This is the best homemade Cherry Crumb-Crunch Pie recipe ever. Depending on where you grew up, you may know it as “cherry crunch pie” or “cherry crumb pie”. And if you love Marie Callender’s version of Cherry Crunch Pie as much as we do then you’re in for a treat. This pie is hands down delicious. It starts with a homemade cherry pie filling that uses both sour cherries and dark sweet cherries to balance its buttery, sweet, and crunchy streusel topping. All of this is layered into an extra flaky, tender pie crust making for a really delicious pie experience. As always, find the step-by-step recipe photos below.
Why We Love this Homemade Cherry Crunch Pie
- Uses an all-natural 10-minute homemade cherry pie filling (really)
- It’s so easy even your kiddos can make it (if you help with the bottom crust)
- It tastes possibly even better than Marie Callender’s Cherry Crumb Pie
- You can use frozen or fresh cherries
- You can make ahead and freeze this pie baked or unbaked
- Using 2 types of cherries beautifully balances the flavor (tart cherries & sweet cherries)
- Substituting a ready-to-bake pie crust means this pie can be ready to bake in 20 minutes
What is Cherry Crumb Pie or Cherry Crunch Pie?
Cherry crumb pie (also known as cherry crunch pie) is a pie that consists of cherry pie filling made using fresh or frozen cherries (usually sour cherries) that’s covered with a streusel crumb topping made from brown sugar, butter, and flour and it’s all baked up in a traditional flaky, buttery pie crust. It’s delicious.
You’re probably familiar with Marie Callender’s frozen Cherry Crunch Pie (pictured above) found in the freezer case at your local grocery store. In fact, when I spotted it while perusing the pies and frozen desserts aisle when I was last home, I started craving it. I hadn’t eaten this pie since my college days (at least) and since they had frozen sour cherries and dark cherries nearby, I knew this was a dessert I was making from scratch.
How to Store Cherry Crumb Pie or Cherry Crunch Pie?
There are 3 ways to store homemade cherry crumb pie (aka cherry crunch pie):
- Store at room temperature for up to 2 days if the ambient temperature in your kitchen isn’t too warm.
- Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (this is how I prefer to store it).
- Store it well-wrapped in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 5 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Homemade Sweet Cherry Crumb-Crunch Pie Ingredients
Below you’ll find all of the ingredients used to make this Marie Callender’s copycat pie. Also, I’ve included links to the Cherry Pie Filling post and the Pie Crust post so you can see how to make each of these individual components for the pie. This is still one of our favorite pies and we hope you love it as much as we do.
Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients (hop over here to see the cherry pie filling recipe post)
- 12 1/2 ounces (or about 3 cups) sour cherries, fresh or frozen (350g)
- 7 ounces (about 1 cup) dark sweet cherries (200g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (165g)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed (6g)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch (16g)
- 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (approximately 3 drops)
- 1 pinch of cinnamon (optional but recommended)
Pie Crust Ingredients (hop over here to see the pie crust recipe post)
- 2 cups + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (245g)
- 1/3 cup lard (75g), pinched off into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup butter (75g), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons pure cane sugar, or white sugar (6g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3g)
- 4 to 7 tablespoons ice-cold water (60-105g)
Streusel Crumb Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120-140g)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (96g)
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (113g)
How to Make Homemade Sweet Cherry Crumb-Crunch Pie (Even Better than Marie Callender’s)
- Make the pie dough. Prepare the dough according to these pie crust directions or use a refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust. Roll it out and line a 9″ pie plate with half of the dough. Freeze the other half of the dough to use for another recipe. Chill the dough-lined pie plate in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and up to a few hours before adding the pie filling.
- Make the cherry pie filling (Cook the cherries). Add cherries, lime juice, sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon to a saucepot and cook over medium heat just until sugar is dissolved and the cherries release some of their juice (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and pour off approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup cherry juice mixture and place it into a small prep bowl.
- Prepare the cornstarch slurry. Add cornstarch to the small bowl with the cherry juice mixture and use a fork to mash and stir the cornstarch until no visible lumps or flecks of cornstarch remain, set aside.
- Combine the cherry mixture and cornstarch slurry. Next, return the pot with cherries back to medium-high heat. Just BEFORE the cherry mixture starts to boil, add the slurry whisking constantly as the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (just a couple of minutes). Remove from heat, add almond extract, and all the mixture cool.
- Cool and use (or store) the filling. Place the hot filling into glass canning jars and let cool to room temperature before using. Once it’s room temperature, you can put a lid on it and place it into the refrigerator or freezer.
- Make the streusel crumb topping. Add all of the streusel crumb topping ingredients to a medium bowl and combine everything well using a fork to mash and mix it until the mixture resembles lumpy sand with some visibly larger pieces.
- Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C. When the cherry pie filling has almost cooled completely heat the oven.
- Assemble the pie and bake it. Pour the room-temperature pie filling into the chilled pie plate, sprinkle streusel crumb topping evenly over the top to cover, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Allow the pie to cool for at least 1 hour (preferably at least 4 hours). Serve warm or cold and Enjoy!
Tips and Techniques for the Flakiest Pie Crust Every Time
Making a tender flaky pie crust is easy when you follow a few simple guidelines. Here are a few tips and techniques for ensuring you end up with a super flaky pie crust every time. Or you can check out this pie crust recipe post for all the best tips and to learn even more about making homemade crusts.
- There should always be visible flecks of butter or lard (or any other fat you may be using) in your finished pie dough. These cold flecks of butter steam and puff up when the dough hits the hot oven and begins to bake creating those distinctly flaky layers we love in a perfect pie crust.
- Always start with cold ingredients and keep them cold while making the dough. Cold ingredients help you maintain visible flecks of fat and avoid a mealy or tough dough.
- Once you add the liquid, do not overwork the dough. The less you work the dough, the more tender and flaky the crust will be. you only need to work the dough just until everything comes together and can easily be formed into a disc. If you over-work the dough, the crust will be tough and dense.
What’s the Easiest Way to Roll Out Pie Crust?
If you’re uncomfortable with knowing how thick or thin (or how large) to roll out the pie crust, there are a few tips that can be helpful to ensure you roll it to the size needed.
- It can be helpful to first trace the outline for the desired pie size onto parchment paper with a pencil or sharpie. Turn the pie plate upside down on the parchment paper (the bottom of the pie plate is facing you) and draw the line around the pie plate for reference. Flip the paper over so the dough is not in contact with the markings and start rolling out the dough directly on the parchment paper using the lines as a guide. You typically want to roll the dough about 1 to 1 1/2 inches larger than the circumference of the pie plate.
- Alternatively, you can use a handy non-slip Silpat or another non-stick mat that conveniently displays common measurements marked and ready to go for various pie sizes, etc. This way, there’s never any question if you’ve rolled your dough too thick or thin. However, if you don’t make a lot of pies or other recipes requiring dough to be rolled out to specific sizes, don’t waste your money just use the tracing trick I just mentioned.
- If you want to avoid potentially incorporating too much flour back into a pie crust (while you’re rolling it out), you can always roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. Be sure to also dust your rolling pin from time to time to avoid the pastry from sticking. Once you’ve got it to the desired size, use your rolling pin to gently roll up the dough around the pin and unroll the dough into your pie plate, trim the edges of the dough, and press and shape into the desired pattern. Be sure not to leave any gaps between the plate and the dough. Now get the dough into the fridge to rest and chill.
How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie Filing from Scratch
If you’re interested, you can find all the recipe step-by-step photos and helpful tips and techniques for making homemade cherry pie filling in this post here.
How to Make Homemade Streusel Topping from Scratch
All it takes is a few room-temperature ingredients, a bowl, and a fork to make homemade streusel topping in just 3 minutes. Simply use a fork to mash and stir everything together until it looks resembles really coarse sand as seen in the photos below.
Homemade Sweet Cherry Crumb-Crunch Pie tips & tricks
- Cherry Crumb-Crunch Pie can be made ahead of time and frozen. Wrap the completely cooled pie and portion it, or leave it whole. Wrap it with sustainable cling film ensuring a good seal all around. Place it into the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy.
- Both the cherry pie filling and pie dough can be prepared 1-3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator making it very easy to assemble the day you want to bake and serve this pie.
- Check your oven temperature to ensure accuracy. If you know your oven bakes a little too hot or too cool it’s worth investing in an oven thermometer.
- Check the pie around the 20-minute mark during baking to ensure your crust isn’t browning too fast. If the crust is browning too quickly, place a ring of aluminum foil or pie crust shield around the perimeter only and continue baking until golden brown. If the entire top of the pie seems to be browning too quickly, lay a whole sheet of aluminum foil over the top and continue baking until golden brown and bubbling.