Cherry Pie Filling

By • August 15, 2013 8 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe for cherry pie filling is best with sour cherries, but sweet cherries will work just fine. It can easily be halved for making an even smaller batch, but when it comes time to pitting cherries, I prefer to spend one day getting the worst out of the way, so later I can focus on the really important stuff, like eating pie. One quart of filling makes one 9 inch pie. If you open a jar and don’t use all of the filling, be sure to refrigerate it until you finish it up.

Adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Canning

Makes 4 quarts

  • 4 quarts cherries (sour cherries are best, but sweet will work, too)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  1. Wash and dry the cherries. Pit them over a bowl, reserving all flesh and juices. If you really like cooking and baking with cherries, it really is worth it to buy a cherry pitter. I’m not one for single use kitchen gadgets, but it really does the job. If not, just halve the cherries and remove the pit.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. In a large pot, whisk together the water and lemon juice, then add the sugar and cornstarch in, whisking well to combine and remove any lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add the cherries and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cherries have softened and the juice has thickened.
  4. Ladle the mixture into sanitized canning jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Fasten the lids to each jar, and transfer to a boiling water canner. Process for 30 minutes, then remove and let cool completely at room temperature. Check the seals, then store in a cool, dark place.

More Great Recipes: Cherries|Fruit|Pies & Tarts|Tarts|Pie

Topics: Pie

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Comments (8) Questions (0)


about 1 month ago LLCorrado

Do you have a favorite cherry/olive pitter? There are so many to choose from.


about 1 month ago Chelsea

We made this this weekend and it was awesome! I added a couple glugs of amaretto, and canned them in pint jars so we can do smaller desserts. :) Yum!!


about 1 month ago Jeanne Barker

I was informed after making this that its not safe to use cornstarch when canning :(


2 months ago MWetzel

OH Man this is awesome and so easy youll look like a genuis! Not too sweet and very thick full of mild cherry flavor. I hope this will work for the crust that will be prepared the next day as I am not doing the sterilizing process. Oh, and I hope there is some still left. I am inhaling it warm right out of the jar


2 months ago Nichole Sullivan

I made this tonight and my four quarts of sweet cherries cooked down so that I was able to can three quarts (with 1" head space) and then one quart jar with three cups of filling. Might need a tad more cherries to make this a full four quarts cooked. Should be good anyway, though!


almost 2 years ago jeana

where are cherries available in November? is this really a good recipe for late November baking?


about 2 years ago Babs in Phoenix

Should the sugar perhaps be decreased if using sweet cherries and, if so, by how much do you think?


about 2 years ago ivalleria

Looks delicious! Is there any difference in baking if one uses this filling rather than fresh cherries?