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+ servings
Cherries in a basket and two jars of canned cherries.

Cherry Pie Filling

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling makes the best cherry pie in the world, but it doesn’t stop there. Spoon it over yogurt, cheesecake, or ice cream; all of the sudden, life is a whole lot cheerier.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 162kcal


  • 10 cups tart or sweet cherries pitted and stemmed
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar divided (use more if using tart cherries)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup water or juice, cherry or apple
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring optional


  • Place pitted cherries in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of sugar. (You'll have 3/4 cup sugar remaining.) Let stand for 15-20 minutes to allow the release of natural juices.
  • In a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pan, whisk together remaining sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add lemon juice and water (or juice) and whisk until smooth.
  • Add cherries and any accumulated juices to the pan, making sure to scrape out any undissolved sugar as well. Stir well.
  • Place pot on stove and turn heat to medium and allow the cherries to come to a simmer, stirring often. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly making sure to get the bottom and sides of pan as the liquid comes to a rolling boil. As soon as it starts to boil, set a timer for 3 minutes. Keep stirring as directed above so the bottom doesn't scorch. Don't skimp on the time - the cornstarch will only thicken if the liquid is brought to a full boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and red food coloring, if using. Transfer to jars or another container with tight-fitting lid. Allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator.


Note: this pie filling can be bottled/canned in a hot water bath or using a pressure canner. Follow the USDA recommended times if bottling the filling. Will keep for about 1 year bottled and 1 week fresh in the refrigerator. Filling can also be frozen. Stir before using.
-If a thicker filling is preferred, stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water to make a slurry. Add few teaspoons of the slurry to the boiling filling. Cook for at least one minute. If it's thick enough, discard remaining slurry, if it's still too thin, add a little more of the slurry. Keep in mind that the filling will be thinner when it's hot than when it is cold. If too much is added the filling will solidify into a gel when it cools.
Yield: 2 quarts


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg