From the Kitchen

Fresh Cherry Pie for a Summer Dessert

A few weeks ago I took my kids for a drive to look at the cherry trees and pick a few for a fresh cherry pie. We’ve been watching them since the early spring when buds first started forming.  We marveled at the lovely blossoms in late April. Now the branches are heavy with the lovely red fruit. I can’t wait until they start selling them by the roadside.

Our family loves fresh cherry pie. Last summer I started making pies with fresh cherries. We’ve never gone back to bottled cherries or canned pie filling.

Fresh Cherry Pie

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking


2 prepared pie crusts (store bought or homemade), rolled and ready to use
5 cups pitted sour or Bing cherries (2 to 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/4 cups sugar (3/4 cup for Bing cherries)
3 to 3 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 to 2 drops red food coloring (optional–I didn’t use it)
2 to 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fit one of the rolled pie crusts in a 9 to 10″ deep dish pie plate.

Place the pitted cherries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch. Toss. Add water, lemon juice, almond extract, and food coloring (if using). Toss again to coat, making sure no lumps of sugar or cornstarch remain.

Pour the cherries into the prepared pie plate. Dot with the 2-3 Tbsp. unsalted butter.

Fit the second rolled pie crust on top of the filling and crimp the edge to seal the top and bottom crust together. Use a fork to poke holes along the top of the pie.  Use any extra pie crust scraps for decoration, if desired.  Place the pie plate on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 350 degrees F, and let the pie continue to bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until the top and bottom are golden brown, and the juices are bubbling and syrupy.

Cool the finished pie on a rack until ready to serve. (We let it cool completely for neater slices and then warmed the individual slices in the microwave for 10 seconds.)

(A scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on the side is a must.)


  1. Lindsey, your pie is absolutely beautiful and I’m envious of your pie crust talent! Maybe I need to practice more!! As your mom, I’m very proud of your cooking, writing and photography skills!!

  2. I made the pie and it worked out perfectly, especially after waiting until it was completely cool so we got nice, neat slices. Instead of my usual butter pie crust, I tried my sister’s oil/milk pie crust and it was super flaky and paired well with the cherry pie filling (made with fresh sour cherries from a local orchard and your suggested tapioca). Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. i tried making this pie and it tasted delicious, but it did not set up at all! it was like soup. i followed the recipe exactly, and was thrilled with the taste. any ideas for how to let it set up better?

  4. Okay! I ended up buying some “pie cherries” from the Farmer’s Market today to make this! But then I didn’t have enough crust so I made a crumb topping, sprinkled with almonds! AND oh my! I’ve never had cherry pie, but it might be my new favorite. So fresh and a little tart with the “pie cherries”. So yum, thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The pie turned out excellant. I enjoy your blog, thanks again for all your hard work.

  6. I’m inspired….that looks so delicious and cherries are on sale. I hope I have time to make one this weekend. I just got the OXO cherry pitter and it’s so fun and easy. My 4 yr old likes to have that be his “job.” Great pictures and I love how you put a cut out of cherries on the crust for decoration.

  7. That looks so delicious! We’ve eaten so many cherries lately that we’re tired of them, so now we’re on to blueberries! lol I made a blueberry pie on Monday. I love summer for fresh fruit!

  8. Oh, Lindsay! That looks so good and you’ve made it look so easy! And how perfect that I just bought cherries yesterday and have a pie crust ready to use in the freezer! Guess what I’m making in the morning?

  9. MMMMM. I love cherry pie, but out of the 7of us here, I am the only one, so it doesn’t make an appearance here often(I WOULD eat the whole thing myself.)

  10. This looks beautiful! I’m the same way about pumpkin pies–once I learned how to make it with fresh pumpkin, I couldn’t ever go back to the canned stuff!

  11. Thanks for posting this! I had fresh cherries to use today, and the recipe came just in time. Your pictures and instructions are awesome! I made a pie and took some over to my husband at work…he loved it! I love the almond flavor! Thanks!

  12. The crust you used on this pie looks lovely. It’s seems so flaky and flavorful from the picture. Would you be willing to share that recipe as well? Beautiful job on the pie.

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