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).
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)
Heat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, stir sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon juice, and salt together, then add cherries. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.
Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for five minutes.
Roll out the dough to a 13-inch (1/8-inch thick) circle on a lightly floured surface. (Occasionally, check if the dough is sticking to the surface — add a small amount of flour when necessary).
Check for size by inverting the pie dish over the dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. Then, carefully place the dough into the dish.
Spoon cherry pie filling into the pie crust. Discard most of the liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Dot the filling with little squares of cold butter.
Roll out the second half of the dough, then top the pie. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish.
Fold the edges of the top crust underneath the edges of the 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.
Crimp the 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 watch us do it in our pie crust recipe video, too).
Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.
Before baking the pie, make the 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 one tablespoon of sugar. Cut three to four slits on top of the pie.
Place the pie dish onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil or parchment paper to catch any juices overflowing the sides as it bakes.
Bake in a preheated oven (400° Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350° Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling.
Cool the pie for at least two hours, preferably three, before cutting to allow filling in the middle to set.