This Cherry Pie with Crumb Topping is the perfect fruit pie! It’s loaded with perfectly sweetened, fresh cherries layered with a crunchy brown sugar crumb topping and baked in a flaky, buttery crust.
Easy Cherry Crumble Pie
I’ve been a lifelong lover of pie. So, naturally, pie recipes are some of my favorite recipes to make. And this cherry pie with crumb topping is no exception!
Last year, I made a cherry pie with crumb topping made with frozen cherries. And while it was delicious, I always prefer fresh fruit in pie. So, I decided to switch things up and make this cherry pie with fresh cherries instead!
Let me tell you. It is delicious! It uses fresh, sweet cherries and a simple crumb topping. A perfect dessert that’s brimming with sweet, fruity flavor!
If you love cherry desserts, check out my fresh cherry crisp too!
How to Make Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping
See the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Make the crumb topping for cherry pie by combining flour, brown sugar, and softened butter in a food processor. Pulse until balls begin to form, then transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge.
- Prepare homemade or store-bought pie crust and place into a pie dish. Set in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
- Wash, dry, and pit the cherries, then place them into a bowl with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Optionally, cook down or macerate the cherries to thicken the filling.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared pie shell, then use your hands to distribute the crumb topping over the top of the filling.
- Bake at 400ºF until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden-brown, then cool for 1 hour before serving.
How to Thicken Cherry Pie Filling
One of the downsides to using fresh cherries is they have a lot of natural liquid which can cause the pie filling to be too thin or watery. Here are a couple of steps you can take to prevent that!
- Macerate the cherries. After you’ve mixed the sugar and cornstarch, let the cherries sit for a while to macerate. The sugar will pull out some of the juice as the cherries sit. From there, you can simply discard the extracted juice before filling the pie shell. Be findful that you will lose some of the sugar, cornstarch, and extracts this way. The other option is to just add the sugar, drain the juice, then add the remaining ingredients.
- Cook the filling. If you don’t want to macerate the cherries, you can cook the filling down on the stove instead. It doesn’t have to be a lot; just enough to thicken it slightly! Keep in mind that the cherries will be less plump and a little bit softer than “off-the-stem” cherries. If you choose to cook the filling, allow it to cool for 20-30 minutes before pouring it into the pie shell.
Tips for Cherry Pie with Crumb Topping
- Use store-bought or homemade crust. If you want to make this recipe completely from scratch, check out my butter pie crust recipe! If you want to keep it a little more simple, just use your favorite store-bought pie crust.
- Pit the cherries! Double and triple check them to make sure all of the pits are removed so you don’t crack a tooth. I like to use a cherry pitter, but it’s good to do a quick once over to be sure all the pits have been removed. You can even slice the cherries in half to be 100% sure.
- Chill the topping. I find that it bakes better and spreads less if it’s cold. I like to make the topping first, then pop it in the fridge while I prepare the filling.
- Bake the pie on a lined baking sheet. Not only does this make it easier to transport, but it also catches anything that might spill over in the oven.
- If you notice the top of the pie is browning too much, tent it with foil for the remainder of the baking time to prevent it from burning.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: To store leftover cherry crumb pie, let it cool to room temperature for one hour, then cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheating: You can enjoy a slice of leftover pie cold, bring it to room temperature, or warm it slightly in the microwave or oven.
Freezing: Normally, I avoid freezing fruit pies, because the texture isn’t quite the same when thawed. However, if you do want to freeze your pie, wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap, place it into a large Ziploc bag, then store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge.
What Kind of Cherries Are Best for Cherry Pie?
You can use your favorite variety of cherries! You can also mix and match several different varieties to play around with the flavor of your pie.
Some types of cherries may be sweeter than others, so feel free to adjust the sugar slightly as needed.
How Do You Make Cherry Pie Filling Taste Better?
In my opinion, this cherry pie filling doesn’t need anything else. It’s delectable enough to just eat by the spoonful as it is!
If you do want to play around with flavors though, you could try adding some sweet spices to give it a little bit of a warmer feel. Cinnamon or nutmeg would both be delicious additions!
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 pie crust, 9-inch, homemade or store bought
- 2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted (about 5-6 cups)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp. almond extract
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
To Make the Crumb Topping
- Add flour, brown sugar, and softened butter to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and begin to form balls.1 cup all-purpose flour½ cup unsalted butter½ cup light brown sugar
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To Make the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Prepare a 9-inch homemade or store bought pie crust, and place it into a pie dish. Refrigerate the pie shell in its dish until ready to use.1 pie crust
- Wash, dry, and pit the cherries. Place them in a large bowl with granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Stir to combine.2 pounds fresh cherries¾ cup granulated sugar⅓ cup cornstarch1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract⅛ tsp. almond extract½ tsp. kosher salt
- Optional: Cook down or macerate the cherries to thicken the filling. See the post for additional information.
- Transfer the filling to a prepared 9-inch pie shell. Use your hands to form the crumb topping into small balls of various sizes and dot them over the top of the filling.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover it with a foil tent.
- Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.
- See post for storage recommendations.