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 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.
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.
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.
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.