Homemade Cherry Pie Filling


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | www.chocolatemoosey.com

I’m an overachiever, and I hate buying pre-made food. I usually insist on making everything from scratch. That doesn’t mean I don’t do it, but most of the time, if it comes in a package or a mix, I make it homemade. Sometimes it works (cake, pudding, whipped cream), sometimes I fail (ladyfingers, anyone?). I also don’t like most canned foods. I do cook with canned tomatoes and mushrooms, but I pass on canned green beans or potatoes. Canned soup is disgusting. Now occasionally I do cheat, such as Watergate Salad (pistachio pudding mix and cool whip), but for the most part, I make from scratch. Take Homemade Cherry Pie Filling for example. You walk down the baking aisle and see cans of pie filling – apple, cherry, peach. What if I told you it takes longer to pit your cherries than to actually make this filling?


Cherry Picking | www.chocolatemoosey.com

A few weekends ago, I went cherry picking. The sweet cherry crops got hit really bad with the frost (hence the high prices), but the sour cherries were fine. I ended up picking 6.81 pounds. As the name suggests, these cherries are sour and are hard to eat as a snack. However, they are perfect for baking. In fact, sour cherries are preferred for baking than sweet (although I did bake with sweet Rainer cherries last year).


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | www.chocolatemoosey.com

This Cherry Pie Filling tastes just like the can except fresher and you can pronounce your ingredients. There is some red food coloring, but you can leave it out. Despite using sour cherries, the filling is sweet just like you would expect a pie to be. Although there are no spices in the recipe, if you know what you’re making, feel free to add some (cinnamon and nutmeg work really well). However, if you are canning this, you may want to refrain from seasoning since you may not know what your end product will be. I’m not a confident canner, so I just refrigerated my jar until I get a chance to make pie.

Update 08/10/13: This pie filling cannot be canned because of the cornstarch.


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | www.chocolatemoosey.com

Word of advice – don’t add lemon juice if you’re using sour cherries. When the recipe called for 1 tablespoon cherry juice, I thought hey I’ll use lemon juice. Um sour + more sour = too sour. Now if you’re using sweet cherries, the lemon juice would work just fine.


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | www.chocolatemoosey.com

This recipe makes enough for a 9-inch pie. Pour the filling into your favorite pie crust, top with another layer of your favorite pie crust, make a lattice layer, or top with streusel and bake. Use in place of canned cherry filling. This filling isn’t just for pie. I made a cheesecake with it (which will be posted next week, in time for Fourth of July!). You can also pour it onto ice cream or your favorite piece of cake. Or eat it by the spoon. Nobody is judging.


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling | www.chocolatemoosey.com

This recipe works with other fruit too. Last year, I used peeled peaches. In October, my mom made it with peeled apples. You may need to do some flavor adjustments (apple instead of cherry juice), but the process is still the same.
Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
 
Use this filling instead of canned.
Author:
Serves: Enough filling for one 9-inch pie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cherry juice (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Few drops of red food coloring
  • 5 cups sour cherries, pitted (if using sweet, change 1 Tbsp cherry juice to lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine water, juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and food coloring. Stir in pitted cherries. Cool to room temperature then use right away or store in the refrigerator*.
Notes
*If you do store the filling in the refrigerator, it may separate. Reheat everything back up in a saucepan until combined and thickened again.
*This filling cannot be canned because of the cornstarch. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or freeze it in a freeze-proof container.

Source: Adapted from Cherry Marketing Institute
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If you liked this Homemade Cherry Pie Filling, you may also like these recipe from me:

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Comments

  1. Now I just need to get my hands on a bunch of fresh cherries…Oh how I love anything cherry!

  2. WOW!!!

    Wait, did you say peaches???

  3. Yum! This is such a great idea. I prefer homemade over canned any day, and don’t even get me started on canned soup- blek!

  4. That pie filling looks so good! It’s picture perfect!

  5. This is so cool I can barely contain my excitement. I must try this. It’s spectacular.

  6. Can you send me some please so I can make a cherry pie… looks delicious. :D

  7. I prefer to make most of my own stuff from scratch too (and I am totally with you on canned soup; it’s loathsome). I may have to try making the peach filling.

  8. Christine says:

    Gosh, I think that you are my hero… I LOVE cherries and this is just another way I can have them when they’re not in season!

  9. oh that looks sooo good. i love sour cherries! i had cherries like that in wisconsin and fell in love!

  10. Shonagh @ An Offal Experiment says:

    I’m just wondering about the thickness of your cherry filling? I tried making some with cornstarch and it didn’t thicken up, something to do with the acidity of the cherries. Have you ever tried tapioca?

  11. Paddy Harrison says:

    I have these cherry trees in my yard. They make beautiful pies. For thickening I use tapioca flour. It freezes better than corn starch, if you make up the pies and freeze them.

  12. I have always used cherry pie filling from a can, but I have now moved to Australia where it’s not available and I was wondering what the heck to do! This looks awesome and super easy.Thank you so much – can’t wait to try it on cheesecake and other desserts!

  13. Mmmmmmmmm………these look delicious. I love Cherries and cherry pie. My Nana had a cherry tree in her backyard that we used to pick. Nuthin’ better!

  14. Gorgeous tart cherry pie filling, Carla! Jen (Juanita’s Cocina) just tweeted her Pinterest pin and I followed suit…pinned it everywhere I could! So very pretty. I’ve got tart cherries on the brain…going picking this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  15. Perfect timing. I have a pound of fresh cherries on my counter and a hankering to make a pie!

  16. Paulette says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I have a sour cherry tree in my back yard, this year the fruit was quite plentiful and I’m going to try your recipe. :)

  17. I am about to try this with my Nanking cherries, thanks for the recipe! How long do you think it would stay good in the refrigerator? And do you think it would freeze ok? Thanks!

    • I’d say up to a month in the fridge. And yes, you can freeze it! Maybe not in a glass container. I’ve seen people put pie filling in a freezer bag, lay it in a pie dish (so it takes the shape of it), then freeze it that way.

  18. can this recipe be canned instead of being used right away?

  19. If you use ClearGel instead of cornstarch, you can both can or freeze your filling without it breaking down. Just a hint

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