Homemade Cherry Pie
Taking the time to make your own cherry pie filling is well worth the effort. Use a mix of tart and sweet cherries for the best balance and cherry flavor. By cooking the filling first, you'll be sure to get a jammy filling with perfectly cooked cherries. It's the dream pie and of course, it's best with our perfectly flaky buttery crust. Here are the answers to some of the most common cherry pie questions:
What kind of cherry is best for pie?
We love a cherry that has a good balance of tartness and sweetness. Things like Bing and Rainier are perfect for this pie. You could even do a mix!
Can I use frozen cherries?
Absolutely! You may have to let them thaw or increase the cook time slightly so that they can come up to room temp before cooking into a luscious filling.
How do I keep the filling from becoming runny?
We accomplish this by both allowing the filling to pre cook before adding to the pie dough, so that the cherries release their juices and evaporate. Additionally using cornstarch helps to create that iconic jammy, pie filling texture.
Why does this recipe call for almond extract?
While it isn't totally necessary to use almond extract for a great cherry pie (you can sub in vanilla or nix it all together if you're in a pinch), we love adding it not just because the nutty flavor pairs well with the fruity-tartness of cherries, but also because the pits of cherries have many flavor compounds that can be found in almonds. Thus cherries have a very faint almond-y flavor and the extract helps to highlight this unique and delicious aspect of the fruit.
Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
Editor's note: This recipe was update to add a video and more information about the dish in the introduction on August 22nd, 2022.
(2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
ice water, plus more as needed
apple cider vinegar
cherries, pitted and halved
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of kosher salt
egg, lightly beaten
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter and use your hands to rub it into flour until butter is the size of walnut halves, making sure to toss and keep butter coated in flour. Add ice water and vinegar and toss to combine. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together when squeezed. Mixture should be moist and hold together easily, but not wet and sticky. Form into two smooth discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (or freeze up to 1 month).
- Meanwhile, make filling: In a large pot over medium heat, add cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, almond extract and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until cherries have softened and liquid starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Let dough sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out both pie crusts to a 12” round. Transfer one of the rounds to a 9” pie plate and gently press sides down to make sure there are no gaps. Cut the second crust into 1” thick strips for a lattice top, then place on a large cutting board. Refrigerate both crusts for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425° with a large baking sheet in oven. Pour cooled cherry filling over crust in pie plate. To make a lattice top, lay strips of pie dough vertically over filling. Lift up every other strip and place and strip of dough across horizontally. Lay strips back down. Lift the other alternating strips up and place another strip across horizontally, then lay strips back down. Repeat with remaining strips and top is covered.
- Using kitchen shears, trim edges to a ½” overhang. Pinch bottom and top crusts together, then tuck crust under so that the edge is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp edges as desired. Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Refrigerate 30 minutes until firm.
- Carefully place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake until crust is deeply golden and filling is bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes more. Let cool completely before slicing.