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Classic Tart Cherry Pie with Canned Cherries

Can a tart cherry pie with canned cherries really hit the tangy-sweet pie bullseye? It can! And you can do it all without artificial red food coloring or pre-made fillings. Get the steps for the real-deal right here. 

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How many times have you slid a pre-made store pie from it’s box, taken a look at the perfectly made rock-hard crust in its aluminum tin and asked yourself “Is this how all pies are?”


No it’s not at all, and I’d rather eat the sole of my shoe than one of those flavorless, red-dyed, factory imposters.

And the truth is, you can trot three aisles over from the bakery and get a can of tart cherries and a refrigerated pie crust (if you want to avoid making one) and make something so much better.

Assembly on this tart cherry pie with canned cherries takes about 30 minutes and if you have a store bought crust you can probably do it even faster.

a tart cherry pie on a table with a slice missing, one slice cut and a pie server

Start with a great crust

A good buttery pie crust isn’t a supporting character in your tart cherry pie recipe. When done well, a buttery, flaky crust makes the filling taste even better. You have a few options for your crust:

  • An all butter crust This one is my favorite and I feel like it has the most flavor.
  • A crust made with shortening Vegetable oils are inflammatory and we don’t use them anymore but this is a classic crust with a neutral flavor.
  • A store bought one. They aren’t that bad–they do use shortening in those as well so keep that in mind
  • A crust made with lard. This goes way back, but the flaky texture can’t be beat.

If you need help making a homemade pie crust, watch me to do it here on YouTube.

Choose the right tart cherries for your pie

Tart cherries come in a can and you’ll find them in the canned fruit aisle. Imagine that. Usually on the top shelf where the food that nobody’s looking for gets placed.

You can also used home canned cherries (pictured below) but just make sure your cherries are in water and unsweetened.

two cans of cherries on a table; one store bought and one home canned

How to make a tart cherry pie

Your tart cherry pie with canned cherries starts with a cup of liquid from the can. There’s lots of flavor there so don’t throw it out! If you run short on liquid you can add a bit of apple or cherry juice to top it off.

Heat the liquid with cornstarch and sugar until thickened and translucent. Add the cherries, almond extract and butter.

Transfer to your pie shell and top with a lattice or your choice of top crust. You might like these pie crust design ideas.

Looking for more pie recipes? Check these out:

a slice of tart cherry pie on a plate with a fork

Classic Tart Cherry Pie with Canned Cherries

No red food coloring-filled canned pie crust necessary in this homemade cherry pie. Learn to kick the processed stuff out and make yours with just a few simple ingredients. Tangy, sweet and wrapped in a classic crust, you'll never let this recipe go!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 2 14-ounce cans pitted tart cherries in water not pie filling
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup honey would substitute
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts one box, or make a crust from scratch, see Notes


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Remove pie crusts from box and allow to warm slightly on the counter--about 10 minutes before unrolling. See notes for the link to my homemade crust.
  • Into a measuring cup, drain liquid from cherries to make 1 cup of liquid.
  • Transfer to a saucepan and add sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk well to combine before heating.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 3 to 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Turn off heat and add butter, almond extract, and cherries. Set aside.
  • Unroll one crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Fold or crimp edges of the crust.
  • Add the filling.
  • Unroll the second crust and slice into 1" wide strips.
  • Place half of the strips across the pie vertically and half horizontally.
  • Brush with the egg mixture and bake 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and bake 35 to 40 minutes more, tenting with foil if the crust begins to get too dark.
  • Cool before serving for at least 3 hours or overnight.


To make your own crust: https://feastandfarm.com/all-butter-pie-crust/


Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 3gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 244mgPotassium: 51mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The pie pan I have is fairly large, so I doubled the filling amount. I didn’t use as much sugar (1.5C instead of 2) because I like it a bit more tart. For sure saving this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Made cherry pie bars (gluten-free recipe) using your recipe for the canned tart cherries. Thank you so very much for providing this successful recipe so I could substitute the artificial-tasting canned pie cherries without having to find a cherry tree!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe may seem deceptively simple…like, “that’s it??” But it really is that easy and that good. My filling started to coagulate or “clump” as it cooked and I got worried. No need – the lumps cooked themselves out in the end. Also you really only *do* need a scant 1/4 tsp of the almond extract… Great recipe for a beginner to advanced skill level.

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.