It’s a bit more work than canned but the end result of making your own Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is so worth it!
This post wasn’t planned this morning. I was making some homemade cherry pie filling from cherries I had bought last week in preparation for making fresh cherry pie bars (for Wednesday!). I was on the phone with a friend, mentioned what I was doing and she begged me to share my recipe. No begging required!
I’ll be honest it’s one of those recipes that hardly seems a recipe; just a couple of standard ingredients that results in a glaze that holds together whatever fruit that is used. It follows a pretty time worn tradition of adding some liquid, sugar, cornstarch and often a flavoring extract to fruit. Everything is heated until the fruit has softened a bit and the liquid thickens and it’s so easy and SO much better than any canned filling and perfect for the Cherry Pie Bars that are in the oven even as I type.
Funny but I would never typically do this for a pie I’m making that same day. For me those are as simple as mixing the fruit with sugar and cornstarch and the baking process will take care of the thickening but I’ll use this when I have fruit that needs to be used with the pie coming a few day later or as mentioned for a layered bar that originally called for a can of pie cherries (but these are so much better!). Best use of all is giving a big jar to a friend or two who would normally hesitate to make a pie but since I’ve done most of the work they’ve got no excuse!
Certainly not required but I used the last of a bottle of Luxardo Cherry Liqueur instead of the water in the recipes. Might this be why I can’t stop sampling the goods? Silly me…like they wouldn’t taste good? 🙂
I will leave you with this. My absolute favorite pie of ALL time!
Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp water (I used 1/4 cup Luxardo Cherry Liqueur and 2 Tbsp water)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 cups fresh, pitted cherries, about 1 1/2 lbs ( I used Bing but you can use sour cherries; you will have to adjust the sugar accordingly)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (use vanilla for blueberries or peaches)
- Combine lemon juice, water or liqueur, sugar and cornstarch in a medium pan and mix thoroughly. Add cherries and gently stir to coat with liquid.
- Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and gently to not break up cherries; liquid mixture should be thickened.
- Add butter and almond extract, stir gently to combine.
Can be refrigerated for a couple of days in the refrigerator; this method is not like canning so it does NOT insure longevity!