In hindsight, if I knew how easy it was to make and how good homemade cherry pie filling would taste I would have never bought commercial cherry pie filling in the past. Ever! This recipe evolved over time. I think it got better with each iteration. I could even go as far as saying that it’s perfect now. This one is a definite keeper.
I clearly remember the day I made my first cherry pie filling. About 5 years ago we were visiting with my in-laws and my older daughter decided to impress them with her homemade cheesecake bars. We had all of the ingredients on hand except one – cherry pie filling. Buying from a store was not an option and neither of us had any idea how to make cherry pie filling.
But, luck was on our side: we found a bag of frozen cherries in the chest freezer and a great cherry pie filling recipe on mybakingaddiction.com, which we used as is back then but it evolved over time. The cheesecake bars turned out great, but the cherry pie filling took the spotlight. It tasted exceptional. Way better than any store-bought cherry pie filling we had ever tried. And it took only 10 minutes to make it. Needless to say, ever since then I only make my own pie fillings.
Now, let me share a little secret with you. My absolute favorite cherry pie filling is the one made with dark sweet cherries. They are large, meaty and sweet. Sweet cherries also hold their shape really well. They make the best cherry pie filling, the kind that people eat on its own by the spoonful. It’s that good.
You can totally use this recipe to make cherry pie filling with sour cherries, with great results. Of course, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice to account for sour cherry tartness. See the recipe below for more details. But, in my book dark sweet cherry pie filling is the best.
Now, every time I make this cherry pie filling I usually double the recipe to avoid running out – everyone in the family loves it and wants to get a taste (or two, or three) before it even makes it into a pie, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes or something else.
Recipe inspired by cherry pie filling recipe from mybakingaddiction.com.
How to Make Cherry Pie Filling (Sweet or Sour Cherries)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries pitted
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- Place all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and mix well.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes. Be very gentle while stirring so the cherries keep their shape.
- Remove from heat and let cool before using as a topping or filling.
If using sour cherries, bump the sugar by two tablespoons and lower the amount of lemon juice to two tablespoons. This will account for the natural tartness of sour cherries and balance it out.[br][br]This sour cherry pie filling will keep in the fridge for several days without a problem, but it will thicken. Remove it from the fridge an hour or more before using. Whatever you do, DO NOT microwave. Microwaving will ruin its velvety smooth texture and cause it to become grainy.
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