Even the most novice baker can achieve success with this easy and delicious Cherry Pie recipe. It includes a homemade cherry pie filling made with fresh or canned cherries, baked inside a flaky pie crust.  

I have too many favorite pie recipes to count and most can be enjoyed all year round, like cherry pie, Coconut Cream Pie, and Key Lime Pie.

Overhead view of a baked cherry pie with lattice crust.

Of all the pies in the world, Cherry Pie tops the list as one of the easiest pies to make, and I’m excited to share the simple, delicious recipe with you all!

How to make Cherry Pie:

If using fresh cherries:

  • Pit and halve the cherries. Add them to a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice and toss to combine. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until juices are released. Use a slotted spoon to spoon cherries out into a bowl. Spoon some of the sauce into a cup and stir in the cornstarch until dissolved. Return to pot with remaining juices and cook for a few minutes until sauce has thickened. Pour over cherries and set aside while you prepare the pie crust.

If using canned cherries:

  • Drain the juice from the cans of cherries into a saucepan, reserving ⅓ cup in a small bowl. Set the cherries aside.
  • Add cornstarch to the bowl with the reserved ⅓ cup of juice and stir well to combine.
  • Heat the saucepan (that has the juice in it) over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir well. Bring mixture to a low boil. Stir in dissolved cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Fold in the cherries. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired.
  • Allow mixture to cool to room temperature while you prepare the pie crusts.

Three process photos for making cherry pie filling using canned cherries.

  • Line pie plate with pie crust and cherry pie filling into it. If desired, cut the top crust into wide strips to lay a lattice crust on the pie, or place the whole, uncut pie crust over the filling and poke a hole in the top for steam to release as the pie bakes. (Here’s a lattice top tutorial if you’ve never made one on a pie.)
  • Pinch the edges of the top and bottom pie crusts together and crimp the edge, if you like. Brush a thin layer of beaten egg white over the top of the pie crust and sprinkle the crust pieces lightly with granulated sugar.

Two process photos for adding cherry pie filling and then a lattice crust to a pie dish.

  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

Some Tips for perfect cherry pie:

Should you use Sweet or Sour Cherries for cherry pie? Sour, tart cherries (sometimes called “pie” cherries) are most commonly used in desserts like cherry pie. If using sweet cherries, decrease the sugar in this recipe by at least ⅓ cup.

Use a homemade pie crust! For pies like this that bake for longer in the oven, a homemade pie crust will make a difference in how the crust holds up as it bakes.

Most store-bought pie crusts are super thin and flimsy so the edges brown and dry out more quickly when baking. (Store-bought crusts work better for custard or pudding type of pie that only requires a pre-baked pie shell).

The good news, is my favorite pie crust recipe can be made weeks or even months in advance so that your pie dough is ready to “roll” (pun intended 🙂 ) when you need it!

Make ahead Instructions:

Both the cherry pie filling and pie crust can be made a few days in advance, stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Freezing Instructions:

Baked and cooled cherry pie can be covered tightly and frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The prepared cherry pie filling and pie crust can also be frozen, stored separately.

A slice of cherry pie on a plate.

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Recipe

Overhead view of a baked cherry pie with lattice crust.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr 5 mins
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Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups fresh, sour cherries or three (14.5 oz) cans sour cherries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • homemade pie crust (this recipe makes 2 crusts: one for the bottom and one for the top)
  • 1 large egg white , beaten with a fork
  • granulated sugar , for sprinkling on top

Instructions
 

If using fresh cherries:

  • Pit and halve the cherries. Add them to a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice and toss to combine. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until juices are released. Use a slotted spoon to spoon cherries out into a bowl. Spoon some of the sauce into a cup and stir in the cornstarch until smooth. Return to pot with remaining juices and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Pour over cherries and set aside while you prepare the pie crust.

If using canned cherries:

  • Drain the juice from the cans of cherries into a saucepan, reserving ⅓ cup in a small bowl. Set the cherries aside. Add cornstarch to the bowl with the reserved ⅓ cup of juice and stir well to combine.
  • Heat the saucepan (that has the juice in it) over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir well. Bring mixture to a low boil. Stir in dissolved cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Fold in the cherries. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired.
  • Allow mixture to cool to room temperature while you prepare the pie crusts.

Prepare Pie:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set aside a 9'' pie pan. (If using canned cherries, there will be enough filling for a deep dish pie dish).
  • Remove one chilled pie crust dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured counter, roll out your dough to about 12'' in diameter. Gently place in the bottom of pie dish. Spoon the cherry filling into the unbaked crust and sprinkle a little cinnamon over the filling. (If using fresh cherries, add a few small pieces of butter on top).
  • Remove the second pie crust from the fridge and roll it out in a similar manner. Use a pizza cutter, knife or pastry wheel to cut the crust into long strips, about 1/2'' wide. Lay strips over the crust in a lattice pattern. (If you're lazy, like me, you can just lay half of the strips going one direction, and the others on top, going perpendicular, leaving a small space between each.)
  • Pinch the edges of the top and bottom pie crusts together and crimp the edge, if you like. Brush a thin layer of beaten egg white over the top of the pie crust and sprinkle some granulated sugar on top.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes. Check after about 25 minutes and gently place a piece of tinfoil over the top crust to keep it from getting too brown.
  • Remove to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for several hours. Once cooled completely you can cut and serve it, or cover it and refrigerate it overnight to serve the next day.
  • Leftover cherry pie will last up to 5 days, stored in the fridge.

Notes

Make ahead Instructions: The cherry pie filling and pie crust can both be made a few days in advance, stored in the fridge until ready to use. 
Freezing Instructions: Cover the baked and cooled cherry pie tightly and frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The prepared cherry pie filling and pie crust can also be frozen, stored separately.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 26gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 21mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 4.2mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.2mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe June 2017. Updated April 2020 with process photos and more detailed instructions.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We used canned tart cherries rather than fresh and were pleasantly surprised at the burst of deliciousness. The recipe was easy to follow. We got a good laugh about the pie lasting in the fridge for 5 days. Not a chance at our house, probably won’t last 24 hours.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this as my first cherry pie ever. I used frozen cherries, defrosted and halved. It was perfect, set up and gelled perfectly after cooling for just an hour, not runny at all. I used the suggested crust recipe and it browned up nicely in my glass 9.5” pie dish. I served it with some homemade whipped cream on top of the slice.

  3. 5 stars
    This was absolutely perfect! TY! Not runny AT ALL. I used freshly picked tart cherries and this was the first time I made a cherry pie.

  4. 5 stars
    Perfect filling from fresh cherries. The crust instructions were spot on for a flaky and golden brown finish. This recipe is a keeper!

    1. You did something wrong then. Probably an issue with the cornstarch or not cooking or resting it long enough.

  5. Hey Lauren. I’ve made this 3 or 4 times and it’s always delicious. The customer I make it for wants one for her Mom’s birthday a week after we’re leaving for a 3 week trip. She loves it so much she wants to know if I can make it ahead and her freeze it. So in reading above, it says to cook it and cool it and then wrap tightly and freeze. Then it says to take out the day before and put in the fridge. Once she takes it out of the fridge, can it be put in the oven to crisp it up and warm the filling so it’ll taste fresh baked?

    1. So glad to hear she loves it! Yes, she can put it in the oven to warm it up. We love it served warm with ice cream.

  6. Usability tip: Make your print versions of these recipes a lot less than 17 pages. That’s entirely unnecessary and unsustainable.

    1. Colin, not sure what happened for you but I’ve tested the print button and it prints a single page of this recipe every single time. Hope you love the pie.

  7. 4 stars
    Would give it 5 stars, but I too had trouble with fresh cherries setting up based on cooking time. It was still very watery. Glad I did the lattice top or I would not have known until serving. I ended up dropping my oven temp to 375 and baking the pie (still covered to keep crust from browning more) for about 65 min total to get filling to bubble and gel.

  8. Turned out great! I did some things different though. I used fresh sour cherries but I still cooked it before I put it in the crust. I mixed the cherries, sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice (also a tiny bit of salt and some almond flavoring that I added) and cooked it until it thickened. I left out the cinnamon. I’d use this recipe again with those tweeks!

  9. Just made, wish I would have read further into the comments before. The filling never thickened. All liquid and cherries. Looked beautiful when it came out. Next time I will cook the filling prior to putting in the shell, fresh cherries are filled with water and need to cook to release that.

  10. Delicious pie! One question, I may have just overlooked the info but do I use the butter in fresh cherry version?

  11. 4 stars
    So first off, the crust linked to this recipe was easy to make and very good. The whole pie itself was fairly easy to make, just a little time consuming due to halving and pitting the cherries. The pie itself was pretty tasty, but I agree with some of the other comments that say it was a bit watery. I let it sit out for a few hours to cool after cooking, then refrigerated it for another several hours to really let it thicken. Overall, I would say that this pie was very fun to make on a rainy day at home with my daughter and it did taste good, but due to it being watery, I probably won’t make it again and if I did, it’s not a pie that I’d take to an event.

  12. I made with fresh cherries. Didn’t work out at all. Crust cooked too fast for filling to catch up. I could still see the cornstarch on the cherries during baking, I pressed down with a spatula. We ate 2 pieces and threw away the remaining.

    1. 2 stars
      As many other comments have said, the flavor was very nice and the pie looked great when it came out of the oven. But after fully cooling and cutting a “piece,” the entire filling was very runny and it was basically a piece of golden crust with cherry juice spooned over. I followed the recipe exactly, using canned sour cherries. My filling was nice and really thick before baking. Flavor wise, it tasted like my late grandmother’s beloved cherry pie but was overall a let down. Think some recipe tweaks made need to be suggested and reposted?

  13. Same here. Was very disappointed as the pie was beautiful but when you cut into it the filling was runny. When you spend the time to pit fresh cherries it is a shame. The recipe needs to be tweaked for fresh cherries. Glad I did not take it as a dinner gift. It would have been embarrassing. Going to use pie filling as a topping fir ice cream sine you can’t serve as a slice.

  14. 4 stars
    I cooked the juice mixture for over 10 minutes and it never got as thick as yours. Don’t understand what I did wrong? I used all the same proportions. Do you pack your cornstarch or loosely measure it? It tasted great only it was runny

    1. I think cornstarch has to come to a boil for a minute for it to thicken. If it cooked, but never actually bubbled you’d have the thin consistency.
      Sorry!

  15. 2 stars
    Way too lemony and the cinnamon detracted from the cherry taste as well. This is definitely a recipe that I will not make again.

  16. 5 stars
    Love this recipe – I found a large bottles of sour cherries at our local Jon’s grocery – they worked perfectly – butter & lemon juice really brightened the flavor. Homemade crust is a must do – still need a little help with getting the dough just right so its not too dry and inflexible for making the lattice. Wish we could post photos to share – thanks for the great recipe!

  17. You reserve 1/3 cup of cherry juice from cans to mix with cornstarch. Then pour the REST of the cherry juice from cans into saucepan first. Then add the cornstarch/juice mixture. I misread it and was confused as well :). Just don’t discard any of the cherry juice from the cans.

  18. I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday. It was delicious! The pie crust was amazing! And we loved the fillings well. Thank you for teaching me how to make a cherry pie! 🙂 I might play around with it next time and add some orange juice to it. Loved the sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Thank you!

  19. I tried this recipe for thanksgiving this year and it worked really well the only thing is that with the rolling out with the dough the parchment paper stuck to the damp towel then it got into the crust, do you have any suggestions to fix this.

  20. 5 stars
    Made cherry pie for the first time to have something to bring to the table at my dad’s Thanksgiving, as my parents divorced and my mom’s apple pie would not be present. Came out absolutely beautiful, and I have not tried the pie and filling together yet, but individually each were delicious! Incredibly quick and easy recipe.

    I will say, however, to take especial care to pull out the pie a little early if using a store bought crust. Remember, only the crust needs to cook–the cherries can technically be eaten raw–and store bought crusts brown faster than homemade ones do. Also, be careful not to let the egg pool on top of the pie–mine came out with baked egg on top that I had to remove in some corners. While the egg was delicious, I’m sure that’s not what y’all are looking for.

  21. Set aside 1/3 cup of the juice, and mix the cornstarch in with it. Then put the cornstarch/juice mixture into the pan where you’re making the filling. This is called making a cornstarch slurry and is a common way of thickening soups or sauces. If you were to put the cornstarch straight in the saucepan, it would not dissolve well and you would have tiny flecks of cornstarch in your filling.

  22. This was my very first attempt at homemade crust & filling, and my husband and I were so pleased with the result! I used both sweet & tart canned cherries (because that’s what I had on hand), and adjusted the white sugar to 1/2 cup. When served with whipped cream, it’s close to perfect but on its own I wish I would have kicked up the sugar just a tiny bit. So I’ll keep that in mind for next time. My husband commented that he thought the cherry flavor wasn’t coming through quite as much on the filling. Not sure if that’s because he’s generally accustomed to the pre-made pie filling (which I personally am not a fan of). Any thoughts on how to punch up the cherry flavor (without adding an artificial quality) when using canned cherries? I thought perhaps using a cherry extract? Thank you for the great recipe! I’m so proud of how it turned out ☺️ wish I could include a photo!

    1. You could try using only the sour cherries next time or I also think cherry extract is a great idea. Start with just a little bit and taste for flavor! I’m so glad you liked the recipe!

  23. 5 stars
    10/10 perfect for Thanksgiving! My daughter wanted to bake something for Thanksgiving so I gave her this recipe and she pulled it off!

  24. I would like to make this pie but I only have large quantities of FROZEN Traverse City cherries. What kind of adjustments would you recommend? Thanks!

  25. 5 stars
    I used fresh cherries. Delicious cherry pie.
    Thanks for the recipe. The only thing I would do different is I should have made a half dozen soI could have shared it with my family. Next time.

  26. 5 stars
    The pie was excellent. Used fresh tart cherries from Door County, WI. Was not runny at all and tasted and presented well.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m in love you with DC Cherries!
      Which orchard did you get yours from?
      I enjoy the pick your own from Paradise Farms in Brussels.
      My DC tart cherries made a great pie tonight. We’re looking forward to having it tomorrow 🍒👍🍒

  27. I made this cherry pie using tart cherries. My daughter is allergic to corn, so I substituted potato starch for the corn starch. I also used cane sugar. I didn’t see, until after I was done, that the butter in the ingredients was to be used with canned cherries. I did use the butter by dotting it on the top before adding a lattice top. After I put it in the oven I realized I forgot to sprinkle the cinnamon on top….. the taste was awesome. I will probably forget the cinnamon next time too! I did use your pie crust recipe, it was awesome as well! I did substitute solidified coconut oil for the vegetable shortening and it worked great! Super flaky and tender. It will be my go to crust from now on!

  28. 5 stars
    Made this for my husband’s golf buddies, they raved! Used Rainer cherries. Added crystal sugar on top crust. This is the is the easiest pie I have ever made. Highly recommend to any level of baker. Kudos.

  29. It is relatively easy to make an overlapping lattice on parchment on a cookie sheet. Use a light egg wash to tack the pie crust strips as you overlap. Put the tray in the freezer for half hour. Then make your base crust and pie filling. Slide the semi frozen lattice crust over top and allow it to come to room temperature. Crimp as you normally would once soft, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with superfine sugar then into the oven. You can also buy a rolling pin that has slit cutters at alternating positions. Once you roll the upper crust, you roll the cutter over and then give it a quick stretch to open the slits into a pleasing pattern as you settle it over the fruit. Crimp and into the oven as usual. Super easy.

  30. If you’re lucky enough to have a Dollar Tree where you live, they offer wonderful Morello Cherries in a 12.5oz jar. Perfect!

  31. 5 stars
    I just made this today for my husband’s birthday. I used FROZEN SWEET CHERRIES from Costco. I used 8 cups of frozen cherries. I thawed the cherries in a saucepan so they gave off some of their juice, then followed the rest of the recipe as written except using 6 TB cornstarch instead of 1/4 C, and used 1/2 C Splenda instead of sugar. I did not discard any of the juice. Cherry Pie PERFECTION! THANK YOU!!!

  32. 5 stars
    Easy, easy and delicious. I accidentally put all the ingredients, including the cherries ? in the saucepan before I realized I was to make the sauce separately. I went ahead and cooked and the filling turned out perfectly. Very forgiving recipe.

  33. I made the according to directions and it was very running.. thanksgiving is in two days!!
    What do I do!!’? I used the Canned cherries

    1. I’m sorry Thelma. In steps 3 and 4 was the filling thickened before you added it into your pie shell? It should be thick and then you’ll know it will set up after being baked. You could always scoop all of the filling back into your saucepan, warm it, and add more cornstarch slurry to thicken it up significantly. Then add it to a new pie crust.

  34. Hello Lauren. I just discovered you and I am using several of your recipes for Thanksgiving this year! I just have one question. Can I make the filling for the pie a day ahead of when I make the actual pie? Thank you!

    1. Hi Becky, yes that should be fine! I’m so happy you found me–I’d love to hear what you’re making for Thanksgiving!

  35. 5 stars
    Just made this pie and it turned out perfect!!!! I did have wayyyy too much filling for my 9 inch shell, don’t know why, but I did enjoy eating the mixture straight from the bowl ?

    1. I’ve made cherry pies for friends using 3 cans of 14.5 oz of sour cherries but my family doesn’t want me to use only sweet cherries in cans. will this recipe work for my family ?

  36. I use frozen sweet cherries from my sisters tree and it works great. Just thaw the day before and let the juices drip through a strainer overnight. My kids like the juice mixed with sprite!

    1. Yes , just let them thaw a bit over low heat and add cornstarch and sugar that is the amount need per cup of cherries . Cook til thickened

      1. I can confirm this. I used 3.5-4 tablespoons cornstarch for 2 lbs. frozen tart cherries. I didn’t thaw, just put in the pot and heated Gently til a good amount of juice came out, then added the cornstarch and sugar together. Heat until thickened.