Easy to make, with a flaky pie crust and a juicy cherry filling – this cherry pie ticks all the boxes. It’s the perfect summer dessert that makes the most of the cherry season, and it’s absolutely divine served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
A piece of slightly warm cherry pie, a generous scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream… surely, this is what heaven looks (and tastes) like. Pie heaven, to be precise – with the flakiest of buttery pie crusts and the juiciest of cherry fillings.
There’s nothing scary or complicated about pie. No, not even when it comes to gluten free pie. The gluten free pie crust in this recipe is just about 100% fail proof. It has never let me down and I highly doubt it ever will. Yes, it’s simply that good.
I know the thought of making homemade pie from scratch may sound intimidating – the fear of a soggy bottom or a wonky lattice stopping you from giving it a try yourself. But soggy pie bottoms are easily avoided (more on that below), and I will forever and always maintain that a wonky lattice has a unique charm all of its own.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful pie – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
5 reasons for why you should make this cherry pie ASAP
1. The juicy cherry filling – The filling of this wonderful cherry pie is an exercise in “how simple can I make things and they still taste freakin’ amazing”. The answer? Pretty darn simple.
Apart from halved fresh cherries, the filling only contains a squeeze of lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. That’s it. The simplicity of the filling allows the cherries to shine through in all their glory, with the gentle notes of vanilla and lemon juice giving them an additional boost of flavour and freshness.
2. The pie crust – It’s flaky, buttery, and perfectly crisp. It’s everything a pie crust should be, and the egg wash + a sprinkle of granulated sugar on top of the lattice gives the pie a beautiful, eye-catching finish.
3. It’s the best excuse ever to eat ice cream. No explanation needed.
4. Super easy to make – It’s true: the pie dough comes together in minutes, the cherry filling couldn’t be simpler if it tried, and assembling the pie is a breeze. To make your life even simpler, I’m sharing a few tips and tricks for stress-free rolling out and transferring of the pie crust below!
5. It’s gluten free – Yes, this gorgeous cherry pie, with its flaky pie crust is GLUTEN FREE! And before you ask: no, you can’t possibly guess it’s gluten free. (If gluten free isn’t a requirement, you can easily make the pie with regular all-purpose flour, and omit the xanthan gum.)
How to make the (gluten free) pie crust
The ingredients for the pie crust are all the usual suspects, and you probably have all of them in your pantry already! (For the full recipe, including the ingredient quantities, scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
- plain gluten free flour blend
- coconut flour (can be omitted, but gives the crust an extra crispness)
- xanthan gum
- a pinch of salt
- cold unsalted butter
- ice cold water + vinegar mixture
And to make the pie crust:
- Mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Work the butter into the dry ingredients, until you get a mix of small pea-sized and larger thumb-sized butter pieces.
- Add a few tablespoons of the water+vinegar mixture, until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
How to roll out the pie crust
The general advice for rolling out pie crust is to do it on a lightly floured surface, and then to transfer it into the pie dish by folding it into quarters or by using your rolling pin. I’m not the biggest fan of this method, and here’s why:
- It forces you to add more flour to your pie dough (because the dough will inevitably “absorb” the flour you use to coat the rolling surface), which may lead to an unpleasantly dry pie crust.
- The pie crust can break or tear when you transfer it – which isn’t the end of the world, but can be a but stressful – and that’s the last thing pie making should be.
Instead, I use two sheets of baking/greaseproof/parchment paper or cling film to roll out the pie dough (just place the dough in between and roll away), which prevents it from sticking either to the surface or to the rolling pin.
And as long as you keep the dough nice and cool, it won’t stick to the parchment paper (or cling film) either!
The parchment paper also makes the pie dough much easier to transfer into the pie dish, as it acts as an extra support to the dough, reducing the chance of it tearing.
How to make the cherry pie filling
The cherry pie filling has only 5 ingredients:
- de-stoned and halved cherries
- a squeeze of lemon juice
Nice and simple and delicious.
And to make the cherry pie filling… you just mix all the ingredients together. That’s it!
How long do you bake cherry pie?
For a 9 inch (23 cm) pie, the optimal baking time is 20 minutes at 390 ºF (200 ºC), followed by a further 30 minutes at 355 ºF (180 ºC). This ensures the pie is baked all the way through, with a perfectly golden pie crust.
If the top of the pie starts browning too quickly (due to the egg wash), you can cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up), and continue baking until done.
How do you prevent a soggy bottom on your pie?
There are a few things you can do to prevent a soggy bottom:
- Adding the cornstarch to the cherry filling prevents the cherry juice from making the pie crust too soggy.
- Baking the pie at the correct temperature (as listed in the recipe and above).
- Placing the pie dish onto a pre-heated baking sheet. This heats up the bottom of the pie very quickly, so that it starts baking pretty much straight away. This will ensure that the pie bottom turns out beautifully golden, flaky and crisp – every single time.
Is cherry pie best served hot or cold?
You can serve cherry pie either hot or cold – but my personal preference is slightly warm, with a generous scoop of ice cream. The combination of the warm pie with the cold ice cream… to die for.
There you go, friends. A delicious cherry pie that’s easy to make and will have you reaching for seconds… and thirds.
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The Best Cherry Pie (Gluten Free)
For gluten free pie crust:
- 1 cup (240 mL) cold water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour, which doesn't contain added xanthan gum)
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (60 g) coconut flour (you can substitute this with an equal weight of gluten free flour)
- 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your gluten free flour blend contains added xanthan)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp (25 g) caster/superfine sugar
- 2 1/8 sticks (240 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1/2 inch cubes
For cherry filling:
- 4 1/2 cups (~675 g) de-stoned and halved cherries
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup (100 - 150 g) caster/superfine sugar (depending on how sweet you would like the filling to be)
- 5 tbsp (40 g) cornstarch
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- ~1 tbsp (15 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
You will also need:
- 1 medium egg, lightly whisked for egg wash
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling before baking
For gluten free pie crust:
- In a cup, mix together cold water and apple cider vinegar, and place them into the freezer until needed.
- Sift together the gluten free flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt and sugar.
- Add the butter and toss it in the flour until all butter pieces are covered with it.
- Using your hands, pinch together the butter pieces and flour until you get a mix of fine pea-sized pieces and larger thumb-sized pieces.
- Add the ice cold water-vinegar mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, and mix the pie dough with a fork until it comes together. You will need about 16 tbsp of water.The dough at the end should be slightly more damp/wet than typical pie crust because gluten free flour tends to absorb more moisture during baking, so we want to counteract that.
- Divide the pie dough into two halves (one slightly larger than the other), and shape each half into a disc (if needed, knead it slightly – but don't overwork it!), wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For cherry filling:
- Mix all cherry filling ingredients together until evenly distributed.
- Set aside until needed.
Assembling the cherry pie:
- Get a 9 inch (23 cm) round pie dish ready to have on hand.
- Remove one pie dough disc from the fridge and roll it out into a roughly circular shape about 2-3 mm thick. The pie dough circle should be at least 2 1/2 - 3 inches larger than the pie dish.I recommend rolling out the pie dough between two pieces of parchment paper or cling film – see post above for more details.
- Transfer the rolled out pie dough into the pie dish, and shape it so that it's snug against the pie dish sides. Leave a bit of pie dough hanging over the edge – you will trim it at the end.
- Transfer the cherry filling into the pie dish and arrange it into an even layer. Sprinkle the pieces of cold butter over the cherry filling.
- Roll out the other pie dough disc and use it to form a lattice or a pie crust lid on top of the filling.
- Cut away the excess pie dough and crimp the edge or decorate it with a fork (optional).
- Freeze the prepared pie for 15 to 30 minutes. This sets the butter and ensures that the pie keeps its shape in the oven.
- While the pie is freezing, pre-heat the oven to 390 ºF (200 ºC) with a baking sheet inside.
- Just before baking, brush the pie crust lattice or lid with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven at 390 ºF (200 ºC) for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until golden on top. The edges will start browning quicker – when they are a dark golden brown colour, cover them with aluminium foil. (Take a square of aluminium foil that is slightly larger than the pie dish diameter and cut a circle with a diameter that is ~3/4 that of the pie dish).
- Allow to cool and enjoy! (Or eat it warm, with a scoop of ice cream.)
- The gluten free cherry pie keeps well covered in cling film (or in a closed container) in a cool dry place for about 3 days.