Looking for a delicious way to use fresh cherries? This homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in minutes with just 5 simple ingredients. It's easy to make ahead of time and can be added to a classic cherry pie or your favorite recipes with cherry pie filling.
Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
A few weeks ago I found fresh cherries on sale at the grocery store, so I bought two big bags. I thought for sure my fruit loving family would devour them in no time at all.
But they only finished off one bag, so the other bag was just sitting in the fridge. I needed to use them up before they spoiled, so I decided to make a cherry pie with homemade cherry pie filling. The pie filling was so easy to make on the stove top, and it turned out sweet and delicious!
Of course, my favorite way to eat this homemade cherry filling is with a big spoon. Trust me...once you taste this cherry pie filling recipe, you will never buy canned pie filling again.
So you may be wondering why you would make a homemade pie filling when you can just go to the store and buy canned pie filling.
Why make homemade pie filling?
There are so many reasons why homemade pie filling is so much better than canned filling. Here are a few of our favorite reasons for making our own fillings.
- Use fresh fruit that is in season, so it is generally cheaper.
- Control what goes into the filling. This way you know exactly what you are eating. No artificial flavors, colors, or additives are needed when you make homemade.
- Adjust the sweetness. You can add more or less sugar according to the sweetness of the cherries and your taste preference.
- Add natural flavors. Vanilla extract, almond extract, and cinnamon all add a warmth and flavor you will love.
How to pit cherries
It is easy to pit a bowl of fresh cherries with or without a cherry pitter. Here are few ways to take the pit out of a cherry with household items. To keep your fingers from being stained, wear food safe gloves.
Chopsticks/Straw - remove the stem, place the cherry on top of a bottle, press the chopstick or straw through the cherry until the pit pops out
Paring Knife - cut open the cherry and remove the pit
Cherry Pitter - the OXO cherry pitter easily removes the pit. BRUCREW TIP: Don't wear white when you pit cherries with this kitchen tool because it may splash a little if you are not careful.
What You'll Need
This cherry pie filling recipe is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients from your pantry. Buy a bag of frozen cherries, if fresh cherries are not in season or available.
- Fresh Cherries - Bing or dark sweet cherries are great in this recipe. They really do make a difference in the taste of the pie filling.
- Sugar - granulated sugar sweetens this pie filling
- Cornstarch - thickens the filling
- Lime Juice - balances the sugar
- Pinch of Salt - optional, balances the sweetness from the sugar
- Almond Extract - adds an incredible flavor to cherry desserts
How to make Cherry Pie Filling
Making a batch of cherry filling from scratch will only take you about 30 minutes. This recipe produces a sweet pie filling that is delicious and loaded with fresh cherries.
- Pit 2 pounds/5 cups of fresh cherries.
- Stir together pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lime juice, water, and salt in a saucepan.
- Place the pan over medium/high heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in almond extract.
- Let it cool 2 hours before using it as a topping or in a fresh cherry pie.
Pie Filling Recipe Tips
- Sweet or tart cherries can be used to make this cherry filling recipe. Bing cherries are a popular choice during the summer months.
- Use frozen, pitted cherries, if fresh cherries are not in season or available. Thaw and drain the cherries first, then follow the directions. Drained canned cherries are another option.
- If you are using tart cherries, you may want to omit the lime juice and add ¼ cup more sugar.
- The cherry pie filling will thicken once it is refrigerated.
- Add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch, if you want a slightly thicker filling.
- Use vanilla extract instead of the almond if you prefer that instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you thicken cherry pie filling without cornstarch?
Yes, you can use other ingredients to thicken a pie filling without cornstarch.
- Tapioca Flour - use 1 ½ tablespoons and let the filling rest at least 30 minutes, so it can absorb properly
- Instant ClearJel - use 3 tablespoons of this thickening agent
- Flour - you will need up to twice as much flour per teaspoon to thicken this recipe.
How do you store cherry pie filling?
Refrigerator - Keep this cherry pie filling in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer - Spoon the filling into a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for 3-4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
How do you make sugar free cherry pie filling?
Use your favorite sweetener such as Monk Fruit or stevia in place of the sugar. You can also use ½ cup of natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup if you like.
Recipes with cherry pie filling
- Cherry Coffee Cake
- Cherry Filled Cupcakes
- Oreo Icebox Cake
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Chocolate Cobbler recipe
- Best Cherry Pie
- Cherry Swiss Roll Cake
Other cherry dessert recipes
- Cherry Jello Parfait
- Cherry Sweet Rolls
- Cherry Berry Crisp recipe
- Cherry Banana Bread
- Cherry Crumble Bars
- Zucchini Coffee Cake