The first recipe my Mom every made of mine was Fresh Cherry Pie. I was visiting late July several years ago and she wanted to bake together. Craving cherries, we both decided homemade pie was the best choice! After pitting a few bags of ripe bing cherries by hand, stained and finger cramping we were determined to see the recipe through. Later, with purple hands we devoured half the pie. I highly suggest you grab a cherry pitter if you don’t want red juice everywhere.
What makes this the best cherry pie recipe you’ll ever make?!
- NO canned cherry pie filling!
- NO store bought pie crust!
What cherries make the best pie?
The best cherries for your cherry pie filling can be whichever are you’re favorite! A mix of rainier cherries and dark sweet cherries is always a great choice. You can use all of one variety or mix based on your personal taste..
Fresh or Frozen Cherries?
I recommend always using fresh cherries when making a pie. The frozen cherries can become quite soggy and will create a soupy messy center pie filling.
Fresh Cherry Pie Filling Recipe
Not too much extra needed in the filling other than sweet cherries. Sugar and cornstarch are used to sweeten and thicken the juices. To add some enhanced flavor a little lemon juice, a bit of vanilla, almond extract and my favorite addition of all: orange zest. Cherry, almond extract and orange zest are an amazing flavor trio!! A tastebud excitement you must to try in this homemade cherry pie. Plus I use it in my Cherry Scones Recipe too!
Make Fresh Cherry Pie Filling Two Ways
A cold filling is important with pie to prevent warming up the buttery pie crust. But you can make this pie filling two different ways.
Stir and Chill: Mix your filling ingredients in a bowl and set in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes while you prep you pie crusts. Then simply scoop the filling into the bottom crust, discarding any leftover juices at the bottom of the bowl. Continue with top pie crust, chill the entire before baking, then bake as instructed.
Cook and Rest: Mix your filling in a skillet and stir on medium heat until thickened. Continue to stir the filling the entire time to prevent over cooking and sticking to the pan. This will take about 8 minutes. Remove filling from heat. Transfer to heat safe bowl and allow to cool completely.
Transfer cooked filling into the bottom crust. Continue with top pie crust, chill the entire before baking, then bake as instructed.
Finishing Pie Crust Touches!
Egg Wash: The beaten egg for egg wash is gently brushed on top of the pie crust. Why is egg wash needed? Well, it helps to develop a gold brown crust. Without an egg wash the crust will still darken but not that lovely shiny golden color. It also adds a little extra flavor!
Coarse Sugar: Because that little bit of sparkly sugar adds not only visual appeal but a nice sweet crunch to the pie crust. You can totally skip this step, but come on we all like a little extra sweetness!
Tips for Fresh Cherry Pie
- The secret to the amazing flavor of this pie is the hint of Almond Extract. It’s very powerful so don’t go over the recommended measurement. It adds an amazing richness to the cherries!
- Use fresh bing cherries, washed, stems and pits removed.
- Make my dependable Homemade Pie Crust, and divide in half. One for the base and one for top crust.
- Make your pie crusts in advance, wrap in plastic and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake the pie, set the crusts on the counter to warm slightly so they are malleable.
- Roll crust out to ⅛-1/4 inch thickness and line the bottom of the dish. Gently press into corners with fingers and trim away the overhang with a knife.
- Use a rubber spatula to level the cherry filling before adding the top crust.
- Set the pie dish in the fridge while you rill out second pie crust dough and cut strips for lattice.
- Its important to keep the dough cold.
- Remove pie pan from fridge and apply lattice in desired shape across the top of the cherries. Or a single layer of crust with a few slits in the middle to release heat.
- Gently brush the top layer of crust or lattice with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
- Place entire pie in the fridge to chill and firm for about 20 minutes while oven is preheating.
Store Cherry Pie
Cover entire cooled pie or leftovers in an air tight container or wrap in aluminum foil. Then place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cherry Pie à la Mode!
Yep, Pie à la Mode literally means “fashionable pie”. That my friends is pie topped with ice cream!! Now, I usually serve my cherry pie with vanilla bean ice cream, but any fruity ice cream will do. Bonus points if you have cherry ice cream!
More Fresh Cherry Recipes
FAQ’S for Fresh Cherry Pie
Can you substitute the fruit? Yes you can! Feel free to swap out the cherries for strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries.
Can I use frozen cherries? I recommend only using fresh cherries for this pie. Frozen cherries have a lot of moisture and can make the filling too soggy.
Can I freeze Cherry Pie? Baked pie will stay fresh frozen for up to 3 months. Place cooled pie in an air tight container or cover pie dish completely with two layers of aluminum foil and seal the edges. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Fresh Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie Filling
- 5-6 Cups Fresh Bing Cherries stems removed, pitted
- ¼ Cup Cornstarch
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- Sparkling Sugar for sprinkling
- 1 Egg Stirred with fork
- 1 teaspoon Whole Milk
- Make Homemade Pie Crust recipe and divide into two crusts. One crust for base and one crust for top crust.
Cherry Pie Filling
- In a large bowl, stir together cornstarch, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon juice.
- Add cherries to bowl and gently stir with a rubber spatula to coat the cherries. Then prepare either of two ways.
- Method 1: Place filling in fridge to rest and chill for 20 minutes. Scoop filling into bottom pie crust, discarding any leftover juices.
- Method 2: Transfer to a large skillet and cook on medium high heat. Continuously stir until the mixture starts to thicken about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool to room temperature.
Make the Cherry Pie
- Place one Pie Crust on a floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch thickness.
- Use a 9 inch pie dish. Gently lift and place dough into dish. Gently press into bottom and corners, then cut off excess overhang.
- Coat the bottom layer of crust (not the sides) with a thin layer of Almond Flour to absorb juices while baking. (optional)
- Spoon Cherry Pie Filling into dough lined baking dish.
- Set the pie dish in the fridge while you roll out second pie crust dough. Either roll out to one large circle of same thickness and leave whole or cut into strips for lattice. Roll dough to same ⅛-1/4 inch thickness.
- Remove pie pan from fridge and apply top layer of crust. Using cold water, dab in between the with your fingertips to seal the two crusts together. Crimp edges where the two crusts meet with your fingers to seal the pie around the edges. Cut slits in center of top pie crust with sharp knife to release steam. I cut three little tear drop shapes. ( If you decide to make a lattice top, leave room between lattice strips for air to escape.)
- Gently brush the lattice with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. (Stir the egg and milk together in a cup with a fork to make egg wash.)
- Place entire pie in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes. Preheat Oven to 400 F (204 C).
- Bake on middle rack for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F (176 C) and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and cherry juices are bubbling.
- Place pie dish on cooling rack and let cool for 2 hrs to let juices set. Enjoy!