also work great in this pie. Measure out 6 cups of frozen cherries, then allow them to thaw before adding to the filling. Bake and enjoy! If you find yourself with plenty of fresh cherries this year, or happen to own a cherry tree, pit the cherries and flash freeze and enjoy cherry pie all year!
Can you eat fresh Cherry Pie warm from the oven?
Warm cherry pie is pretty amazing. However, if you allow the pie to come to room temperature before slicing the filling will hold together better. If you don’t mind a super juicy slice of pie, cut a piece and put it in a bowl. Top with vanilla ice cream and dig in!
Can you make a lattice design for the top crust?
Any kind of design for the top crust will work. We love a pretty lattice crust, especially with all the juices bubbling up in between the pastry. You can even use cookie cutters to cut out star shapes like we did for this Nectarine Blueberry Pie. This would be an easy way to decorate a pie especially if using store-bought pie crust.
Does Cherry Pie need to be refrigerated?
Once sliced, I recommend refrigerating any leftover cherry pie. The filling will be more firm but still just as tasty. Leftover cherry pie will keep for 4 or 5 days if well sealed and refrigerated.
Can you freeze cherry pie?
My grandmother used to freeze entire pies before they are baked. I think cherry pie is a great candidate for this option. Personally I have not tried freezing an unbaked cherry pie, but would be confident to do so, given the opportunity. Thaw the frozen pie overnight in the refrigerator, then allow it to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Individual slices of cherry pie freeze well, if sealed in an airtight container.
How can you avoid a soggy bottom on a double crust pie?
We have a simple fool-proof method to ensure our bottom crust doesn’t get soggy. Place a heavy-duty foil-lined baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven while it preheats. When you put the pie in the oven to bake, the bottom gets a bit of a head start when it comes in contact with the hot stone. The bottom crust bakes up nice and crisp and not at all soggy!
What are the best kind of cherries to use in Cherry Pie?
There are two main varieties of cherries. One is sweet and the other sour. Sweet cherries are the most common found in grocery stores as they can be eaten out-of-hand. Sour or tart cherries are not very edible by themselves, but are great used in pies and sweet desserts.
Sour cherries are harder to find but will work well in this recipe, too. I recommend increasing the sugar by at least 1/3 cup if using sour cherries. You can also omit the lemon juice and zest.
Taste your fresh cherries and see if they’re already pretty sweet. If so, you can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe to 2/3 or 3/4 cup.
Tips for making fresh Cherry Pie:
- If pitting your own cherries, double check that the pit has been completely removed. Sometimes these little buggers hide and don’t come out when put through a pitter.
- Adjust the amount of tapioca using 3 tablespoons for a juicier pie, or up to 1/4 cup for a thicker filling.
- If using frozen cherries, measure while frozen. Allow the frozen cherries to thaw completely before baking.
- Leave the filling mixture to rest for at least 15 minutes before filling the pie. Tapioca is best dissolved in the cherry juices before being baked.
- Allow the baked pie to rest at room temperature for a few hours to allow the juices to thicken.
- Serve cherry pie topped with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
More great recipes featuring fresh sweet cherries!
- Easy Cherry Almond Breakfast Cake
- Classic Cherry Clafoutis
- Luscious Cherry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate
- Cherry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt Pops
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Fresh Cherry Pie
- Double pie crust pastry, unbaked
- 1 cup granulated sugar (222g)
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, or up to 4 tablespoons for thicker filling
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 6 cups fresh or frozen sweet cherries (2 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon milk for brushing on top before baking
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
- Prepare the double crust pie pastry. Divide into two disks and refrigerate until needed.
- Line a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet or pizza stone with foil. Place in the oven and preheat oven to 400°F degrees.
- Wash the cherries and drain. Remove the stems and pits.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, almond extract, salt, tapioca, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Fold in the pitted cherries and set aside for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- While the cherries rest, roll half the pastry into a circle large enough to fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with a 1-inch overhang. Gently ease the pastry into the pie pan taking care not to stretch the dough.
- Pour the sugar and cherry mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Dot with pieces of butter and refrigerate while rolling out the top crust.
- Roll out the remaining disk of pastry and fit over the cherries. Crimp and seal the crust as desired. Cut a few vents for the steam to escape.
- Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and milk mixture, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Place the pie on the preheated baking pan and bake for 25 minutes at 400°F. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before serving, about 2 or 3 hours.
Originally published February 2011, updated June 2020