Cherry Pie

Finding the tart cherries needed for this pie may be the most difficult part of preparing it. I normally use three 14-ounce cans of tart cherries. This pie is a great favorite of many family members.

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42 fluid oz. Cherries, TartThree 14-ounce cans, drained. This is not cherry filling, but simply cherries packed in juice without any added sweetening.
cups Cherry Juice, unsweetenedA portion of the drained juice from the canned cherries, usually two cans worth
3 tbsp Minute TapiocaYou can be a little generous if you prefer a more solid filling.
1 tbsp Lightly Salted ButterThe lightly salted butter highlights the taste of the cherries.
1 tbsp Bread CrumbsOr, as much needed to cover the bottom crust.
¾ cup White Sugar


1 Prepare crust recipe for a double crusted pie. The pie crust recipe (see link above) gives detailed guidance for preparing and rolling crusts. Don't be intimidated by the length of the recipe. The "extra" words are for your encouragement from someone whose first attempts at pie crusts, although difficult, proved tasty enough to keep trying.
2 For Thanksgiving pies, I have prepared the pie crust discs up to a week ahead. I take them out of the refrigerator for about an hour prior to rolling them because they roll out easier when nearer room temperature.
3 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4 Pour the drained cherries into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and tapioca. Another thickener that works well is to add a combination of two tablespoons of the Minute Tapioca and one tablespoon, well-packed, of cornstarch. Mix these ingredients together, gently but thoroughly.
5 Roll out the botton crust and ease it into the pie plate. Spread the breadcrumbs over the bottom crust.
6 Pour in the cherry mixture. (Alternately, for a fresh cherry pie filling: Use two quarts of cherries, pitted. Add one half cup juice; cranberry or pineapple both work well. For thickening, use 3 well-packed tablespoons of cornstarch. Add the same amount of sugar, 3/4 cup. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, perhaps an eighth of a medium-sized lemon.)
7 Cut up the butter into little chunks and spread them over the top of the cherries.
8 Roll out the top crust and in accord with the crust directions, pick up the crust with the rolling pin and gently unroll the crust over the cherry filling.
9 Gently, and without stretching the dough, fold the top crust over the edges of the bottom crust, pinching them together. Go around the circumference of the pie again, and again if needed, to crimp the edges to your satisfaction. Have some fun crimping, in whatever "design" suits you.
10 With a sharp knife, slit the top crust surface to allow for steam to escape. It's fun to come up with your own design, or if you'd rather just make four or five slits of about 2 or 3 inches.
11 With steady hands, pick up the prepared pie, and place it on a lower rack of the preheated oven.
12 Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. At this point you may need to cover the crust with some aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.
13 Reduce the heat to 350 for another thirty minutes. You should place some sort of rack underneath the pie to catch any juices that may bubble over .
14 The pie is finished when you detect some thickening in the juices bubbling through the slits. I bake my pie at least an hour, sometimes just a little longer.
15 This pie is wonderful as is, but vanilla ice cream is a quintessential accompaniment.