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Sour Cherry Pie

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This tart cherry pie works well with fresh or frozen cherries.  It takes the guess work out of whether or not the filling is going to set up because you cook it on the stove for a bit first.  That way you have a chance to adjust as needed before it ever hits the pie pan!

slice of tart cherry pie served with whipped cream.

This story probably actually starts a few years ago.  My aunt has a cherry tree that is very prolific.

So my grandma, my aunt and I spent an entire afternoon pitting cherries.  We enjoyed each other’s company and really had a great time despite the work.

In the end we each had bright red fingers and enough cherries for a pie.  There is something about fresh cherries that you worked so hard for that makes the pie taste all that much better.

That day we used one of my aunt’s favorite recipes that uses instant tapioca.  I will definitely have to get that from her and share it sometime.

Fast forward a couple years to last November.  I was away for a week doing some training for my new job the week before Thanksgiving.

I got a text from my aunt saying she had some delicious cherries from that tree in her freezer.  She was hoping I could help coax them into a pie for our Thanksgiving celebration at grandma’s.  Of course I could!!

pan filled with tart cherry pie filling.

I was a little worried about using the frozen berries, because I wasn’t sure how the moisture content would differ.  As I defrosted them my worries got even greater as they released a lot of juice.

This worried me for two reasons.  First I didn’t want the juices to create a soggy bottom on my pie.  I also didn’t want to end up with an overly soupy pie.

However I didn’t want to dump the juices and get rid of all of that good flavor.  So I decided to precook the filling a bit so I could better control the final result.

Golden brown top of cherry pie with leaf shapes cut into crust and cherry filling showing through.

It actually worked out pretty perfectly.  I was able to keep all of the flavor and adjust the final product as needed.

Luckily my initial ratios of cornstarch to cherries worked great, but if you need to add a bit more cornstarch as the cooking process goes on you could easily add a teaspoon at a time mixed in just a little bit of cold water.  Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes before you decide if it is thick enough.

More Recipes To Try

If you want to switch up your cherry pie a bit, try making a cherry rhubarb pie. It is a delicious combination of sweet, tart, and sour.

Try making cherry berry pie for another fruity favorite. Or you can check out my collection of pie recipes for even more tasty inspiration.

slice of tart cherry pie served with whipped cream.

Sour Cherry Pie

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
This tart cherry pie works well with fresh or frozen cherries. It takes the guess work out of whether or not the filling is going to set up because you cook it on the stove for a bit first. That way you have a chance to adjust as needed before it ever hits the pie pan!
4.63 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • pounds pitted sour cherries
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 recipe for double crust pie pie crust
  • Optional: milk or egg for wash and additional sugar


  • While still cold or at room temperature, stir together the cherries, lemon juice, sugar and corn starch in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil stirring frequently. Keep stirring and boiling until it thickens to cherry pie filling consistency. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract if desired. Allow to cool completely.
    1½ pounds pitted sour cherries, ½ Tablespoon lemon juice, 1¼ cup granulated sugar, 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Roll out pie crusts and place bottom pie crust in 9-inch pie plate. Fill with cooled cherry filling. Place top crust on top and crimp edges. Cut vents in top pie crust. If desired, brush with egg wash or a bit of milk and sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar.
    1 recipe for double crust pie pie crust
  • Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Cover the edges with a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent over browning and drop the oven to 375°F and continue to bake for about 30-40 minutes. Crust should be golden and the filling should be bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Delicious on it’s own, but really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 100mgFiber: 2gSugar: 28g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Saturday 11th of March 2023

Made this today and it was a big hit. it was a runny but that was my fault as the cherries were still semi frozen and i was in a rush. The flavor was great. Loved the flavor.


Sunday 12th of March 2023

I am so glad you liked it!


Saturday 12th of August 2017

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this postt was great. I don't know who you are but certainly you are goiung to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

Beverly @Across the Blvd

Saturday 6th of May 2017

I love cherry pie, but no one else in my family likes it. I don't make it because I'd hate to eat the entire pie! But, your recipe is tempting! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.


Sunday 7th of May 2017

Oh no! Though I am not sure it would deter me to be the only cherry pie eater, if anything it might be a good reason to make more cherry pie! ;-) Maybe a carry-in will pop up and you can have help eating it that way! Thanks, Beverly!

Sharon @ Blue Willow House

Thursday 4th of May 2017

Your tart cherry pie looks and sounds delicious. Tart cherries are the best. Thank you for sharing your recipe at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!


Sunday 7th of May 2017

Thank you!


Sunday 30th of April 2017

My mouth is watering! It's been a long time since we made a cherry pie! Pinned your recipe to share :)


Monday 1st of May 2017

It had been too long for me too! Thank you!