Easy Homemade Cherry Pie

How to make cherry pie from scratch with a lightly sweetened filling of fresh (or frozen) cherries, vanilla, and almond extract. It’s to die for. Jump to the Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe

Easy Homemade Cherry Pie

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie

This cherry pie recipe is so easy — All you need to do is mix, fill and bake. The hardest part is pitting the cherries. For that, you might want to buy a cherry pitter or if you’re like us, cheat and use one of our suggestions below for how to pit cherries without a cherry pitter.

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie

Stir cherries with sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts then stir. Roll out a pie crust (or use store-bought), fill then top with another crust. Bake and cool. It’s that easy.

To be honest, the hardest part is actually waiting for the pie to cool — you really want to wait 2 to 3 hours before cutting into the pie. We know — it’s torture!

Using Sweet or Tart Cherries

As far as the cherries go, we like to use fresh cherries, but if you need to, use thawed frozen or canned/jarred cherries. (We share notes for both options in the recipe below). Both sweet and tart cherries will work well in this pie. We usually use sweet because fresh tart cherries are almost impossible to find where we live. No matter which you use, be sure to check for how sweet they are then adjust the sugar accordingly. We love serving each slice with freshly whipped cream, but ice cream would be divine.

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

We have a small kitchen. That means that we only buy what we need on a weekly basis and while we would love to eat a slice of this cherry pie every night  that just can’t happen. So, we don’t have a cherry pitter in the house. That didn’t stop us, though. We just looked around and figured out two ways to pit cherries without a cherry pitter.

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

On the top, you’ll see we used a chopstick. We used the thicker round end to push the pit out of each cherry. The second option was to use a small piping tip. Place it onto the work surface then push the cherry down onto the tip — the pit pops right out. Of the two, we preferred using chopsticks. Both work, but the chopsticks were a little less messy.

Recipe updated, originally posted May 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Homemade Cherry Pie

  • PREP
  • COOK

Making cherry pie is easy – all you need is a little patience when pitting the cherries. We promise it’s worth it. You can use sweet cherries, sour cherries or a combination of both, just remember to dial the sugar back or up depending on what you choose.

You can buy a cherry pitter, however, if you do not have one try using the thicker round end of a chopstick to push the pits out of the middle of each cherry. Another option is to push each cherry down onto a piping tip. The sugar amount for this recipe varies depending on how sweet your cherries are. Add to your taste. We like to use fresh cherries for this, but you can use canned (see note below).

One 9-inch pie, approximately 8 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Chilled pie dough for top and bottom 9-inch pie (see our pie crust recipe)

4 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries, see note if using frozen or canned (2 1/2 pounds, unpitted)

1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch

2/3 to 3/4 cup (135 to 150 grams) sugar, adjusted accordingly to sweetness of cherries

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream

Additional sugar for topping crust (coarse sugar is a nice option)


  • Make Filling
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, stir sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon juice and the salt together then add cherries. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.

    • Prepare and Fill Crust
    • Remove half of dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch (1/8-inch thick) circle. (Occasionally, check if dough is sticking to the surface — add a small amount of flour when necessary).

      Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. Carefully press the dough into the dish.

      Spoon cherry pie filling into pie crust. Discard most of the liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Dot filling with little squares of cold butter.Cherry-Pie-Recipe-Step-1

      • Top Pie
      • Roll out second half of dough then top pie. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish.

        Fold edges of top crust underneath edges of bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside (see photo, we know that was wordy — you can see us do it in our pie crust recipe video, too). Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.Cherry-Pie-Recipe-Step-2

        • Bake Pie
        • Just before baking, make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Then, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, cut 3 to 4 slits in top of pie.

          Bake for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling. Cool pie at least 2 hours, preferably 3, before cutting to allow filling to set.

          Note – It might be helpful to bake the pie on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil so any juices that drip over the pie dish are caught.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • For canned cherries: Use 4 cups of canned or bottled cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved for adding to the cherry filling.
  • For frozen cherries: Use 4 cups of thawed cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved for adding to the cherry filling.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/8 of pie / Calories 515 / Protein 6 g / Carbohydrate 66 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 30 g / Total Fat 26 g / Saturated Fat 17 g / Cholesterol 91 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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122 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Stacy Palmer March 30, 2019, 6:15 pm

    My favorite thing to use to pit cherries, is a #2 pencil. Take the eraser out and push the sharp and through the cherry. Easiest thing ever.

  • Cindy Thomas December 12, 2018, 5:48 pm

    I made 3 individual pies with only 500gms of cherries, I have never pitted cherries before and using the chopstick worked wonerfully. I didn’t make my pastry rounds big enough but still worked and tasted delicious.

  • Jennifer Mustafa October 9, 2018, 1:46 pm

    Turned out amazing. I had to use Oregon tart red cherries in water (3 cans) because the cherries are out of season. I used about a 1/2 can of the water. I did forget to put the bit of butter on the top of the cherries before the top crust. The pie crust was perfect. My husband and kids loved it even though they initially refused to taste it. The next day my husband was trying to figure out where I hid the leftovers.

  • Wanda July 30, 2018, 3:09 pm

    I used a hard plastic (reusable kind) straw to pit the cherries, worked great!

  • Ana July 25, 2018, 11:56 pm

    I used fresh sweet cherries. I drained liquid when putting in pie but after it cooled there was still so much liquid. Not happy with the results.

  • Elizabeth Haginuh July 10, 2018, 5:32 pm

    Using a potato peeler made it so easy to pit cherries! Poke it in the stem area and almost every time the pit came out when I pulled the peeler out.

  • Clint July 6, 2018, 10:23 pm

    Chopstick method worked great for me. I poked the end to break skin and then flipped to pull stem and/or push out pit. Did about seven pounds of them. But I had only prepped enough dough for one pie. Followed the crust recipe. I could have used a bit more dough for my 9” cast iron skillet (pie pan MIA). Modified the fresh cherry filing recipe only slightly. Cooked them a bit along with other ingredients and a few ounces of spiced rum. Neglected to fully read the base crust recipe for all details. Poured warm filing into crust and did not chill before popping in oven. Still turned out with a thin crispy bottom.

  • Sam Sharp July 6, 2018, 6:39 pm

    I don’t know how this pie is going to turn out because it’s in the oven right now but I just gotta say that the chopstick pitting method didn’t work for me either. Went with the old tried and true paperclip method. Slow but helps keep cherries intact.

  • Henley L Harrison June 30, 2018, 5:51 pm

    So I don’t have a cherry pitter and I tried to use the chopstick method and let me just say-it was a complete disaster! The first four cherries I tried just fell apart from the small point of pressure that the chopstick uses. I didn’t feel like trying to search for my piping tips, and I had reservationss about trying that out anyway because of my attempt with the chopstick. Instead I grabbed one of my hard, thick straws made for tumblers, the ones that have the little rounded circle to keep the straw from falling out of the lid (just look up tumbler straws to get an idea of what I mean if this description made little sense). THIS WORKED LIKE A CHARM. No splitting of the cherries, and the simple movement of twisting with little pressure had my pits popping out in no time.

  • Dusty Epley June 26, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Just made this recipe with Washington Rainier cherries and fresh blueberries. I didn’t change anything except I used store bought pie crusts. When I took the pie out it was very liquidy so I just drained the excess from the pie and when it was cooled it was fine. I love the addition of the blueberries it tasted amazing with the cherries?

  • Molly Jones May 18, 2018, 1:28 pm

    The filling turned out great with my frozen sweet cherries. top of pie crust was perfect – bottom crust not even close to being cooked. Maybe it is because I put a cookie sheet under pie to catch any spill (which there was none of) 🙁 Will have to try again – guess I am not a pie baker!

    • Jennie May 25, 2021, 1:39 pm


  • Janice December 15, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Well I made it and it was amazing. Hubby off to Gelorup for more of the best cherries in Oz. Thanks…

  • Kitty stuckman September 18, 2017, 12:47 pm

    After putting the pie in the oven I realized I had 1/4 cup of juice that was reserved off my frozen for cherries , so went back and still never found written down as to when and where to use it ???

    • Adam September 20, 2017, 5:41 pm

      Hi Kitty, In the notes section we mention the following: For frozen cherries: Use 4 cups of thawed cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved for adding to the cherry filling.

      • Connie March 25, 2018, 5:46 pm

        I poured some of the leftover juice into my homemade cherry vodka and added some sugar to the rest and drank it!

  • Beverly August 14, 2017, 4:50 am

    I made this pie with a quart jar of sweet cherries purchased from an Amish stand in Michigan. I only had 3 cups of cherries. I used 1/2 cup of sugar as they were already sweet. I forgot to add the butter on top but the pie was great anyway. The filling did not run out and the consistency was perfect. The almond flavor was just right. I would definitely make this again. I did not use the crust recipe supplied though.

  • Teresa August 10, 2017, 11:23 pm

    This cherry pie looks farily easy to make. I am going to try to make it. Wish me luck.


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