sweet-cherry-pie Recipes

sweet cherry pie

Whoever said you can’t make a good cherry pie with sweet cherries was lying. Sure, I love a sour or tart cherry pie as much as the next cherry-lover, but when the Greenmarket only has the sweet ones, there’s no reason to run in the other direction.


It helps that they were early-season cherries, thus not as sweet as the dark purple Bings we’re getting in the supermarkets right now. But I maintain that even if their sugars were fully developed, you could have just dialed back the sugar and punched up the acidity some more to balance it out.


There’s just no excuse not to make cherry pie when they’re this pretty.


You might want to wear dark clothes when you pit the cherries.


Even with OXO’s smarty-pants splash guard (yes, I finally bought one), I was finding garnet splatters from the food processor to the wall hours later. (I thought it was pretty and amusingly macabre, but Fear of Ants got me to wipe it up anyway.)

roll, patch

A good part of my Pie Superstition comes from the fact that pie dough, it just doesn’t like heat and humidity. It’s best to know this going into it, rechill it if it gets sticky, and try not to bemoan the tears and patching that inevitably occur, at least in our kitchen.


Because seriously, does this just not make you want to get outside? Do you see that sunlight ricocheting off the cherries?


Sadly, the lid, with it’s off-centered and ill-conceived star cut out didn’t do those cherries justice, but I didn’t hear anyone complain.


It was still, indeed, a star.


And it didn’t last long.

vanishing act

We considered arm-wrestling for the last piece.


The pie didn’t win.

One year ago: Lemon Risotto

Sweet Cherry Pie

Dough for a double-crust pie [recipes here and here; I use the latter these days]

4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds unpitted)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (adjust this according to the sweetness of your cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits

1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar, for decoration

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and almond extract gently together in a large bowl.

Roll out half of chilled dough (use larger piece, if you’ve divided them unevenly) on a floured work surface to 13-inch round. Gently place it in 9-inch pie pan, either by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan or by folding it into quarters and unfolding it in the pan. Trim edges to a half-inch overhang.

Spoon filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl. Dot the filling with the bits of cold butter.

Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the egg wash over over pie crust, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.

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183 comments on sweet cherry pie

  1. Susan

    Oh my..cherry pie! I’ve never tried it using the sweet cherries but this looks amazing. Good idea using the less ripe cherries. It’s a nice simple ingredient list..as (I think) it should be. Some recipes just don’t necessarily improve by gettin all ‘gore-made’ up!

  2. Perfect, i promised a friend a cherrypie for his birthday and wasn’t finding a recipe that I liked – since yours never disappoint, you saved the (birth)day! I can’t wait to try it out.

  3. Aria

    For some reason I couldn’t get the links for the crusts to work. This looks so delicious!!! I think I’m going to try it.

  4. It looks scrumptious. I must invest in the pitting tool. I’ve procrastinated enough. The kids love cherries too much not to get it. Thanks for the recipe. I shall attempt my first pie soon.

  5. Bobo

    This pie looks amazing, but what I’m really in awe of is the cherry pitter. Seriously, how did I not know about this thing? It looks vicious. And awesome.
    (The links for the pie pastry don’t seem to show up for me either.)

  6. ali

    i’m glad to hear that cherry pie can be made with sweet cherries — my mother discouraged me from making it years ago with sweet cherries, and I’ve never gotten over her warning. she’s a bit of a worry wort anyway.

  7. char

    I made CI’s Sweet Cherry Pie a couple of days ago. Yes, you can use sweet cherries. I used 3/4 cup sugar with 6 cups pitted sweet cherries. I used a CI reader tip for pitting: unfold a paper clip and use one end to pull the pits out. Worked very well.

  8. The colors in that pie are the epitome of summer. Bright and vibrant baby!! I don’t normally play with pie dough, for the reasons you listed (heat, humidity) and also because I suck with dough, but I’m itching to test out a pie dough recipe now.

  9. OH GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN HARDLY TAKE THESE PICTURES – THIS PIE LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS FAN-DAMN-TASTICK!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve gotta run out and get cherries RIGHT NOW!

  10. Sarah H

    I just made that upside down cherry cake a few nights ago, and it was AMAZING. The greatest part about it was I took a commenter’s advice about pitting the cherries with a meat thermometer sleeve, or whatever the cover for an instant read thermometer is called. It worked perfectly. I have young kids, so we have plenty of sturdy straws from their sippy cups lying around, and I think it would do the same thing. Any sort of sturdy strawlike object would work great for pitting cherries. Try it! (Well, not you, deb, because you are fancy now.)

  11. I adore cherry pie and have been craving it to the extreme lately. Now I find this and happily realize there is no hope. Between the sweet red filling and hearty looking crust—this will definitely be the next pie recipe I try!

  12. Kristan

    Thanks! I have just the cherries that are begging to be made into this pie. Mmmmm…And just the husband that will chow down on it!

  13. Molly

    This pie was the BOMB. I was lucky enough to be one of Debbie’s taster-testers and I had two pieces. I would have eaten more if I had been alone with the pie, in private.

  14. Everything you put on here looks sooo delish! I have to admit that I’ve already made 2 pizzas from your “simplest pizza dough” recipe and three more dough balls are sitting in my freezer waiting to be topped! Plus, I’m getting the ingrediants today so I can make that mouth-watering “simplest apple tart”! :)
    -Am, of lu n’ am

  15. i really wish i liked cherry pie, because there’s a sour cherry tree in my backyard that’s full of fruit that i don’t want. also, because it always looks so beautiful.

    anyone in the NYC area is welcome to come to my backyard and pick the cherries.

  16. deb

    *Waves arms frantically in the air*

    Me! Me! Over here! I am a little obsessed with sour cherries and have been impatiently awaiting their arrival for a month. My parents used to have a sour cherry tree in their backyard but it died and I’m still not over it.

  17. Michelle

    I used sweet cherries in season in Washington state last weekend to make individual cherry pies. I used half Bing and half Rainier. Just cooked the cherries into a pie filling with a bit of sugar and cornstarch, cut some rounds out of puff pastry, and filled them with the sweet cherry pie filling. Baked until golden and yummy! They were the hit of the party.

  18. Fletch

    That is indeed a gorgeous pie! I find that my fingers are the best tool for pitting cherries. Much faster (but just as messy, if not more so) than a pitter. Best with fingernails, but I keep mine very short and still make quick work of it.

  19. Ann

    I can see why that pie didn’t last long – they never do in our house either, and there’s just 2 of us, kind of embarrassing. I always do blueberry, but now I’m thinking I really need to branch out – even with all this pitting involved. Great pics.

  20. Y’know, I adore cherries… cherries really are God’s own fruit… except in the Witches of Eastwick. (Try not to think about it…)
    But it is soooo not cherry season here. So I shall just sit and drool over your amazing photos and groan over your fabulous word pictures too: “Do you see that sunlight ricocheting off the cherries?”
    Oh, yes, yes, yes!
    Thanks, I needed that…

  21. Eileen

    Ditto kudos on the meat thermometer sleeve recommendation. We have several empty ones and we zipped through the cherries for the upside down cake lickety split. Seemed faster than when I DID have an official cherry pitter.Aprons or dark colors, of course, are also recommended. Cherries are juicy!

  22. I couldn’t agree more – sweet cherry pie rocks! Actually, I personally like sweet cherry pie (with Bings) way more than sour cherry pie. I smiled when I saw your post — got my hands on some gorgeous cherries over the weekend and thought of pie, but the cherries didn’t quite last long enough to cook with. Maybe next week……thanks!

  23. Oh wow, until I read closer, I thought the fruit in that cherry pitter was an apple! It certainly looks like one! Cool device, but it seems like just another one of those gadgets that gets used once a year yet takes up more than its fair share of space. Although the pie looks quite worth it, and the only other way I know to pit cherries in any decent amount of time is to bite it in half and spit out the pit. I don’t think the guests would like that.

  24. I can’t make a thing with cherries in my house; once I have a container in the fridge I just can’t stop eating them, nor can I save them for anything else.They are just too darn good! And yes, the juice goes everywhere!!!

  25. Kim

    Another wonderful pie, and I am sure it was worth the cherry splatter motif you got in the kitchen. So glad you broke down and got a pitter, though your dedication for the last cherry post was remarkable.

  26. Now that is a crust. I have to get a cherry pitter thingee tool. You know I have always wondered if putting a little cheddar cheese in the crust would work for cherry pies as well as it does for apple pies? Hmmm

  27. Thanks for this recipe! I’ve yet to ever see a sour cherry in the NL in all the 10 years that I’ve been here, and now I don’t have to have cherry pie envy! LOL!

  28. That is a spectacular looking pie! I’ve had cherry pie on my mind lately…I don’t think I’ve ever had it before, but my mouth is watering at the thought of it…

  29. Alex

    What is this awesome device? I guess I am just ignorant of such wonderful tools, but where oh where can I get a cherry pitter/corer?? I envy your tummy!

  30. Tina

    I am very smitten with smitten kitchen! I just bought a cute little brick house and it is begging to be decorated with your photos. Do you have any plans to make any more of your photos available for purchase? I am planning on purchasing photos of fruits/veggies for the kitchen, and breads/soups/desserts/meals for the dining room. Anyway, I just had to check with you to see if you have any new ones being made available. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

  31. Tina

    I see many, many in the archives and on your Flickr account that I drool over, but unless I’m going to just wallpaper the whole house with your photos, I’m going to have to get choosy. First I have to measure my space and figure out my design, then comb your sight again and make my final decisions. I can probably make my choices out of what you already have for sale, but if I find that I just can’t live without a photo that is not listed for sale, I’ll let you know. Thanks!

  32. L

    Oh man. I made this and it came out awesome! I’m vegan, and this was easily veganized by subbing Earth Balance Shortening and Earth Balance “Buttery Sticks” in a 1:1 ratio for the butta and shortnin’. NOM! Thanks for all the pie crust pep-talking – this was actually the first pie I’ve ever made, and though at times it looked like a hot tranny mess, I stuck it out and the results were num nums. Thanks again!

  33. Would you believe that cherry pie is the only way that I will eat cherries? I can’t wait to try this!! And those photos are to die for. Can I volunteer to lick the pie plate? :-)

  34. Terri M

    I was searching for cherry recipes and found your site…actually I was searching for clafoutis with sweet cherries and ricotta. What actually brought me here was the anything but clemintine clafoutis. Your pie looks delish, I will definitely give it a try, but don’t forget that one of the best uses for sweet cherries, black and red raspberries and blueberries (all in season right now!) is a Clafoutis or Clafouti. Think warm custardy spicy and fruity…:) And as for those beautiful clementines…the next time you are able to get them, try baking a clemintine cake. I know there is a recipe on Clothide’s Zuccini & Chocolate site. It is a pretty amazing way to bake citrus… For now I must comfort myself for their lack with the beautiful abundance of summer fruit…il est si tragique! I am not sure it will be correct to put an Italian cheese in a french dish but it just seems like it would work so well… So back to the cherries!

  35. Jen

    Thanks for this recipe, tried it this weekend and am wondering if anyone else ran into too juicy of a sauce? Maybe I didn’t bake it long enough. The crust was fantastic, used all butter and 1/4 cup sugar, and mainly dark cherries. Thanks for all your work, you are an inspiration to so many others!

  36. Linda

    Thank you! I had an argument with my best friend just about a year ago about making pie with sweet cherries. Since that’s just about all I can get here fresh (even in farmer’s markets), I’ve only every made sweet cherry pies. Now that I have a recipe to work with I’m thrilled!

  37. Sini

    That looks so delicious! I have been making a similar-like pie with plums and the pie tastes gorgeous! Your cherrie pie will definitely be on my kitchen table this week ;)

  38. Oh man, I just love cherries and cherry pie. Right now, the cherries are so expensive that it would cost my $30 to make this pie. :-(

    I have that cherry pitter, too. Used it today for a $5.00 snack for my son and me. Still spatters but much better than the alternative!

  39. Ana

    Looks delicious. I just made a sour cherry pie the other day, my prized treat every June. I’ve never tried it with sweet cherries, though- those get eaten too fast to become anything cooked.

    That’s the only reason the sour cherries make it into the pie: They’re way too tart to eat more than a few raw.

  40. Judi

    Cherry pie is my fav, and I can’t wait to make this. However I’m thanking you again for the Silky Cauliflower Soup recipe. I made it again last night and was reminded how quickly this recipe comes together. Trying to drop a few pounds this summer, I left out the parmesan cheese which was a sacrifice. But the taste of the soup is so good I just had to write again and thank you! I feel like I’m having a big bowl of cream of cauliflower soup, but you’ve managed to make it so tasty without the cream! Thank you again!!

  41. taash

    Looks delicious, and I bet it was….

    I made a sour cherry pie yesterday, my tradition for 4th of July. I used the vodka crust, which was perfect, and FWIW, here’s a tip courtesy of CI to keep a cherry (or berry) filling from turning out soupy: for 4 cups of fruit, add 2 Tbsp finely ground tapioca and one grated Granny Smith apple, wrung dry (place grated apple in dishtowel and squeeze all the juice out, then add to the fruit before dropping into crust.) This created a truly perfect fruit filling: the apple vanished (VANISHED, I tell you!) leaving no trace of flavor or texture, but its natural pectin brought the fruit filling together so that it was lush and moist, not in the least sticky or gummy, but not runny at all. The resulting pie looked and smelled so good I was picking up admirers on the bus ride to and from my folks’ (there’s a lesson here, it seems: if you’re lonely, put on your most flattering jeans and ride public transit with fresh baked goods. Someone is bound to notice and talk to you.) I used the rest of the sour cherries (a) to make sour cherry syrup and (b) to freeze for future pies, which won’t be long in coming.

    Thanks for the brilliant pics, they’re so good you can almost smell the pie.

  42. Janet

    Janet, I loved the photos of the pie Yummy. I would like to make a fresh sweet cherry pie. thought I might cook the cherries with ground tapioca, sugar, lelmon and almond extract. and make single crust baked and cooled and pour in cool pie mixture. add whipping cream when serving. I have not used tapioca before and the pie got very juicy. any hints on this ?

  43. Julie

    Here’s a hint for keeping the splash way down when pitting cherries: do it inside a plastic bag. I also have a fancy-shmancy cherry pitter, but my first time using it resulted in quite a mess. Next time out, just put my hand and the pitter inside a plastic bag, et voila! No mess.

  44. Jessie

    Made the pie. Took the pie to the block party. The pie disappeared.

    Seriously, though, I’ve tried several recipes for sweet cherry pie, and this is by far the best. I work for a local, sustainable orchard here in Montana, and used some of our Sandra Rose cherries. They plumped up like plums, and exploded in the mouth. Ruth and Berta, my elderly neighbor ladies, were raving about it. That’s about the best compliment I–and you, too–could receive : ) Thanks!

    Oh, and I bookmarked your site. Can’t wait to try more recipes . . .

  45. What stunning photos! The pie is absolutely mouth-watering, but alas I can only gaze from afar. My husband has an unreasonable hatred of cherries which he seens to have passed on to our little boy. *sigh*

  46. Catherine

    Love the pictures! I just got on to look for a cherry pie recipe with sweet cherries and yours was the first one I found. I only hope mine will taste as good as yours looks! You would think with the 50 or so cookbooks I have, one would have a recipe for sweet cherry pie! Anyway, thanks for the great site, I’m sure that I will be returning! Gotta go and get baking right now!!

  47. lynn

    this is the first time i’ve looked for a cherry pie recipe and i’m glad i came across this one. i’ll never have to look again because this was the most amazing pie i’ve ever eaten!!!!!!!

  48. This pie was really good. The crust was perfect. This will definitely be my go-to crust from now on. The only thing I didn’t like was that the filling wasn’t sweet enough for MY taste. Next time I’ll add a bit more sugar (3/4ths instead of 2/3rds). Thanks!

  49. Rhea

    I went to Leona Valley (So Cal) only to find that I was three weeks too early for sour cherries. I came back home with $60 worth of early Rainiers (10 pies) which were quickly pitted and frozen. I read and reread instructions in Joy of Cooking for pie baking with sweet cherries. I could not bring myself to bake a pie. Google brought me to your site and the beautiful pictures convinced me to take the leap. Each frozen cherry was cut in half(double checking for pits) and I added red food coloring to the lemon juice and almond extract. I had to suction about 1 cup of cherry juice off the top after the bake time of 1 -1/2 hours ( tented w/ foil). The remaining liquid set up beautifully. What a beautiful pie we had! I will leave the cherries whole next time and only drain to room temp before mixing for pie. Thanks for the courage. I can now go both ways!

  50. Katharine

    Try the Cherry Chomper…a cute little cherry pitter that is SO EASY with very LITTLE MESS, very little indeed!

  51. Debra

    My pie is in the oven right now and smells great! I used a chopstick to pit the cherries and it worked beautifully. Can’t wait to dig in!

  52. Robina

    I have a small cherry pitter I bought last summer while visiting my folks, and it is coming in handy this summer. I looked everywhere for a sweet cherry recipe, and this is the only one that comes up even looking viable. I am taking a leap and making a tart instead of a full fledged pie, but am confident that it will go well with your pie as a guide. Thanks for being there for me!

  53. js

    I have been looking for a pie crust that looking like the pictures of this pie. My mom’s pie crust always had that thick and bubbly appearance. I used the recipe the author indicated she used and just took it out of the oven. It is gorgeous. I baked the leftover crust after sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on them and it tastes wonderful. The crust was also easy to roll out and to handle. Sorry, I haven’t even tried the pie yet for taste, but know it will be wonderful ;)

  54. Nada

    I tried the crust with 1/4 cup of frozen olive oil and1/2 a cup of vodka and it was surprisingly good. I’m sure it would have tasted awesome with butter but I can’t afford the calories :). Thanks for the vodka tip.

  55. April Sims

    One of the Best Cherry Pies I have ever tasted. I had to use frozen cherries because fresh were already out of season by the time I found this recipe.Also had to use three bags frozen cherries but worth the cost the pie came out wonderful. I will certainly be using these recipe again.

  56. Keshy

    Hello all!
    I don’t really cook, but my sister and I were planning to make dinner for our family. She’s taking care of the mains and im in charge of the dessert – and really want to make a CHERRY PIE! Im new at all of this so ive got a couple of silly questions
    1) why do all recipes use sour cherries or canned cherries instead of sweet cherries?
    2)what should I accompany my cherry pie with; vanilla icecream or custard?
    I would appreciate any feedback! thank you!

  57. greg

    I found this by searching for a recipe for using sweet cherries (aka the fresh cherries you can get at the market) for a pie. THANK YOU. I prefer fruit pies that are more about the fruit and less about the sugar and this is perfect. For more important events I make my own crust but for a quick tasty pie I am fine with the Pillsbury crusts – just don’t skip the egg/sugar over the top.

    Several people have said – even with that crust – that this is the best pie they’ve ever had.

    Keshy – vanilla ice cream. No contest. Then you can use less sugar in the pie.

  58. Allison

    I just made this pie and while it tastes amazing according to my husband…I was wondering what I did wrong. My filling seemed to be very runny compared to yours which looks sort of jelly like. I did leave the extra juices that pooled at the bottom in the bowl when adding the filling. Maybe most of the cornstarch was left behind? Oh and I realized way too late I forgot to dot it with butter…Ha! That was the only thing I did differently from your instructions. Any suggestions appreciated :D

  59. I am making this today! It looks fantastic, and I love the instructions on how to make a butter pie crust that is flaky. It makes sense, the same idea as why croissants are flaky, I guess. I’ll post a picture of my results on my blog, if you care to see… Thank you!! : )

  60. Renee

    I made this several weeks ago with my CSA cherries. A W E S O M E. It’s long gone now, but brings back such memories….makes me think aha!-cherries are still in season, but hmmm what about that diet I’m on?

  61. Chloe

    I just made this lastnight and it’s gone today; it only lasted until today because I baked it late at night so that it was too late to nosh on it, which is something I’m famous for(both late-night baking and noshing). I used just barely 2/3 cup sugar and it was only slightly sweet; the flavour of the cherries really shone through. A friend of my Mom’s gave us 5 POUNDS of wonderful black cherries yesterday. I didn’t have any almond extract or a whole lemon, so I used vanilla and bottled Sicilian lemon juice, but it still worked nicely. The guy I have a crush on ate the last piece of it and said that it was “the best pie he’s had lately.” It’s going into my long list of favourite recipes. Actually, a lot of recipes from this blog are in my favourites list…

  62. Chloe

    Oh, I also forgot to dot it with butter, but realized it right after sticking it in the oven, so I broke up the butter into tiny pieces and stuffed it into the pie through the vents. It worked out just fine, though the top crust was a bit more…rustic-looking? than my pies usually are.

  63. Guess what’s in my oven RIGHT NOW? :) Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I am somewhat of a newbie on the pie making front, but I just HAD to do it, my cherry tree is bursting with gorgeous jems right now! Thanks for sharing a recipe for sweet cherries, it took my a while to find one. This looks davine!

    My grandpa used to pick cherries all the time. I remember he used to put them in jars, I think it was with brandy or something? He always had rows and rows of purple shimmering jars on a very rustic shelf in his basement. That was way back in the day. Makes me smile to think about that. :) Thanks again…

  64. Rebecca

    yesterday i went to riley farms with some friends and we were picking cherries like fiends! i came home with a huge bag full of cherries that were just begging to be made into a pie. after searching through various google results, i found your site (which, i’ll admit, i’ve been to before through stumbleupon and drooled over).

    this pie is now cooling and i can’t wait to try it. it looks amazing! thank you so much for the recipe :D

  65. Elizabeth

    This is perfectly timed. I have 14 lbs of organic local Michigan cherries in my fridge right now (well, probably closer to 12 – I’ve already frozen the first batch). I will be making this pie this weekend in an attempt to convince the newest potential boyfriend that I’m awesome. Although I will be using a pre-made pie crust (which I know is blasphemy, but it’s 90 degrees right now and I don’t have air conditioning), hopefully it’ll be amazing. (And I’ll probably copy what a previous poster did with vanilla – I can’t stand the smell of almond extract.)

  66. Juliana

    Yum! I’m 15 and I just made dinner for my family for the first time, which included this pie and the summer pea and roasted red pepper pasta salad, so delicious. First time eating cherry pie too, now my mom and I are absolutely trying all the recipes on the site. Thanks for sharing the food greatness.

  67. Sarah

    I just tried this recipe today- with a lime instead of a lemon and with vanilla extract. My pie, though tasty, is super liquid-y; and I was wondering if anyone had any idea why this might be. It seems like the cornstarch didn’t set at all- there really was no jelly-like filling, just cherries and liquid.

  68. Heather

    Sarah – I, too just made this pie and had a soupy situation on my hands. The pie was good but the cornstarch didn’t firm up the insides at all. I wonder if using tapioca would be better than cornstarch?

  69. I know this post is really old but I just made this pie per the request of a friend. It was her one request after asked “what can I do to help” after her recent surgery….a cherry pie. I turned to you, as I often do, for the best of the best recipes. I over bought cherries and ended up making two pies. The friend who’d had surgery and several of my co-workers (the receipents of the second pie!), all said that it was quite simply the best cherry pie they’d ever had. :-) All commented that it was sweet, but not overly so. Thank so much for your dedication to giving us wonderful recipes!

    All the best to you!

  70. Jonnie

    Made this pie yesterday. I was a tad short on the cherries so I threw about a cup and a half of blueberries in with it. Fantastic. Also didn’t have any vodka for the crust, so I used a little Knob Creek Bourbon(50% Alcohol). I’m using this dough recipe for the rest of my life.

  71. I have a Church fundraiser coming up in Sept. and I was going to make a Cheesecake. But I bought fresh cherries instead of candied cherries. So I started looking for reciepes for a cherry pie. I could’nt find a receipe for fresh cherries. This receipe is great, it is also fast and easy on the pocket book! Thankyou !

  72. Erin

    I made this last winter for my friend’s birthday because he likes pie better than cake, and it was devoured completely after like 10 minutes. I just used unbleached sugar in order to make it vegan, and it came out just as pretty as the picture! Thanks for all the great recipes and thanks for all the great pictures to go along with them to convince me to bake them and to reassure me that what I’m making is progressing properly at each step! :)

  73. randi

    i have mine in the oven as i write this i was so blessed this year with over 500 trees LOADED with big fat purple cherries to help myself too so im smothered up to my neck in cherries and this pie is the first makins from em!

  74. Emily in Italy

    I made this pie today and was SO happy it turned out! It is the first cherry pie ever for my Italian husband and I must say I think he approves! Your recipes are the bomb!
    ps. I aslo follow your baby section and can’t wait to try some of your tips when my little one starts eating!

  75. my mouth is watering…the picture above the “We considered arm-wrestling for the last piece.”..is totally amazing –wow – its not many picture of (wonderful) food get me that way…i’m not a big cherry fan but in thsi case i’ll make an exception..i’ll write this one down for my next dinner party

  76. I made this, posted about it and linked back to you of course. It turned out really good (I used the all-butter number 2 dough recipe) but really feel compelled to order a pastry blender now…I haven’t seen them much here, but I guess pie isn’t an Italian thing. Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  77. American in London

    Just fed this pie to 8 Brits for Independence Day–Zounds it’s wonderful! Served with Mackee’s iced cream–not vanilla, just cream. None of them had really had cherry pie (they tend to associate pie with meat here) but all were in agreement that it was absolutely lovely. I used Spanish Picota sweet cherries and actually cut the sugar down to 1/2c but kept all other proportions the same. This is the second time I’ve used your All-Butter Really Flaky Pie crust and it worked like a charm. I wove it into a lattice and it was very pretty. It took about 10 minutes longer than specified on gas mark 6, then bumped down to 5. Loved it!

  78. Tessa Huff

    Just wanted to let you know I have made this TWICE this year now and it has been great both times. I made it for my husband’s and my graduation party and I just made it today with your leftover butter only dough today for the 4th. I made my first lattice crust with this pie and it turns out great! Thanks for the great recipe.

  79. Laura

    I made this last night and it did not come out at all. The dough did not cook through due to the level of juice that was inside the crust. The juice was to the rim of the pie tin. The cherries did not cook through, and the whole thing just did not set. I triple checked myself each step of the way, but it just didn’t work out. Cooked it the 25 at 450 and the 30 at 350, but it never even bubbled. The outer crust was golden and crispy so I pulled it out of the oven after the alloted cook time. In the end, after cutting a piece out, I was able to pour the entire contents right out of the crust and you could see how doughy the bottom crust still was. As ovens vary, maybe this was due to a temp issue or maybe it needed longer cooking. After so much time involved with prep, I was so disappointed for it to have come out like that.

  80. Kat

    YUM! I will be using the refrig cherries no one is eating – waste not, want not. And, dialing down the sugar and ramping up the lemon is the way to go with these left-over Bings.

  81. Buckley

    Deb — I made this last night, using your all butter crust recipe, and it was a smash. It’s early August in CA, and the cherries aren’t terribly sweet now, but that actually made the pie better. I made this at the request of a friend; I’m not typically wild about cherry pie… but this has converted me. Thank you!

  82. jess

    i am so sad! i made this tonight, followed the directions to a “t” and the whole thing came out totally runny- it never set! also the cherries didn’t cook all the way through. any ideas on what i may have done wrong?

  83. A very sick old man just asked me for a cherry pie and this is the recipe I made him. His family passed on that his smile when he said “it tastes just like the pie my mom used to make” was priceless. Thank you.

  84. Lisa in Ohio

    My husband asked for cherry pie for Christmas. A friend had used frozen cherries in her Thanksgiving pie-and it was far better than those with canned filling. I could only find frozen bing cherries and was lucky to find this sweet cherry recipe. I defrosted and drained 2 bags-which was just a little short of the full amount called for. I also paid attention to discard most of the juice before putting the fruit into the crust. The pie was perfect and earned raves. Thanks so much!


  86. anybody have good rhubarb pie recipes? My mother used to make avacado lime pies, but died when I was young and did not write any recipes down before she died. Does anyone have a good avacado lime pie recpe as well?

  87. Rama

    Same question for frizen vs fresh rhubarb. I tried your recipes for apple pie and strawberry rhubarb pie and they turned out wonderful.

  88. Tara

    Made this in mini form (12 muffin sized and 1 5-inch sized) using the all-butter dough, using cherries from our tree. They are so good! The mini ones are for the neighbors – I better go hand them out now, because otherwise they’ll get eaten! The dough was really good too (and relatively easy!) and I normally hate pie dough (making or eating it). Thank you!

  89. Rachel

    This looks delicious, thank you! I’m going to try it to make mini pies for my son’s birthday party. Do you think they would freeze well? I’ve never made pies in my life, but I’d like to make them ahead of time if possible. Thanks!

  90. Summer

    I made this last night for my husband and his coworkers. They DEVOURED it! So delicious! I have made lots of pies in my lifetime, but never a cherry pie. I was intimidated, but thanks to your awesome directions it came out perfectly! Also, thank you for saying the brand of the cherry pitter because I had no clue where to find one!

  91. Just made another cherry pie. I used splenda sweetner rather than sugar. It turned out delicious. I always pit the cherries myself and did not even know you could buy a home pitter.

  92. Christine

    I’ve made several of your recipes but never added to the conversation because it always seemed that you had too many comments — a good problem. Anyway, I wanted to assure people worried about liquidy insides or uncooked bottom crust that this recipe worked out perfectly for us. We followed the directions exactly, using the butter crust. Just be sure to drain the cherries before you fill the pie.

  93. Christine

    Oops, one more thing that might have helped: We made the filling while the dough was chilling, so it had about an hour to get nice and juicy before we drained it. Maybe that took some of the drippiness out of the fruit before cooking?

  94. Theresa

    Just finished eating a piece of this wonderful pie. Have made a sweet cherry pie once before and was not happy with it, but this recipe has changed my mind. You CAN make a delicious pie with sweet cherries. I used Rainiers which this year were a bit tart actually. I used 5 cups instead of 4 and of course the juice seeped over the edges, but who cares (I had a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven so it didn’t make a mess in the oven). Thanks for sharing your recipes. I really enjoy your website. Next on my list: strawberry-rhubarb crumble (except I’ll likely leave out the strawberries!)

  95. Chella Ann

    Thanks for this recipe! I had sweet cherries, and I thought that you can’t bake a pie with those. This turned out great though. I used your pie crust recipe (the second one without the vodka) and this is by far the flakiest crust that I’ve ever made – thanks for the great tips.

  96. Audrey

    All butter crust – perfect recipe. 2/3 cup sugar – plenty sweet for me. I even added an extra 1/2 cup of cherries because pie pan seem underfilled with 4 cups of cherries. Lots of liquid though. Maybe I should have drained more liquid out prior to baking. Still very tasty, but because the filling was so liquidy – it was not quite the perfect cherry pie.

  97. Chelsey

    I made this for the Fourth. It was probably the best pie I’ve ever eaten.
    I used bing cherries and used 2/3 cup of sugar. I maybe could have gotten by with a 1/2 cup, but it certainly didn’t hurt it any as it was. It was SO wonderful. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
    Also, the leftovers were the best breakfast ever.

  98. Joanne

    Mmm I just made this with about a cup and half of strawberries in with the cherries in a 9″ cake tin (as it’s all I had!) It looks absolutely amazing and chilling the pie crust overnight worked wonders. It seemed a little wet the day before (and I only used two tablespoons of the extra water) because I think European butter has a much higher water content but turned out perfect after resting and rolling with flour. I also bought a cheap cherry pitter and love it-what a great tool. Can’t wait to take it along to a poker night tonight! Will let you know what it tastes like!

    1. deb

      Hi Joanne — European butter, delightfully, has a higher butterfat content (U.S. butters often use a bit of water as a filler). Sometimes moisture collects between the dough and plastic in the fridge but nevertheless, I am glad you found it successful and hope you enjoy the pie.

  99. Jessica

    I made this pie, but with some moderations. First, I followed the filling recipe exactly as the recipe described, using local Rainier cherries. It did NOT taste pleasant before going in the oven. It’s difficult to describe, but the cherries just left this yucky taste in my mouth.

    I rinsed the cherries and started over, using only a squeeze of lemon juice, half the sugar, and omitting the almond extract entirely. The pre-baked result was much more desirable. I’m sure the recipe is fine, but Rainier cherries are definitely not ideal when used in this recipe.

    Because of my son’s dairy and soy allergies, I used lard instead of butter or shortening. The resulting crust was denser than intended, but such is to be expected when living with food allergies!

  100. Belinda

    I’m having some friends over for dinner and thanks to the wonders of speedy transportation (I’m in Western Australia), I’ve got a large bag of sweet California cherries that are just begging to be made into this pie for dessert!

  101. Tara

    Whoops! Just made this – it’s in the oven now and smells amazing. The whoops is because I forgot to dot the filling with the tbsp of butter. I really hope I didn’t mess it up!! Will re-post after we taste it.

    By the way – can’t wait for your cookbook!! You are my go to cooking blog.

  102. Athena

    I loved this pie…I used blueberries also about 1 cup and I didn’t have any lemon juice and had already been to the store twice, so I used balsamic vinager…It turned out FABULOUS!

  103. Lynda

    Deb, I made sweet cherry pie out of desperation two years ago, and it was the greatest success of my life. I live in Michigan, where pie cherries are grown, but none were available when I needed them. I bought sweet cherries, pitted them (wear red) and the pie was wonderful. My friends said it was an act of love to pit the cherries (they were right) and the pie was perfect. frozen cherries work, and save time, but nothing beats fresh sweet cherry pie.

  104. It’s in the oven as I write. I used the 4 cups of cherries, but I think it could have used at least 5 cups. Im using a 9in glass pie plate. We will soon see!

  105. Amanda

    I made this pie last week with bing cherries. Like a few others have commented, my pie turned out too liquid-y. I realized while I was filling the pie with the cherry mixture that there was no juice for me to leave in the bottom of the bowl like the recipe says there should be. I think this issue comes from how ripe the cherries are. If they are very ripe, when you pit them they will ooze lots of their juice out. But if they are not so ripe (like mine were), they retain their juice until you cook them. Next time I plan to squish the cherries a bit to make sure some of the juice comes out before cooking. Hopefully this works! Everything else about this recipe is fantastic!

  106. Lali

    I just made the pie with 3 cups sweet cherries and a cup of blueberries. It looks fantastic! i put 2-3 Tbs of dry tapioca pearls on the bottom crust before putting cherries in. It creates a wonderful jelly around the fruit, to absorb all the juices, which thicken as the pie cools.

    I use the tapioca trick for all my fruit pies, and never have a problem with runny filling.

  107. Heather

    I’ve never made a fruit pie before so I was nervous but it turned out awesome!! And I didn’t even realize I’d forgot to dot the filling with butter until I read comment 142!!! Whoops indeed. No one complained and it was delicious!

  108. How long in advance can I make this pie? I need to bring it to a friend’s dinner Friday night and I’m wondering if I can make it tonight (Wednesday), i.e. 48h in advance.
    Thank you! :)

  109. Cy

    Awesome! Thank you for the tip! I’ll keep it in the fridge.
    I made the pie last night and adapted it to a lattice top. It looked awesome and my apartment smelled like heaven! Everyone was bummed they have to wait until tomorrow to eat it! LOL
    Thank you for one more awesome recipe, Deb! You are the best! <3

  110. Cy

    One more thing. Like many others here I also forgot to add the bits of cold butter to the filling. I came back to the recipe to try to find out the purpose of that and how the absence of it could impact the final result but I couldn’t find this info. Do you know why the bits of butter in the filling?

    1. deb

      Cy — It just adds a little richness. It’s not the kind of thing you miss if you skip it, however. It’s more of a bonus if you do. Glad you enjoyed the pie!

  111. Cy

    I see…! I am a pathologist and lab geek, so I really appreciate understanding the “whys” of things and methods in baking! Thank you! I find it awesome how you are so busy and still answer our comments and questions so promptly! Two thumbs up for you! :-)

  112. Holly

    Oh boy, have you revolutionized my family’s requests for dessert! I made this along with a strawberry rhubarb and Dutch apple pie for last week’s Pi day (I’m a math geek with a degree who tutors, it’s obligatory to celebrate it). Prior to this the Dutch apple was always the one being requested, but only a couple of times a year. (None of us have been crust fans in the past.) Good grief, every day since I’ve been asked by all of them when I am making the sweet cherry pie again, because after all it is March of 2014 so it can be Pi MONTH, right?! Thanks again for such a great recipe!! Oh, and this is even good with frozen cherries. That is very probably sacrilege, but that is all that is available right now!

  113. Mandie

    NUM NUM. I just made this after cherry picking across the border in Virginia today, and YUM. Had it not been 11PM when I pulled it from the oven, it may not have lasted through the night. Now, excuse me, I have 15 more lbs of cherries to pit and preserve. :)

  114. kourtney

    i absolutely LOVE your pie crust. i LOVE they way you write. funny, informative, delicious, and not an oz of pretension. PLEASE KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO, BECAUSE YOU DO IT RIGHT.

  115. Kristen

    I made this for a Fourth celebration, and most folks liked it. Might try again with some tweaking because the cherries I used needed some oomph; should have been a little freer with the lemon juice. Didn’t have a cherry pitter, so I used a plastic thermometer cover and it worked a treat! Per the comments, I was careful to not add too much liquid from the cherry mix (a scant 2 Tbls.), and it had a nice firm filling after resting two hours. I only have a Pyrex deep dish pie plate, so I made one and a half times the recipe and it fit perfectly and looked amazing, despite my usual pie crust bungling. Forgot to change the oven temp halfway through, and it still came out beautifully with maybe an extra 15 minutes baking time. Best part of the pie was the amazing SK butter pie crust; woke up the next day still thinking about it, and obviously still am. Perfection!

  116. Hannah

    How important is the almond extract? My partner is not a fan of it and can detect even the smallest amounts in desserts even if he can’t name it (“it just tastes.. off”). What could I substitute and still have it taste delicious?

  117. Stacy

    Love. LOVE. LoVe this recipe! The almond extract is quite tasty and the recipe is easy peasy. Thank goodness I have a handy dandy cherry pitter. It’s now 8pm and the pie is just finishing up in the oven. I can’t wait to eat some for breakfast. Yes, BrEaKfAsT!

  118. Gabby

    I just made this pie and the fiing was delicious! Sadly, my pie was also soupy like many other commenters experienced. I tried setting it in the fridge and made no substitutions, but it was sadly still runny. Deb, I wonder if you could include some tips to prevent this? Or include it as part of your Pie Making 101?

  119. Gail Burbridge

    I have just read your excellent Comment Guidelines, and I congratulate you on your effort to guarantee the quality of your readers’ responses, just as you take such care to produce only high quality writing yourself for Smitten Kitchen. I agree with you that it’s a good idea to skip to the end of a comment list to read the responses of people who have actually tried your recipe and have something to say or ask about it. Today I read all the way to number 60 of the comments before I met with someone who had tried out your sweet cherry pie recipe and asked a relevant and helpful question. I just had to stop reading and say hello to you before skipping to the end where hopefully I will learn something else helpful before I go to the market for sweet cherries.

    Best Wishes,

  120. deb

    Hi Gabby — When making pies this way — mixing the filling and baking it in the shell — it’s always an uphill battle against wetness because you’re always playing a little roulette with how much it will firm up. At many pie shops, what they do to avoid this is to pre-cook the filling, at least a little, on the stove so they can see how thick it will be going in, and adjust accordingly, maybe pouring off a little liquid if needed. If you’d like to avoid extra wetness at all costs, this might be a more failsafe way to approach fresh fruit pies. Hope that helps.

  121. Nicole

    Made this for father’s day yesterday and it was probably the worst pie filling I’ve ever made (crust was fine). My dad is so sweet though, so he kept eating it even though I’m sure he wasn’t enjoying it. I followed the instructions exactly but it looked as if I’d just poured a few cups of water into the finished pie. If cooking in advance will help get rid of some of the liquid as Deb suggested, I would definitely do that.

  122. Lisa

    Hmmm. I made this tonight – followed directions to a T. The crust was fine. Very flaky. For some reason it seemed a bit too greasy though. It was easy to make and rolled out extraordinarily. I would liken it to a croissant taste/texture. I think next time I will try using a quarter stick less of butter and see what that does.

    But the cherries. It doesn’t seem like they were cooked enough. I put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes, but they still just look like uncooked cherries in the pie plate. The taste is ok, but not wonderful. The cherries were wonderful when I bought them (taste test), so not sure what I did wrong. My pie certainly doesn’t look like yours though (I did try the star cut out on top too).

  123. Morgan

    I have used the crust recipe twice now and love it! The first time I used half whole wheat fl and it was good but only if you enjoy that whole wheat taste. The actual cherry pie recipe is also amazing. I have this page bookmarked and will always come back to it:)

  124. Lali

    I have made this pie over and over and it’s a fave in my house. I leave excess “juice” in the bowl when putting the filling into the crust, and always sprinkle a bit of instant tapioca on the bottom crust before filling. Letting the cherries sit with the sugar and cornstarch at room temperature seems to help draw out some of the juices.
    We spend a little time in Lake Huron in Michigan every summer, and use Traverse City cherries – the best!!

  125. Liz

    Just enjoyed this pie with vanilla ice cream – great recipe, thank you!

    I used frozen, pitted cherries (picked last season – in Australia, so December). The cherries had been very sweet, so used barely half a cup of raw sugar (all I had!) and a very juicy but not tart lemon. I added some ground almonds to the filling, instead of the almond essence, to soak up any excess juice. It was Gough when I put it into the pie. Cooked it barely to time, as it was quite brown on top, quite early. It was magnificent. The filling was firm, the cherries sweet but still juicy and the pie crust (the second one) was flaky and buttery.

    Looking forward to left overs tomorrow! (And next cherry season). Thank you!

  126. Hi,

    As a Vintage woman i always wanted to make a vintage Cherry pie and i found this recipe through google search. The dough was amazing and worked really well, but the filling was a failure >> (half swimming pool) water paradise.
    I was so sad and did not know what i did wrong. However the taste was good. I used cornflour for binding and today at stonemanor i found out that you have to mix your cornflour (cornstarch in usa) first with some liquid to get some kind of syrup and then add to the cherries. Cause when i added it like in your recipe, my cherries were covered with a pink paste which did not look very tasty. I think not many people know that and i did not too. So, next time i’m going to try that with this flaky crust in the hope to get the perfect cherry pie :)

  127. Emily

    This was delicious! Unlike other commenters, I didn’t end up with a soupy pie and I actually did use some of the juice (to make sure all the delicious almond extract made it in). I only had 2 pounds of cherries, so I used a generous 3 tbls cornstarch and I whisked it into the sugar (I used superfine sugar) VERY thoroughly before tossing with the cherries, which may have helped. I also let the mixture sit about 15 minute before spooning it into the crust. I normally always use tapioca for fruit pies, but I’d never made a cherry pie before and was gobbled up. The butter (I used KerryGold) added a nice richness to the filling and I used lots of turbinado sugar over the top crust, which was delicious. I used 2/3 cup sugar and I think I could have used a half cup and it still would have been plenty sweet.

  128. CS

    We NEEDED to have some pie for Pi Day so scrounged around the fridge and freezer and discovered some organic sweet cherries and organic antioxidant berries we bought at Costco. After reading that some bakers had a runny experience I took Deb’s advice in #171 and tipped the frozen cherries & berries into a pot with 2/3c sugar, 3 Tbs cornstarch (that’s all I had), 1/8t salt and 2Tbs bottled organic lemon juice (didn’t have fresh on hand; omitted almond extract) and let it simmer/boil for a half hour or so while the oven heated up. Meanwhile, I thawed my organic ready-made pie crust (my pastry skill level is slow and frustrating and was just too late in the evening to attempt such a messy endeavor…) and made the crumble topping from Deb’s Sour Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble recipe (Used Vitamix to turn oats into flour, cut sugar to 1/4c and used sliced almonds cause that’s all we had and was careful to only just blend coarsely so we’d have some nut chunks).

    It looked like a pot of cherry berry soup = SO much liquid, almost 2c.! Was super pleased I decided to cook it first. After straining the fruit I tipped it back into the pot and sprinkled some (~1-1.5Tbs) tapioca starch/flour on it and mixed it up (since I didn’t have enough cornstarch). I dumped the fruit into my ready made crust, omitting the dabs of butter (figuring there was more than enough fat from the crust and topping), then sprinkled the buttery almond crumble on top (which was 1/2 to 2/3 cup more than needed so I have refrigerated the left overs = there might be a small crumble in our future this weekend!). I put the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and baked per recipe. Turned out lovely and again was feeling good I used a rimmed baking sheet as there was some bubbling over. I let it cool a bit, but was still quite warm when we cut into it (bout 9.30p on a ‘school night!’). It was a bit runny but not too bad and a squirt of WF365 whipped cream finished it off for a perfect end to Pi Day! With the no fuss crumble topping and pre-cooked fruit melange it was pretty easy, super yummy and nicely coagulated!

    For testing purposes only, I tried a piece for breakfast this morning and it was STILL super yummy and had firmed up well (it sat on the counter over night since it was warm). Thanks for having a website like this, Deb, so some of us not so confident nor very kitchen educated can whip out something tasty on a whim! Can’t wait for your website upgrades to separate out comments of happy enthusiasm from those who actually gave it a go…

  129. CS

    Additional note to my above comment: Before adding the cornstarch to the pot, I mixed it in a small bowl with some of the juice from the simmering berries.

  130. SMK

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I look forward to baking a pie tomorrow. I am just curious to know if you ever tried CANNING the cherries. I would love to can them and save them for future pies.

  131. Katie

    Grabbed a 3lb bag of cherries at the store (it’s summer! I couldn’t resist!) and then my husband informed me he doesn’t like to have to pit the cherries to eat them (/eye roll). SO – of course I turn to you to tell me what to do with this huge bag of cherries that I couldn’t eat by myself. I made this pie last night with your pie crust tutorial (the one without the vodka). It was super easy, super forgiving and super delicious! The crust was substantial and flaky, the filling was sweet and tart and just how cherry pie should be. I somehow ended up with a deep dish pie pan, so I just rolled the crust a teeny bit thinner. I also had more cherries than the recipe called for and used it up. I also forgot the egg wash. None of it mattered. This recipe is classically simple and can even take the weird tweaks we throw at it.