This recipe for Easy Cherry Pie Filling yields a slightly sweet yet tart filling that is versatile. Use the homemade pie filling in a variety of desserts, cakes, pies, tarts, or just spooned over ice cream.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe yields a cherry pie filling that is thick and not too sweet.
Unlike canned pie filling, this doesn't contain any red food coloring or preservatives.
It's a versatile filling that can be used in muffins, tarts, cakes and pies.
You can use either fresh cherries or frozen sweet or sour cherries to make it.
It's easy and simple to make with minimal ingredients.
4 ingredients you'll need
- pitted cherries: you can use fresh or frozen, sour or sweet cherries; if using fresh cherries, remove the pits and stems prior to using
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness
- cornstarch: to thicken up the filling; you can substitute with arrowroot powder or tapioca starch
- lemon juice: adds a little brightness and acidity to the filling
How to make it
Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
In a small saucepan, add the cherries. If using frozen cherries, bring to a medium-low heat and let the cherries thaw a little (Step 1 and 2 below).
Once the cherries have released some of their juices, add in the sugar and cornstarch (Step 3 below).
Bring to a boil and stir constantly, until the cherry mixture is glossy and has thickened.
Add in the lemon juice, give it another stir and remove from heat (Step 4 below).
Cool, transfer to a clean, sterile jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Note: Cherry filling will thicken once cooled.
How to store
Store the homemade Cherry Pie Filling in a clean, sterile airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
As this pie filling has not been canned or processed in a hot water bath, it do not store at room temperature.
This pie filling will not freeze well as it contains cornstarch.
How to use cherry pie filling
Use the filling in desserts such as cheesecake bars, pies, tarts or Black Forest Cake.
- try it as a jam filling in pastries
- paired with waffles
- on vanilla ice cream
Expert tips & tricks
If using fresh cherries, use a cherry pitter to remove the pits.
Trick: No cherry pitter? Place the cherry on top of the neck of a sturdy glass bottle and use a wooden chopstick to poke the pit through.
You can use either sour cherries or sweet cherries for this recipe.
Also, you can add 1 teaspoon almond extract (good quality) to the cherry pie filling for a hint of almond flavor.
Choose a non-reactive container to store the Cherry Pie Filling, such as glass.
The filling will thicken a little more when cooled.
If you require a thicker pie filling, add a little more cornstarch.
Be careful when opening the jar as the cherry filling may spit due to pressure.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Strawberry Earl Grey Jam (Small Batch)
Easy Rhubarb Strawberry Compote
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Easy Cherry Pie Filling (4 Ingredients)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
For key visual steps, refer to photos in body of the post.
- 16 g cornstarch
- 85 g granulated sugar
- 280 g pitted cherries fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- In a small saucepan, add the cherries. If using frozen cherries, bring to a medium-low heat and let the cherries thaw a little.
- Once the cherries have released some of their juices, add in the sugar and cornstarch.
- Bring to a boil and stir constantly, until the cherry mixture is glossy and has thickened.
- Add in the lemon juice, give it another stir and remove from heat.
- Cool, transfer to a clean, sterile jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Note: Cherry filling will continue to thicken once cooled.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
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