Best Ever Gluten Free Sweet Cherry Pie

Bursting with dark sweet cherries and surrounded by a flaky and buttery crust, this Gluten Free Sweet Cherry Pie is as delicious as it is gorgeous!

slice of cherry pie on white plate with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

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Every time I think of cherry pie, my mind goes directly to that song from the late 80’s or early 90’s, Cherry Pie by Warrant. I was never a Warrant fan (believe it or not, I’m more the Metallica type), but no one can deny knowing at least a few lyrics from that song, am I right? “She’s my cherry pie, cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise…” You know you’re singing it now (sorry!).

I was never much of a cherry pie fan either, but THIS cherry pie changed my mind. It’s bursting with dark sweet cherries and the filling stays put when you cut a slice. That’s due to the filling being made on the stovetop beforehand. So if you taste it and find you just want to eat it, I won’t blame you for just breaking out a spoon and a bowl and going to town. I felt the same myself. And so did my husband. But alas, my whole point of making it was to actually put it in a pie. I’m sure glad I did, too, because that flaky crust showcasing those dark sweet cherries was just the bite of summer I was looking for. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top? Perfection I tell ya!

here’s what you’ll need

ingredients measured out and labeled on granite countertop.
  • Gluten free pie crust — if you’ve never made my gluten free pie crust, you will be BLOWN AWAY by how wonderful it is. Not only is it super easy to roll out, it will be the best pie crust (gluten free or not) you’ll ever have. That said, if you don’t need to eat gluten free, feel free to substitute with any of your favorite pie crust recipes (or even a store bought one). I won’t judge.
  • Sweet cherries — here in Virginia Beach, the only cherries that are ever available are the dark sweet kind. If you only have sour cherries in your area, you’ll definitely need to up the sugar content in the filling.
  • Amaretto — this is my not-so-secret flavor weapon for the BEST cherry pie you never even realized you could have! It’s well known that cherries and almond go together so well, so why not adding a whole tiny bottle of amaretto to your pie? It makes total sense and blows the flavor out of the water. (If you don’t want to use amaretto, substitute with cold water and add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the cherry pie filling at the end of cooking).

pitting cherries

Pitting fresh cherries can be a tedious and messy task. I used to have a single cherry pitter from Pampered Chef and while it worked a dream for its purpose, it sprayed cherry juice everywhere and I dreaded using it every single time. So I got rid of it and upgraded (for less money actually) to a multi-cherry pitter tool. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like kitchen gadgets that do only one job, but this cherry pitter is definitely the exception. Not only does it make the task of pitting cherries quicker, it’s a NO MESS option as all the juices are well contained in the device.

Please note, however, that, as cherries are part of nature and no two are alike, aligning cherries to tap out a pit is not an exact science and sometimes pits can be left behind. It is recommended that you check each of your cherries after pitting to make sure the pits are removed. The best way to do this is to squeeze each one lightly. You’ll be able to feel if the pit is still there and can pop it out easily.

pitting cherries in multi cherry pitter.

how to make a fabulous cherry pie

  1. Add pitted fresh sweet cherries to medium saucepan along with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts and cherries release their juices and mixture boils, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the cornstarch and amaretto (or cool water) in a small bowl until fully combined. Pour into cherry mixture while constantly stirring. Allow to boil for one minute while stirring until cherry filling has thickened considerably.
  4. Pour filling into bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until cool enough to fill pie.
  5. Line bottom of pie dish with pie crust.
  6. Pour chilled cherry pie filling into prepared pie crust.
  7. Cover cherries with top pie crust, crimp edges, and cut slits in top (or make a decorative design if desired).
  8. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees F, cover the crust edges with foil or a pie crust shield, and continue to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until pie filling is bubbling.
  10. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Gluten Free Cherry Pie FAQs

Do I need to prebake the bottom crust?

It is not necessary to, especially because the filling has already been cooked down.

What’s the best thickener for cherry pie filling?

I like to use cornstarch, but tapioca starch or arrowroot would also work great.

How can I prevent my cherry pie filling from being so runny?

Cook the cherry filling on the stovetop before adding it to the pie. Doing so in advance ensures that the juices have thickened considerably prior to adding the filling to the pie.

Can I use frozen cherries as opposed to fresh cherries?

Yes, use frozen dark cherries and do not thaw them before making the homemade cherry pie filling.

more gluten free Fruit pies

If you think you don’t like cherry pie, try this recipe and let me know if you still feel that way. If you like cherry pie, then you’re already in the right place for the best sweet cherry pie ever, which just so happens to be gluten free!

gluten free sweet cherry pie slice on white plate.

Best Ever Gluten Free Sweet Cherry Pie

Kim
Bursting with dark sweet cherries and surrounded by a flaky and buttery crust, this Gluten Free Sweet Cherry Pie is as delicious as it is gorgeous!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups (approx 800g) fresh or frozen sweet cherries, pitted (no need to thaw if using frozen)
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30g) lemon juice
  • tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup (30g) cornstarch (tapioca starch or arrowroot may be substituted)
  • 1 mini bottle (50ml) Amaretto di Saronno (cold water may be substituted)
  • 1 recipe gluten free pie crusts (chilled)
  • 1 large egg mixed with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt, for egg wash

Instructions
 

Make the Filling

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the fresh (or frozen) cherries, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir occasionally and allow the sugar to melt and the cherry juices to release.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture is quite syrupy.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and Amaretto (or water) until smooth. While stirring constantly, add the cornstarch slurry to the cherries and continue stirring for one minute, until mixture has thickened considerably.
  • Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Assemble the Pie

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Roll out the bottom crust to fit an 8-inch pie pan (see notes below for larger pie pans).
  • Pour chilled filling into crust and level the top.
  • Roll out top crust a few inches larger than pie pan. Cut out holes using large round pastry tip (if desired) or leave solid. Carefully transfer crust to top of pie and trim edges to fit pan. Fold excess bottom crust up and over top crust and crimp edges to seal.
  • Cut out slits in top of pie (if you didn't cut out holes), brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar or sparkling sugar. Place on parchment or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips.

Bake Pie

  • Bake pie at 400° F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F and shield edges with pie crust shield or foil, and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until cherry filling is bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Notes

Pie can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 4 days.  It can also be frozen in slices or whole, for up to 3 months.  
Keyword Gluten Free, sweet cherry pie
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2 thoughts on “Best Ever Gluten Free Sweet Cherry Pie”

  • So I tried this recipe twice. The first time I felt that the filling was more jelly-like rather than silky (I’ll definitely use that recipe for bagel and toast spread). The amaretto was on the money! I found the crust to be sticky to work with, but made it work and it baked beautifully. The second time around, I added two extra tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and cherry essence to my filling. I added a lesser amount of corn starch this time to have a lesser congealed filling. Boy oh boy was it da bomb!! I also didn’t overmix the pie dough in the food processor the second time around and it was easier to work with. I will keep this recipe til eternity!!! Thank you!!!

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