Sour Cherry Pie

Sour Cherry Pie just might be the greatest of all fruit pies! I love the sweet/tart filling in contrast to the flaky pastry. It’s summer dessert perfection. 

Sour cherry pie beauty shot.

I love all pies, especially fruit pies. I waited more than 10 years for this pie. Seriously, I planted my sour cherry tree over a decade ago with visions of making cherry pies for my kids.

I keep the ingredients for the cherry pie filling simple because I don’t think the fruit needs any embellishment.

No need to add add lemon juice or zest as I do for many fruit desserts because the cherries are plenty tart naturally.

Some recipes add almond extract to cherry pie filling, but there is a natural hint of almond flavor in the cherry so I don’t think it’s needed.

Sour Cherry Pie Ingredient Notes

  • Sour Cherries – Fresh cherries would always be my first choice, but they can be hard to come buy if they don’t grow in your area. You can look for frozen, canned or jarred cherries in a well stocked grocery store and, of course, you can buy them on-line.
  • Sugar – Obviously sour cherries are quite tart. They need sugar to balance the flavor in the filling.
  • Corn Starch – Sour cherries give off a lot of juice and the starch is needed to thicken that juice and bind the cherries together into a filling. The juice must come to a full boil to activate the starch. Precooking the starch helps avoid the problem of runny pie filling.

How to make Sour Cherry Pie

See the recipe card for exact ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.

Cherry juice in pan on the stove. A bowl of cornstarch slurry.
  • Heat up the cherry juice in small saucepan.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the mixture to a boil.
A pot of thickened cherry juice.
  • Cook until the juice thickens to a pudding consistency.
A bowl of sour cherry pie filling.
  • Toss the thickened juice with the prepared cherries then pour the filling into the shell.
A cherry pie without a top. Strips of pie dough on the counter.
  • Pour the cherry filling into the dough lined pie plate.
  • For a plain top crust unroll the round of dough over the filling, crimp the edges and cut a vent hole in the top.
Weaving dough strips over cherry pie filling.
An unbaked lattice top cherry pie
  • Trim the sides and crimp the edges of the pie.
  • Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juice in the center of the pie is bubbling.

Storage and Serving


What is the difference between sweet and sour cherry pie?

Sour cherry pie is made with tart cherries. Sour cherries are bright red, soft, juicy and, of course, more sour than sweet cherries. Sweet cherries are usually a dark red color, have a more meaty texture and, of course, are sweeter than sour cherries.

What are the best sour cherries for baking?

Montmorency are the most widely available fresh sour cherries in the US.

How to pit sour cherries for pie?

You can use any style of cherry pitter. Sour cherries are so soft that it’s very easy to pop the pit out by squeezing on the cherry.

Got Sour Cherries? Here are some more recipes for you: Sour Cherry Crumb Pie, Sour Cherry Strudel, Sour Cherry Cobbler, Rustic Sour Cherry Cake, New York Cheesecake with Sour Cherry topping.

A slice of cherry pie on a plate.

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A slice of sour Cherry Pie.
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5 from 2 reviews

Sour Cherry Pie Recipe

The quintessential summer pie! Sour cherry with a lattice top crust.
Prep Time45 minutes
Bake Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
10 servings
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  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust (divided in half and chilled)
  • 3 pounds fresh sour cherries (pitted (or canned or frozen cherries))
  • 16 oz granulated sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 ¼ oz corn starch (5 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)


  • Roll one piece of the pie dough to line a 9" pie pan. Sprinkle the dough in the pan with a little flour.
  • Roll the other 1/2 of the dough to a 12" round. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour. Fold the dough in 1/2, sprinkle with flour and fold in 1/2 again. Place the folded dough into the pie pan. Wrap the pie pan in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while the filling is prepared.

For the Filling:

  • Toss 3 pounds fresh sour cherries (pitted) with 16 oz granulated sugar and allow to macerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • After 30 minutes drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Remove 1/2 cup of the juice and combine with 1 ¼ oz corn starch. Stir until smooth.
  • Place the rest of the juice into a small saucepan and bring to a full boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil and thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately pour over the pitted cherries and toss to combine. Pour the cherries into the prepared pie crust. Brush the edge of the dough with egg wash.
  • Unfold the dough for the top of the pie. For a plain crust lay the sheet of dough over the filling. To make a lattice crust cut the dough into 1/2" to 1" strips. Lay half the strips over the pie, the weave the other strips to form the lattice.
  • Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Place the pie on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil to catch any overflowing juices. If you made a plain top cut an X in the center of the pie for the steam to release.
  • Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 1 hour until the juices in the middle of the pie are actively bubbling. Let the pie cool at least 2-3 hours before slicing. The filling needs time to set.

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The pie will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Leftover slices can be frozen.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Eileen! I am making this with blackberries and your sourdough crust. Should I still cook at 350 for an hour with this fruit?

    1. Cook until the fruit at the very center of the pie is bubbling. Generally this takes about an hour.

  2. Hi Eileen,

    I have a 10.5″ pie pan and a 9″ ceramic pie dish. Which would be better to use for this recipe? I’m making cherry pie with your sourdough crust.

    1. My site is meant for anyone who wants to try the recipes. I offer the recipes with metric measurements so those who use metric have the measurements available. I list the baking temps in Fahrenheit because that’s what I use in my kitchen. You can do a quick google search to convert from F to C.

  3. 5 stars
    Eileen this looks amazing! I do have a question – we love blueberry pie and each time I make it with fresh blueberries I end up with the consistency being too watery. Any tips?

    1. Hi Tania! Do you use corn starch as the thickener for the blueberry pie? When you use corn starch you have to be sure to cook the pie long enough to activate the thickening power of the starch.

  4. This pie looks super delicious! I love cherries ( usually just eat them plain) but I’ll sure give this pie a try! though I can never get the lattice pattern right :p

    1. Thanks, Sofia. I love to eat sweet black cherries as a snack and cook the sour cherries. Good luck with the lattice crust. I just checked out your blog, the food looks delicious. I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes.