This easy Homemade Cherry Pie recipe is the best I’ve ever had. It’s made from scratch with an easy cherry pie filling using canned tart cherries, which means you can easily enjoy homemade cherry pie all year round.

An image of a cherry pie with lattice pie crust on top.

Best Cherry Pie Recipe

Given the choice between cake or pie, I’m going to choose the pie every time. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a delicious yellow cake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cupcakes with rainbow chip frosting. I mean, hey, it’s cake and obviously I love it, and besides, I’m not one to turn my nose up at dessert. 

But pie just speaks to me more than cake does.

While cakes are show-offy with their towering layers, buttercream swirls, ganache drips, and colorful sprinkles, pies are more humble and unpretentious. Sure there are lattice crusts and some people (not me – I can barely manage the lattice) do pretty incredible things with pie crust design. But for the most part, pies are unassuming with their flaky golden-brown crusts and fruit or cream fillings.

And yet, that combination of buttery, flaky crust with the often jewel-colored interior of fruit pies topped with a scoop of ice cream satisfies my tastebuds (and my soul, for that matter) like no cake ever can.

An image of a cherry pie with a slice taken out of it. An image of a slice of homemade cherry pie.

As a kid, a classic, homemade cherry pie was my very favorite and I looked forward to them every 4th of July and Thanksgiving, which seem to be the two big pie occasions in my family. 

I’ve since moved on to claiming razzleberry pie as my favorite (can you believe I haven’t posted an actual razzleberry pie recipe on here yet?! it’s just my blackberry pie recipe made with half raspberries and half blackberries though, in case you want to try one), but cherry pie is still up there and will always hold a place in my heart.

An image of a slice of homemade cherry pie on a plate. An image of a piece of homemade cherry pie on a white plate.

The best cherry pie recipe is simple and uses only a few simple ingredients to make the homemade filling:  canned cherries, some (but not all!) of the juice they come in, sugar, and cornstarch, with a little salt and butter for good measure. Maybe some red food coloring if you want a vibrant ruby red color for the filling.

The cornstarch, sugar, and cherry juice get cooked on the stove to thicken the filling before adding the cherries and using this to fill the pie. 

Done right, and the filling will have just enough stability so that you can cut gorgeous slices of pie that will hold up while still being juicy. Too much cornstarch and the cherry pie filling ends up gummy, too little and the filling ends up runny. But no worries – follow this recipe and you’ve got cherry pie perfection every time.

What kind of cherries should I use for homemade cherry pie?

I want so badly to be able to use fresh cherries in cherry pie, but if I’m being honest, I don’t like them as well for baking as canned cherries. And I definitely do not recommend frozen cherries for pie.

The biggest problem is that the very best cherry pie is made with tart cherries, which can be near impossible to find fresh.

Some people just use sweet cherries and decrease the sugar in the recipe, but I don’t think rainier, brook, or bing cherries (all sweet cherries that are best eaten out of hand) match tart cherries (also known as sour cherries or pie cherries) for flavor and texture after being baked.

The good news is that there are two easily available options for making a pie with tart cherries:  Oregon brand tart cherries (which I think are made from Montmorency cherries) and Trader Joe’s Morello cherries (my favorite!).

The Oregon Specialty Fruit tart cherries are available in almost every grocery store I’ve been to, either in the baking aisle or in the canned fruit aisle. And they make a wonderful cherry pie. You will need three cans of Oregon tart cherries for one pie. And be sure to check the label because they also sell a sweet canned cherry version as well.

 An image of a can of Oregon Specialty Fruit red tart cherries.

But if there is a Trader Joe’s anywhere near you, I highly recommend picking up their jarred Morello cherries, which are tart cherries that are imported from Germany. Oh my goodness, they are SO, SO GOOD. I buy extra jars to have them on hand and will totally open them and just spoon the cherries straight over ice cream with chocolate syrup and it. is. HEAVEN.

An image of Trader Joe's dark morello cherries.

You can even order Trader Joe’s cherries online, but it’s super expensive (like $12 per jar, which is crazy). At my local Trader Joe’s, one jar is something like $2.79 or $3.00, which is super reasonable to me.

The only downside to the Trader Joe’s Morello cherries is that they are more of a dark purple than a red, so you really can’t get that classic ruby red cherry pie filling look unless you use quite a bit of red food coloring. I’m fine with a deeper burgundy-colored cherry pie filling, but I just wanted to give you a heads up on that.

How to Make Cherry Pie Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the reserved cherry juice from the canned cherries.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick and bubbly. The cloudy liquid will into a clear gel after about 5 to 7 minutes, which is when you know the filling is ready to add the cherries.
  3. Stir in the cherries, butter, and food coloring, if using, then cool completely before adding to the pie crust. This can be done up to 1 week in advance.

This cherry pie filling is AMAZING and can be used in lots of different ways, not just for pie. Use it for black forest cake or black forest cheesecake, swirl it into brownies, or use it to top cheesecake or ice cream!

This recipe makes enough for one deep dish pie, so if you only have a regular pie plate, you might end up with about 1 cup of leftover pie filling. But somehow it never seems to go unused.

An image of a saucepan with cornstarch and sugar in it for making cherry pie filling. An image of a saucepan with cherry juice, sugar, and cornstarch whisked together to make cherry pie filling. An image of homemade cherry pie filling in a saucepan. An image of a jar filled with homemade cherry pie filling. An image of a jar filled with homemade cherry pie filling made from canned tart red cherries. 

How to Make Cherry Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bottom pie crust and use it to line a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Spoon the cherry pie filling into the bottom crust.
  3. Roll out the remaining crust and use it to top the cherry pie filling. You can make a lattice crust, or just do a solid crust with slits cut in the top using a sharp knife for venting. Be sure to seal the edges, either by crimping or fluting, then brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then decrease the oven temperature to 375°F and finish baking for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling. Check the pie around 25 minutes and cover the edges with a pie protector or tinfoil if they are starting to brown too much.
  5. Remove the pie from the oven and cool for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

An image of three step-by-step photos showing how to make a lattice pie crust. An image of a slice of classic cherry pie with lattice crust on a plate next to the whole pie and a bowl of fresh cherries. An image of a slice of homemade cherry pie on a plate.  

Tips for the Best Cherry Pie

  • Start with a homemade pie crust. They are so much easier to make than you think, if you have never made one before or made one and had it fall apart. This is my favorite double-crust pie crust that I use in all my pie recipes. It uses both butter AND shortening for the ultimate in buttery flavor and flaky texture.
  • I highly recommend using a pie crust shield (affiliate link) to cover the edges of your crust partway through. It keeps them from getting burnt while the pie cooks through. But you can also just make a shield using tinfoil.
  • Definitely remember to brush your pie crust with the egg wash. It makes a big difference in getting a beautifully golden brown crust.
  • Be sure to let the pie cool for 3-4 hours before serving to give the filling time to set up. Otherwise, when you slice into it you will have a runny (albeit still delicious) mess.
  • Store any leftover pie in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just cover it well with plastic wrap. 
  • If you like eating your pie warm, you can reheat individual slices in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. Or if you want to warm up the entire pie, just stick it back in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes.

More of my Favorite Pie Recipes

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Best Cherry Pie Recipe
Yield: 8 servings

Best Cherry Pie Recipe

This easy Homemade Cherry Pie recipe is the best I've ever had.  It's made from scratch with an easy cherry pie filling using canned tart cherries, which means you can easily enjoy homemade cherry pie all year round.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 double pie crust recipe
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans or 2 (24.7-ounce) jars tart cherries in light syrup, drained with 1 cup of juice reserved
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 beaten egg, for brushing on top of the crust
  • Sugar, for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, then add the reserved cherry juice from the canned cherries.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick and bubbly and the cloudy liquid turns into a clear gel, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cherries, butter, and food coloring, if using, then cool completely before adding to the pie crust. This can be done up to 1 week in advance.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bottom pie crust and use it to line a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Spoon the cherry pie filling into the bottom crust.
  6. Roll out the remaining crust and use it to top the cherry pie filling. You can make a lattice crust, or just do a solid crust with slits cut in the top using a sharp knife for venting. Be sure to seal the edges, either by crimping or fluting, then brush the top crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then decrease the oven temperature to 375°F and finish baking for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling. Check the pie around 25 minutes and cover the edges with a pie protector or tinfoil if they are starting to brown too much.
  8. Remove the pie from the oven and cool for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Notes

If you only have a regular pie pan, you won't need to use all of the filling. It will keep in the fridge for 1 week and makes a great ice cream topping, crepe filling, and can be used in lots of other desserts.

If you can somehow get your hands on fresh, tart cherries, you can make this same recipe, just pit the cherries and slice them in half, then toss with the sugar and cornstarch and add to the pie crust. They will release their juices and thicken as the pie bakes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 31mg Sodium: 189mg Carbohydrates: 53g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 36g Protein: 3g

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