Is there anything more classic than a homemade cherry pie? I think not. You’ll love this easy cherry pie made with fresh cherries, a flaky pie crust, and a hint of cinnamon!
Homemade Cherry Pie
We’re sharing the most classic of desserts today. While a unique twist is always fun, classics are a classic for a reason and cherry pie is no exception. It’s nostalgic, perfectly sweet, seasonal, and a serious crowd pleaser. Now I know there are a lot of cherry pie recipes out there, but I think this might be the best cherry pie I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a LOT of pie. The pie crust is buttery and flaky; the cherries are perfectly sweet and bursting with fresh flavor, and a hint of cinnamon rounds out the flavor to make this the ultimate homemade cherry pie.
Plus it’s going to be a show stopper for the 4th of July.
Ingredients for Cherry Pie
Like most timeless recipes, cherry pie calls for classic, wholesome ingredients you probably have on hand! And for something so ridiculously delicious, you’ll be surprised to know that this cherry pie recipe only calls for 8 ingredients!
Cherries: Well, duh. But you do have some options. We used a combination of fresh dark sweet cherries and rainier cherries, but the great thing about pie is that it’s super customizable!
Sugar: Cherries are naturally sweet so you’ll only need a little bit. Feel free to adjust to your taste and the sweetness of your fruit!
Corn Starch: Corn starch is the key to avoiding a soupy pie! Just two Tablespoons will do the trick!
Cinnamon: A lot of cherry pies call for almond extract (and if you prefer that you totally can use it), but we found a hint of cinnamon warmed the whole flavor profile up and really brought out the cherries!
Salt: Repeat after me, “Baked goods NEED salt.” We loves sweets, but sweet things taste better with a little pinch of salt to deepen the flavor profile.
Vanilla Extract: Make sure you’re using pure vanilla extract!
Pie Crust: You can use a store bought pie crust, but we highly recommend using a homemade one–it’s so worth it!
Egg: You’ll need an egg for the egg wash to brush the crust before it goes into the oven to give it that nice golden shine. If desired, you can also top the crust with turbinado sugar for an extra crunch!
What kind of cherries? Cooked cherry filling vs uncooked, fresh vs frozen…what’s the verdict?
Cooked vs Uncooked Filling
It’s our duty to try everything out and find the very best version of a recipe for you to make. So you best believe we tried every darn way to make cherry pie. From frozen dark sweet cherries, a mix of sour and sweet cherries, half frozen half fresh…we did it ALL. Everyone likes a pie that has a little bit of that syrupy, jammy-ness to it, but there’s also something beautiful about fresh fruit. So we said, why not…both?!
We cooked half the cherries down and left half of them as is! Simply fold the cooked cherries together with the uncooked and pour into your pie crust. This gives you the best of both worlds!
Fresh vs Frozen
The second big question everyone asks about homemade cherry pie filling is if you should use fresh or frozen cherries. You know we are all about using fruits when they’re in season, so generally we would always say fresh. Plus, truly nothing compares to fresh cherries in our opinion. That being said, we did try this with frozen cherries and they do still produce a delicious pie.
Our advice? If you can (IE: if it’s cherry season) use fresh cherries, but if frozen is all you have you can totally do that too! Now if you do use fresh cherries, it is a little more intensive because you’ll have to pit them.
How do you pit cherries for cherry pie?
Now if you do decide to go with fresh cherries, I gotchu guys. All you need is a straw. We love to use a metal one, because 1) the environment, and 2) it’s more durable, but you can always use a standard plastic straw as well. Simply take your cherry and poke the straw through until it hits the pit, then continue to push through until the pit is pushed out the other side. Congrats–pitted cherries!
Now I know that pie can be a lot of work and can feel a little intimidating, but believe me when I tell you that using a homemade pie crust and a fresh cherry filling instead of a can is so so so so SO worth it.
p.s We HIGHLY recommend serving this with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.
Happy almost weekend and happy cherry pie baking, lovebugs!
Prepare two pie crusts according to directions. If using homemade pie crusts, make sure you have two–one for the bottom and one for the top lattice!
When ready to make your pie, preheat the oven to 400° F.
In medium pot over medium heat, combine half of the pitted cherries with the sugar, salt and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Cook the cherries down, stirring constantly until the cherries have broken down and are a jam consistency, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon if using.
Mix the cooked down cherries, and the remaining 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with with the uncooked cherries. Set aside.
Roll out the bottom pie crust on a floured work surface, to 1/4 inch thickness. The circle should be larger than your pie pan circle (ie: if your pie pan is 9 inches, make the circle 11 inches). Carefully place dough into pie pan, pushing into the pan, leaving the overhang over the edges. Spoon the filling into the pie crust.
Roll out second pie disk into a circle big enough so it reaches the edges of the pie pan. Cut dough into strips. We cut our dough into equal width strips, but feel free to vary! Weave the threads over and under each other, draping the edges over the bottom pie crust. Have fun with it–it doesn’t have to be perfcet! After you’re done weaving the lattice, pinch the bottom and top crusts together and roll the edges in towards the pie to seal the pie. Flute the edges of the pie and smooth out any imperfections.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg with 1 Tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to evenly brush the pie. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the cherry filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving with ice cream or whipped cream!
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Or use any double pie crust of your choosing! You can use a premade crust–just make sure you have two of them!
We used half rainier and half dark sweet cherries, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Just keep in mind that rainier cherries will not produce a deep red pie like you see here!