This flaky Homemade Cherry Pie is an old fashioned cherry pie recipe made with fresh cherries, sugar, lemon, and a hint of almond. Top with ice cream or whipped cream for a bite of summer!
One of my favorite summer events is this quaint, old-fashioned country fair that’s hosted every Labor Day up in the mountains near my family’s cabin. It’s pretty much a giant rummage sale, but it’s one of those events that brings people together and reminds you of simpler times.
The food at this event is always top notch. The morning begins with a cinnamon roll breakfast, followed by a barbecue lunch, and all of the time in between is filled with baked goods, slices of pie (with ice cream, obviously), and iced coffees. Lots of iced coffees.
While I switch it up on the food each year, the one thing I can’t resist is a slice of cherry pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The past couple of years, they have sold out of the cherry pie fairly quickly, which has left me craving a big ‘ole slice of homemade cherry pie.
This year, no matter what, I wasn’t missing out on a sweet cherry pie recipe. And this fresh cherry pie version? I probably could have eaten this whole pie in one sitting. Scout’s honor.
I don’t know what first comes to mind when you think of a cherry pie. Maybe it’s the cherry pie song that gets stuck in your head all day long. Or maybe it’s a pie with the bright red filling from a can. Maybe it’s something else entirely.
All I know is that while I love a homemade cherry pie recipe, I think it’s relatively underrated. It always seems like it’s the pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas that only gets eaten when the apple and pumpkin are gone. Even though I’ll take cherry pie any way I can get it, rest assured this homemade version is perhaps one of the best—if not THE best—cherry pie recipes.
Obviously I share the recipes I whole heartedly love and trust, but I don’t always talk about them in terms of ‘the best’ and ‘better than grandma’s cherry pie’ and whatnot, because let’s be honest, taste is subjective.
However, this is one of those recipes I am so confident in I will obnoxiously proclaim it as one of the best cherry pie recipes ever. It’s buttery and flaky crust is the perfect base for the dark cherry filling made with fresh cherries. While I think all pie needs a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream, this totally could be eaten without it—and if you know me, that’s saying something.
Let’s talk about the best Cherry Pie ingredients:
Cherry Pie Crust Recipe:
- unsalted butter
- all purpose flour
- ice water
- almond extract
Cherry Pie Filling:
- fresh cherries, pitted
- lemon zest & juice
- granulated sugar
- all purpose flour
- vanilla extract & almond extract
- unsalted butter
- egg wash
- raw sugar
Let’s Talk About The Crust:
When it comes to a cherry pie crust (or any crust for that matter), I have two recipes I use almost exclusively. One is this Cream Cheese Pie Crust and the other is the one listed here.
This version is made with all butter so it’s incredibly flaky and flavorful, which is the key to a homemade pie crust that’s as good as the filling.
For this pie, I opted for a classic lattice crust. If you have never attempted a lattice crust before, it’s a lot simpler than it might seem. Basically, you alternate the pie strips so that they are over-under-over etc.
How To Make Cherry Pie From Scratch:
- Dough: Make the crust by mixing flour, salt, and unsalted butter together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in almond extract and the ice water a little at a time. Once the dough has just come together, turn it out onto a floured surface. Form the dough into two equal balls, flatten into a disc shape, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Filling: Mix cherries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cornstarch, flour, and vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside.
- Crust: Roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the crust to a deep dish pie dish. Pour the cherry filling inside and dot the filling with butter cubes. Then, roll out the top of the crust and cut into long strips. Weave the strips in a basket pattern over the cherry filling. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake: Bake until the pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Let’s talk about some tips and tricks for this easy cherry pie!
- Cherries: You have to pit the cherries. And you have to double check that all of the pits truly were removed from the cherries. Personally, I like slicing half of the pitted cherries in half and keeping the other half whole. I like the texture this creates with each bite. However, you can slice all of the pitted cherries in half. Slicing guarantees you’ll know if all of the cherry pits were removed.
- Lemon: Lemon juice and zest brighten the cherry flavor without overpowering it. It’s a nice way to enhance a cherry pie filling without having to do too much.
- Almond: I happen to love cherry and almond together, which is why I put almond extract in this recipe. If you don’t like almond or don’t have it on hand, you can omit it or replace it with extra vanilla extract.
Do I Have To Use Fresh Cherries?
- While I would highly suggest using fresh cherries (if you’re making this pie when fresh cherries are available), you can substitute frozen cherries if you’d prefer.
- Do not use canned cherries. They will not work in this pie.
Can I Use A Store-Bought Crust?
- Absolutely! I’d suggest using a refrigerated pre-made pie dough (like Pillsbury) that you can roll out yourself.
- However, if you have the time, I highly suggest making your own pie crust. It’s fairly simple and nothing compares to the taste of homemade, flaky pie crust.
Can I Make This A Cherry Pie With Crumb Topping Instead?
- Yes, you can definitely make a crumb topping. I would suggest using the crumb topping I use on these Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars. If you still plan on making your own crust for the base, just cut the crust recipe (down below in the recipe card) in half.
How Much Sugar Goes In A Cherry Pie?
- In the recipe you’ll find I use 1 cup of granulated sugar.
- However, you can use a little more or a little less, if you’d prefer. If your cherries are extremely sweet, you can reduce the sugar if you’d like. If you feel like you’ve got more of a tart cherry pie recipe going on, you can increase the sugar a little bit.
Why Is My Cherry Pie Runny?
- Cherries can emit a lot of juice, which can lead to your cherry pie being runny if you do not add enough of thickener (i.e., flour, cornstarch, minute tapioca, etc.).
- I use a combination of cornstarch and flour in this recipe in order to keep the filling thick enough to hold together, but not so thick the filling turns gelatinous.
How To Store Cherry Pie With Fresh Cherries?
- You can store this pie at room temperature for a couple of days (as long as it’s not too hot in your house), but I do suggest storing it in the fridge to keep the pie as fresh as possible.
My summer pie of dreams!
This flaky Homemade Cherry Pie is an old fashioned cherry pie recipe made with fresh cherries, sugar, lemon, and a hint of almond.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 6-8 Tbsp ice water
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 5 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted*
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp water whisked together)
- raw sugar (optional)
- Using a standing mixer or a pastry cutter, mix flour and salt together.
- Work the butter into the flour mixture, a little at a time, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (you can do this on low with your standing mixer or with your pastry cutter/fork).
- Add in almond extract, then add ice water to the mixture, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough just begins to come together (I used approx. 7 Tbsp).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough in half and reshape each half into a ball (or a flat disc shape). Cover each in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and get out your 9” or 10” deep dish pie plate and set it aside.
- Mix pitted cherries, lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, flour, vanilla extract and almond extract together. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out one of the balls of dough into a large circle, about 1/8” to 1/4” thick.
- Transfer the dough to your pie plate (I like to loosely wrap the dough around my rolling pin and then gently unroll it over the pie plate).
Gently press dough into the pie plate and remove any excess dough on the edges of the pie (leaving about 1/2” of overhang, if possible).
Pour cherry filling into the pie crust.
- Place the 2 Tbsp of cubed butter in and around the pie filling.
- Next, roll out your second pie dough into a large circle. Again, you want the dough to be about an 1/8” to a 1/4” thick.
With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into long strips, about 1/2” in width. You will need about 8-10 strips. To get 8-10 strips, you may need to use the scraps (form the scraps into a ball and roll out).
Place 4-5 strips on your pie. Weave the remaining strips in and out of the ones on your pie.
- Crimp the edges of the pie together.
- Brush the crust of your pie with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired.
- Bake your pie for 15 minutes. Then, cover the edges of your pie with a pie shield (this keeps the edges from browning too quickly) and bake for a remaining 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Allow the pie to cool before serving.
- Top with ice cream or whipped cream.
*I usually keep about half of the cherries whole and cut the rest in half. I like the texture it adds to the pie. However, you can keep them all whole or cut all of them in half.
Here are some of my other favorite pie recipes: