Cherry pie has been my favorite kind of pie ever since I was a small child. Fortunately, it's a super easy dessert to make from scratch, and never fails to be a crowd pleaser. Let's learn about this old fashioned classic and get baking!
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What kinds of cherries are best?
- Sour ones are my personal favorite. They perfectly complement the almond extract and flaky pastry. If you're using fresh sour cherries, look for Morello or Amarella ones.
- Sweet ones are used by many people. If you're using this kind, cut down the sugar in the recipe to ½ cup. (Do not use canned sweet ones. They don't taste good in a pie!)
Canned vs. Fresh vs. Frozen Cherries
- Canned are quicker and easier to use. They are also available year round. I prefer to use canned sour cherries in my pies--canned sweet ones lack the tang.
- Fresh provide a different color, texture, and flavor than canned ones. However, you need to pit them before using them, and they are only available for a short time during the summer.
- Frozen are a compromise. Use them straight from the freezer--there's no need to defrost or drain them first.
How to Thicken the Filling
- The best way to thicken it is with cornstarch.
- Start by whisking the cornstarch with some water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt over medium heat until dissolved.
- Keep whisking and cooking until the mixture just comes to a boil and thickens. Be patient--it will take a few minutes!
- Don't have cornstarch? Try using all-purpose flour, arrowroot, or quick-cooking tapioca.
How do you heat up a cherry pie?
Place in a 200 F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Just be aware that warm/hot filling will be more liquidy than a room temperature/refrigerated one.
Can I make it the day before?
Yes, you can make it the day before. It's actually nicer to make it ahead of time, because a freshly baked one takes about 4 hours to cool before you can slice it without having the filling leak out.
How do you store cherry pie?
- Cover the cooled pie with aluminum foil.
- Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and foil or place in a freezer bag and freeze for longer storage.
Should it be refrigerated?
No, it doesn't need to be refrigerated; it doesn't contain egg or cream that could spoil at room temperature. If you want to store it in the fridge, make sure it's well covered with foil first.
How long can you keep a cherry pie?
This homemade version will keep for 2 days at room temperature and 4-5 days in the fridge. Make sure to keep it covered with aluminum foil to seal in the freshness and keep out odors.
Can you freeze cherry pie?
- Yes, you can freeze it before or after baking. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Before Baking: wrap it in plastic and aluminum foil and freeze. Unwrap and re-cover with fresh plastic. Defrost in the fridge, then let it sit on the counter for an hour or so before baking.
- After Baking: let the pie cool completely, then wrap in plastic and aluminum foil and freeze. Unwrap and re-cover with fresh plastic wrap. Defrost at room temperature, then serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
How do you bake a frozen cherry pie?
- Make sure it has defrosted before baking.
- Remove the frozen pie from its wrappings and cover with fresh plastic wrap. Let it mostly defrost in the fridge, then finish the defrosting at room temperature.
- Bake according to the recipe instructions. You may need to bake for additional time. If the pastry is getting too dark, cover it with aluminum foil.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients.
Whisk together the ½ cup of liquid from the canned cherries, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch.
Place over medium heat and keep whisking until the mixture has thickened and just begins to boil.
Whisk in the butter and almond extract, then fold in the canned cherries until evenly mixed. Let the filling cool some.
Dump the cooled filling into a 9-inch crust. (Warning: if you put hot filling on top of the pastry, it will melt the butter/lard in the pastry, making it greasy and soggy. Give the filling a 10-20 minutes to cool before putting it in the pie.)
Cut strips of pastry with a ruler and paring knife.
Lay a few of the strips horizontally across the top, then weave a few of the other strips over and under them to create a lattice. Crimp the edges by pinching the pastry with your thumb and index finger.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with demerara sugar.
Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 F and bake for another 20 minutes. Cover the pastry with foil if it's getting too dark.
Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving, about 4 hours. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Always use sour cherries. Canned sweet ones just don't taste as good in a pie as the tart ones.
- Speed up the process by using canned cherries. It's much quicker and easier than pitting fresh ones!
- Adjust the amount of almond extract to taste. It's always good to taste and see how you like it.
- Watch the pastry carefully towards the end of the baking time. The filling can bubble and discolor the pastry, or it can burn.
- Let it cool completely before slicing and serving. Otherwise, the filling will be runny.
- Emeril Lagasse 2-Quart Saucepan: this heavy-bottomed saucepan conducts heat evenly.
- Stainless Balloon Whisks: these whisks reach into the corners of the pan.
- Wire Cooling Racks: these racks help your baked goods cool without getting soggy.
- Pastry Brushes: these well-made brushes don't lose their bristles easily.
- Oregon Tart Cherries: for many years, we've loved using the Oregon brand for pies.
Other Summer Desserts
- No Bake Cherry Cheesecake
- Blueberry Frangipane Tart
- Peach Cobbler
- Blueberry Boy Bait
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.Print
Craving a slice of sour cherry pie this summer? It’s easy to make this old fashioned dessert from scratch with canned cherries—just like Mom does. The flaky crust and sweet, juicy filling make this a simple but delicious treat.
For the Cherry Filling
- 2 15-ounce cans sour cherries in water (544g)
- ½ cup liquid from canned cherries (125 ml)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (21g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (14g)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
For the Pastry & Decoration
- 15 ounces flaky shortcrust pastry (425g)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
- Open the cans of cherries and drain them, reserving the juice from one can. You'll need ½ cup of liquid.
- Pour the liquid, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt into a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Whisk constantly over the heat until the mixture is boiling and has thickened. This will take a few minutes, so be patient. You'll know the mixture is thickening when globs suddenly appear in the mixture.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the almond extract and butter until smooth and well blended. Gently fold in the drained cherries with a flexible spatula, then set aside to cool.
- Roll the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it's about ⅛ inch thick. Use it to line a 9-inch metal pie plate, then trim off the excess pastry with a knife. Gently spread the cooled cherry filling in the pastry.
- Wad up the remaining pastry and re-roll it to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut into strips, using a ruler for straight lines. Lay several of the strips horizontally across the top, then weave the remaining strips under and over the other ones to create a lattice top. Cut off the excess pastry, crimp the crust, and brush the pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle liberally with demerara sugar if desired.
- Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 F and bake for another 20 minutes. The crust should brown beautifully and the filling should bubble gently.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for 3-4 hours on a wire cooling rack to allow the filling to cool and set. Cutting it too soon will make the filling runny.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Use sour cherries. Sweet cherries don't taste as good in this recipe.
- Use canned cherries to save time.
- Adjust the almond extract to taste.
- Watch it carefully towards the end of the baking time to see if the filling is bubbling or the pastry getting too dark.
- Let it cool completely before slicing and serving, or the filling will not be set.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Pies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cherry pie recipe, sour cherry pie