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The Andrus’s Life Changing Cherry Pie

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The Andrus’s Life-Changing Cherry Pie – This cherry pie recipe is so good, we served it at our wedding! Gluten Free (or not!) & Vegan.

The Best Cherry Pie // One Lovely Life
Updated from the archives. This was one of the first recipes I posted, back in 2008!  It’s been updated and improved for your enjoyment. 

True story: I hated cherry pie until I was in college. Why? Two words: canned filling. Turns out that I’d only ever tried pre-made pie fillings. Lame.

Thankfully, my uncle Sam (who is a culinary genius of All The Things) changed my mind about cherry pie. He and my aunt Amy have perfected cherry pie and crust. So much so that I asked them to bake a whole lot of pies for my wedding reception. And they did. And they were magnificent. (Sam and Amy, I still feel awful about the amount of work that took. Sorry forever!)

The Best Cherry Pie // One Lovely Life

So now, I’d like to ask you a big favor: don’t ever waste your life on pre-made filling again.

This is our favorite cherry pie, hands down. The combination of dried cherries and canned or frozen cherries makes for a great flavor and texture. Paired with a flaky crust (regular or gluten free), and a scoop of whatever vanilla ice cream you fancy, this makes for an amazing pie. It’s been Michael’s birthday or Father’s Day treat of choice for years, and probably will be for many years more.

Feel free to top it any way you like–a plain top crust, a lattice crust, or you can cut out shapes like we did here and layer them all over the top. Be sure not to skip the turbinado sugar! It makes for the most delicious crunch!

The Best Cherry Pie // One Lovely Life

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The Best Cherry Pie Recipe // One Lovely Life

The Andrus’s Life Changing Cherry Pie

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: One Lovely Life


This cherry pie recipe is so good, we served it at our wedding! Gluten Free (or not!) & Vegan. 


  • 1 double pie crust, regular or gluten free
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans pitted red tart cherries packed in water, drained, reserving 3/4c cherry liquid**
  • 1/2c dried tart cherries
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch**
  • 1/2c sugar**
  • 1 Tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • optional: egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp milk or water), coarse sugar (known as turbinado or sugar in the raw)


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and 1/2c sugar. Stir in reserved cherry liquid. Stirring constantly with a whisk, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute while mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and almond extract. Fold in all cherries.
  3. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Cover with top crust, doing a lattice if you feel fancy.
  4. Brush the top of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or till golden.
  6. Allow pie to completely cool before serving for best results. This will take several hours, but will allow the filling to set properly.


Whole food substitutions:

2 Tbsp arrowroot powder in place of the 4 Tbsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp honey in place of the 1/2 cup sugar

3 cups frozen tart cherries, thawed

3/4 cup water in place of the canned cherry water




  1. Just wanted to tell you I have a cherry pie loving husband, and your recipe for homemade cherry almond pie has, as you promised changed my life. It is so much better than the canned stuff he used to ask me to make! Every time I make this pie, it gets tons of compliments.

  2. Oh my, that looks delicious, and beautiful! I need to take a couple of things to a July 4th party. I think this will be one of them.

    This post is perfect timing. Thanks, Emily!

  3. I love cherry pie in all its forms, but it ALWAYS makes me sick after. Not this one! Must be the homemade filling vs canned. Plus also, it is the most delicious cherry pie I have ever tasted. That turbinado sugar is amazing! I want to sprinkle it on allthethings now. I made it last year for my family, but this year is my in-law’s Thanksgiving at my house, and none of them like anything but chocolate pie. But then, lo!, my newest Sister in-law mentioned that she loves cherry pie! Hooray! So now I am just coming back here (cause I am too lazy to look through my recipe folder) to look at it and get myself pumped up for this year. I can’t wait! I might have to make a few practice ones before Thanksgiving…

    1. Dayna – I’d love to help with your question! I use dried cherries and canned (in water) cherries. You’ll see in step 3 you add all the cherries at the same time. Please let me know if you need more clarification! I’ll do my best to help!

  4. Since I have both arrowroot and cornstarch, do you recommend one over the other? Any change in the taste?

  5. I am confused, in the ingredients list – you mention 1/2 cup sugar, but, in the instruction it says “3/4 cup sugar” to put in the saucepan with the starch and liquid. Could you clarify please.

    1. Sue – So sorry for the confusion! That’s for asking! I reduced the sugar in this recipe a few years ago (I don’t miss it) and somehow missed updating the amount in the instructions. It’s just 1/2 cup.

  6. This is absolutely the best cherry pie I have ever tasted, let alone made in my kitchen! The secret is obviously the dried cherries. Blue ribbon recipe for sure!

  7. I have a question I thought it was all dried cherries that were to be used why the canned cherries and can I substitute with just the dried tart cherries?

    1. It is not all dried cherries, I’m sorry. If you use all dried cherries your pie will be very dense and chewy. The dried cherries are meant to add a little texture to go with the canned cherries, which have moisture and a soft texture. If you’d like a substitute, I’d recommend pitted fresh or frozen cherries for the canned cherries. But I would not recommend substituting all dried cherries in this pie.

  8. I am not an experienced pie maker but I was looking for a cherry pie filling that didn’t run all over the place. This recipe filled the bill. I did add more dried cherries than the recipe called for and more liquid also since the juice mixture thickened almost immediately after I started cooking it, and got too thick. The filling did not run at all after cutting it. This is a keeper thanks.

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