This Sweet Cherry Pie–made using frozen cherries–is the best dessert to make in the dark of the winter when you are really craving a summertime fruit pie! Sweet cherries are paired with lemon and tart cherry juice, accented with almond extract, and tucked inside a flaky lattice crust.
Sweet Cherry Pie Recipe
Sweet Cherry Pie may be less popular when compared to Sour Cherry Pie, but I’m here to argue that it’s equally as good (if not better!), especially when you can make it year round using frozen sweet cherries! By the way, that is exactly what this recipe uses; can it get any easier than that? Sweet Cherry Pie is perfect for when you are craving a homemade sweet fruit pie, but it’s the dead of winter with no quality fresh fruit in sight. Because the cherries are already naturally sweet, this pie uses less added sugar. The sweetness from the fruit is also well balanced with added tart cherry juice, as well as lemon juice. Lastly, it’s all tucked into the best homemade flaky pie crust. This Sweet Cherry Pie is destined to win blue ribbons… or at least garner a pat on the back from everyone who got a slice. So, let’s get baking!
SWEET CHERRY PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS
- Sweet dark cherries: This recipe was based on using frozen sweet dark cherries that are available year round in the grocery store. They’re typically flash frozen and of good quality, and they’re already pitted. A win-win in my book!
- Tart cherry juice: Because this recipe uses the readily available sweet cherries, it needs some tartness to even it all out. Using store-bought tart cherry juice not only brings that balance, but it also enhances the cherry flavor. If you don’t want to purchase the cherry juice, you can go ahead and use juice from an orange in equal proportion. It will slightly change the flavor, but not negatively.
- Almond extract: Always a must with cherries!
- Quick cooking tapioca: This is my preferred thickening method, especially given it is a juicy pie due to the frozen cherries and added cherry juice.
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon juice: Adds another layer of balance to the sweet pie.
- Butter: Dotting the pie with butter before baking makes the filling luxurious.
Pie Crust Options
This pie tastes best with a homemade buttery pie crust. This All Butter Pie Crust or Cream Cheese Pie Crust (my preferred one) is perfect here. This will also work well with this Gluten-free Butter Crust.
WHAT TYPE OF THICKENER TO USE
The best type of thickener for this pie is quick cooking tapioca. Quick cooking tapioca is great because it works by absorbing the juicy cherries within the granules to create a thick filling. Additionally, it thickens up without leaving it cloudy or gumming it up too much. If you look closely you can see the tiny beads of tapioca, but it is not something you will taste or notice unless you are looking for it. If you are in a pinch, cornstarch could work with this recipe, but it does leave the filling a touch cloudy. You could replace the tapioca with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH QUICK COOKING TAPIOCA
- Make sure to let the tapioca granules sit with the juices of the cherries to allow them to hydrate. Stir up your filling a few times while it is sitting to make sure all of the granules are evenly hydrated.
- A wide lattice isn’t a good idea for this pie. Exposed tapioca granules can harden from the heat, so make sure if you are doing a lattice or other decorative pie design that you aren’t leaving too much exposed fruit filling.
- The pie needs to be almost completely cooled for the tapioca granules to fully active. This does not mean you can’t dive right into this pie warm–you can. It just might be slightly runny. The filling will thicken up more once it cools.
- Do not use tapioca pearls in exchange for quick cooking tapioca.
HOW TO MAKE A LATTICE TOP
There are many different methods out there for making a lattice pie top. I find it easier to start in the middle of the pie and weave the lattice from the middle outward. You can make your lattice width as wide or as skinny as you please. I have found that if I want to make a lattice with a tight weave I tend to need 1.5 batches of dough to complete it. So, if you want to make an extra tight weave with thin lattice strips, make another 9″ pie crust recipe. To make a lattice:
- Take one strip of pastry and place it vertical in the middle of the pie. Take another strip of pastry and place is horizontal over the first strip of pastry in the middle of the pie.
- Take two more strips of pastry and place them vertical on either side.
- Fold back the top portion of the middle vertical piece of pastry and place a strip of pastry horizontally on top, before placing the strip back. Repeat this on the bottom portion of the vertical center piece of pastry.
- Repeat this process, weaving outward until the entire pie has a lattice crust.
- Cut the excess strips of pastry, and fold the crust over to connect with the lattice if desired, or just leave plain.
HOW TO TELL WHEN A FRUIT PIE IS DONE
It’s important to make sure that a fruit pie is cooked long enough so that it reaches a high enough temperature to activate the thickening agent. Most thickeners need to come close to the boiling point to activate. There are two main ways to tell when a fruit pie is done. The first is by sight. Look for the crust to be golden and crispy. More importantly, look for the filling to be bubbling from the middle of the pie. The bubbling doesn’t need to be rapid, but look for at least 1 bubble while you are checking the pie. This ensures it has reached the proper temperature and the thickener is activated.
The second and most fool-proof way to make sure your pie is done, is to use an instant-read thermometer. I always use one to check the temperature of each and every pie that I bake. For a fruit pie, you want the internal temperature to be above 200ºF.
HOW TO SERVE AND STORE IT
Serve this pie just slightly warm or at room temperature. It can be served as is or with ice cream.
This pie can be stored fully baked at room temperature, covered, for 1-2 days. If you are storing it longer, cover and place in a refrigerator.
MORE FRUIT PIE RECIPES:
MAKE SURE TO TAG @EVERYDAYPIE ON INSTAGRAM OR COMMENT BELOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE OR IF YOU MAKE THIS Sweet Cherry PIE!Print
This Sweet Cherry Pie, made using frozen cherries, is the best dessert to make in the dark of the winter when you are really craving a summertime fruit pie! Sweet cherries are paired with lemon and tart cherry juice to balance it out, accented with almond extract, and tucked inside a flaky lattice crust. The best type of thickener for this pie is quick cooking tapioca. Quick cooking tapioca is great because it works by absorbing the juicy cherries within the granules to create a thick filling. You could replace the tapioca with 1/4 cup of cornstarch. This pie can be stored fully baked at room temperature, covered, for 1-2 days. If you are storing it longer, cover and place in a refrigerator.
For Cherry Filling:
- 7 cups (30 ounces) frozen sweet cherries
- ½ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup tart cherry juice
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca pearls
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- Eggwash (1 egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon water)
- Coarse sugar
- Prepare the pastry, let rest overnight, if possible.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and place an oven rack in the lower part of the oven.
- Roll out the pastry: Roll out 1 pie pastry disk to an 11″ circle. Fit the pastry in a 9” pie plate, making sure to press the pastry into the sides and the bottom. Roll out the second pastry and slice strips to make a lattice, if desired. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl add the cherries, granulated sugar, cherry juice, lemon juice, tapioca, almond extract and salt and mix to combine. Let sit to macerate for 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place the cherry pie filling inside of the pie plate fitted with pastry. Gently press down on the filling to eliminate any gaps between the fruit and dot the pie with the pieces of butter.
- You can top the pie with a lattice, or top with the rolled out pie dough with a few slits or small shapes stamped out of it to let steam escape.
- Brush the crust with an egg-wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake on the lowest rack for 25 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 400ºF. If the crust is browning, cover the outer edges with aluminum foil, leaving the middle of the crust exposed. Bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and the temperature of the middle of the pie reaches above 200ºF.
- Let the pie cool about at least an hour, to let the juices set up.
- If you don’t want to purchase tart cherry juice, you could substitute orange juice. It results in a slightly different flavor but still lovely!
Keywords: Sweet Cherry Pie, Frozen Cherry Pie
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Everyday Pie is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.