This old-fashioned cherry pie recipe is made with a fruity pie filling baked into a golden-brown, flakey crust. Made from scratch, the easy pie recipe comes together in a few simple steps and tastes delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A great dessert for holidays and celebrations!
The best old-fashioned cherry pie recipe
Don’t feel intimidated by the idea of baking homemade cherry pie from scratch. Pitting the cherries is really the hardest part, the rest of making my old-fashioned cherry recipe is surprisingly easy.
It’s the recipe my grandma used to make when fresh cherries came into season. I’m so happy to pass it on from my family to yours!
This cherry-filled pie is such a delight with its rich jammy cherry filling baked into a buttery, flakey pie crust. Be prepared for empty plates because it’s a total crowd-pleaser!
All you need are fresh cherries and a few simple pantry staples to have this pie done in no time. Honestly, waiting until the pie is cool enough to dig in is the biggest challenge here. But it’s well worth the wait and labor and so satisfying to eat!
Let’s chat about the ingredients in this scrumptious old-fashioned cherry pie recipe! Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Pie crust: You can prepare my homemade 3-ingredient pie crust or grab a store-brought crust to save some time.
- Fresh cherries: The recipe is designed for sweet cherries, but you can also use tart cherries. If doing so, add more sugar to the filling so it’s sweet enough to balance the tartness. If fresh cherries are out of season, try our canned cherry pie instead.
- Sugar: You need white granulated sugar to sweeten the filling and a sprinkle of coarse sugar to create the crackly pie crust.
- Cornstarch helps to thicken the cherry pie filling and set the pie. Arrowroot powder or tapioca starch can be substituted.
- Lemon juice adds a bright, fresh flavor to the pie and helps to thicken the filling. I highly recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice, not bottled.
- Butter: 2 tablespoons are enough to add fabulous richness to the filling. Unsalted butter is best, so the filling doesn’t taste salty.
- Vanilla extract rounds out the taste and blends well with the cherries and a hint of almond.
- Almond extract really brings out the cherry aroma and deepens the flavor of the pie.
- Egg wash (optional) to give the pie crust a gorgeous golden-brown color. To make it simple, whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk or cream until smooth.
- Cherry pitter, paring knife, and cutting board
- Saucepan and cooking spoon
- Medium bowl and whisk
- 9-inch deep-dish pie plate
- Rolling pin
- Cherry plunger cutter
- Pie shield or aluminum foil
How to make old-fashioned cherry pie
Making this old-fashioned pie isn’t all that complicated. In fact, you might be wondering why you haven’t been baking homemade pies more often. Simply follow these steps for a perfectly baked cherry pie:
#1: Cook old fashioned cherry pie filling
- Pit and halve the cherries. Then place them into a medium pot along with 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon juice. Simmer over medium heat, frequently stirring, until the cherries are soft and juicy.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until well combined. Sprinkle over the cherries and cook, again stirring, until bubbling and thickened.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
#2: Prepare pie crust
- Roll out the bottom pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Place the crust into a pie plate. Then spoon the cherry pie filling into the crust.
- Roll out the top crust. Use a cherry-shaped plunger cutter to stamp out cherry-shaped cutouts. Place the cutouts onto the pie as decoration.
- Transfer the top crust onto the filling. Seal the edges by crimping or fluting.
- Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
#3: Bake cherry pie
- Place the pie dish onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°F.
- Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes.
#4: Cool & serve
- Remove the pie from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
- Once cooled, place the pie in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours before slicing. Enjoy!
Follow my quick tips below, and this old-fashioned cherry pie recipe will go down a new favorite of your family and friends.
- Don’t have a cherry pitter? No worries, you can easily remove the pits by pressing each cherry down onto the end of a small piping tip. You can also poke it out with the thick end of a chopstick.
- Don’t skip the egg wash: Brushing the pie crust makes your crust golden brown, which is key for a beautiful, bakery-style finish.
- Start baking on high heat: The initial high heat helps the pie dough set and helps the cornstarch thicken the filling.
- Use a pie crust shield to cover the edges of the crust halfway through. It protects them from getting burnt as the pie cooks through. You can also create a shield by wrapping a strip of tin foil around the pie.
- Let the pie cool before serving: The longer you let your homemade cherry pie cool before slicing, the more the filling can thicken. The filling will be runny and spill out if you serve the pie before it fully cools.
This old-fashioned cherry pie tastes delicious with a big scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream on top. Melty ice cream on slightly warm pie is so satisfying! I also love serving the pie with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.
Storage & make ahead
Make cherry pie ahead of time
You can prepare the pie crust and filling a day in advance and keep them in the fridge. Also, the baked pie needs to cool for a couple of hours, so you can bake it the day before you want to serve it. Once cooled, cover and store in the refrigerator.
Store old-fashioned cherry pie
You can store your cherry pie under a cake dome (or covered with foil) at room temperature for up to a day. After that, keep it loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat cherry pie
If you enjoy eating your cherry pie warm, reheat individual slices in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. Or to warm up the whole pie, pop it back in the oven at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for 10 to 15 minutes.
Can you freeze cherry pie?
Yes, you can freeze baked cherry pie. Tightly wrap any leftover slices in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm in the microwave until warm and crispy once more.
- 5 cups / 800 g / 28 oz fresh cherries
- 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 5 tbsp / 50 g / 1.8 oz cornstarch
- 3 tbsp butter, cubed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk)
- Soften cherries. Pit and halve the cherries. Then place them into a medium pot along with 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon juice. Simmer over medium heat, frequently stirring, until the cherries are soft and juicy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Thicken filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until well combined. Sprinkle over the cherries and cook, again stirring, until bubbling and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add sugar and extracts. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 425°F / 225°C / gas mark 7.
- Prepare pie crust. Roll out the bottom pie crust on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch / 33 cm circle. Place the crust into a 9-inch / 23 cm pie deep-dish pie plate. Then spoon the cherry pie filling into the crust.
Tip: You like won't need all of the filling if you only have a regular pie dish. Leftover filling keeps in the fridge for a week and is a great topping for cheesecake, pancakes, and ice cream.
- Create top crust. Roll out the top crust into a 10-inch / 25 cm wide circle. Use a cherry-shaped plunger cutter to stamp out cherry-shaped cutouts. Place the cutouts onto the pie as decoration. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to cut slits into the crust for venting. Transfer the top crust onto the filling. Seal the edges by crimping or fluting. Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if desired.
- Bake cherry pie. Place the pie dish onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden-brown.
Tip: Cover the edges of the pie with a pie shield or tin foil if the crust is getting too browned.
- Cool & serve. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Once cooled, place the pie in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours before slicing. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g
What are the best cherries for cherry pie?
You’ll find many varieties of cherries, which fit into one of 2 categories: sweet or tart. Tart cherries are bright red, while sweet cherries tend to have a darker color and contain more natural sugar.
Fresh dark sweet cherries are ideal for cherry pie, but frozen fruit works as well. Be sure to drain them after tawing to avoid adding excess moisture. If using sour cherries, you increase the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup to counteract the tartness.
How do you pit cherries?
A cherry pitter is the easiest way to pit cherries. I recommend buying one because it saves so much time, but you can get on fine without one.
To de-stone cherries without a cherry pitter, cut them in half with a paring knife and pluck the pits out with your fingers. It takes a couple of minutes, but it is worth it once you take a bite of this delicious cherry pie.
Can I use canned cherries instead of fresh?
My grandma’s cherry pie recipe is designed for fresh cherries. If you have canned cherries, use our canned cherry pie recipe. It’s perfect when fresh cherries are out of season.
Can I decorate with a lattice top?
Of course! I opted for a solid pie top with cherry cutouts, but you can adorn your pie with a beautiful lattice top. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut 4 to 5 dough strips and arrange them horizontally over the pie filling.
- Fold every other dough strip all the way back and place another strip perpendicularly onto the pie.
- Unfold the pulled-back strips over the perpendicular piece.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the dough, creating a grid-like lattice design.
Reasons to try old-fashioned cherry pie
- Oh-so delicious: The addition of lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract takes the taste of this homemade cherry pie to the next level.
- Easy to make from scratch: Baking cherry pie from scratch will leave you with a sense of pride, and it is easier than you might think.
- No canned pie filling: You are in for a real treat if you never tried fresh cherry pie before. Fresh cherries taste incredibly fruity and perfectly sweet in this homemade cherry pie.
More pie recipes to love
I can’t get enough of homemade pie! I like that you can pie as a dessert for about any occasion, and it will be a hit. Here are a few more pie recipes that will have everyone asking for more!