How to Can Homemade Cherry Pie Filling


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

 

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.Of all the pies in the world, cherry pie is my favourite. A piece of cherry pie fresh out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is pure bliss.

I don’t even live in the U.S., but there’s something “All-American” about cherry pie to me. It reminds me of the beginning of summer and fireworks and the 4th of July. It’s comforting and down-home and I absolutely LOVE a piece of sweet cherry pie on a warm summer night.

Then again, I also love it in the middle of winter;)

As much as cherry pie is totally a summer treat, the beauty of home-canning is that it’s possible to preserve all of the beautiful fruits of the season to enjoy later. And in the dead of winter, anything that reminds me that summer was not just a figment of my imagination is more than welcome around here!

Now, if you’re not comfortable canning, you can always freeze this cherry pie filling and then defrost and use later. But this recipe is seriously easy to can at home and I would always rather can than freeze if possible as I can guarantee my food will be shelf stable and won’t go bad if the power goes out (which happened last year and thawed out all my frozen cherries, which I then ended up having to can anyway to salvage them).

 

Related: Perfect Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

 

Also, I like to be able to just open a jar and use it right away without having to wait for it to thaw. And, well, let’s just say I like having the option of eating the pie filling straight out of the jar with a spoon! Don’t judge. Once you try it you’ll understand:)

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.

And speaking of eating it with a spoon, there are other ways to enjoy this pie filling aside from in a traditional pie and right out of the jar. You could make a cherry crumble (which is super easy and requires no prep time for pie crust). Or you could eat it over cheesecake or ice cream or yogurt or oatmeal… So many possibilities! 

However you choose to enjoy it, you really can’t go wrong by having some of this pie filling on hand. Having jars of any type of pie filling in your pantry is also a huge time saver if you’re having company or need to throw together a quick dessert for any reason. You can still say it’s made from scratch , but you will save tons of time when making your dessert if you already have the filling prepared and ready to go!

It also makes a great gift for Christmas or for a housewarming gift. You can add a pretty label to it and gift it on its own or you can mix up the dry ingredients needed for pie crust or for a crumble topping and attach a recipe with it to give as a “gift set.” You can’t go wrong either way!

 

Related: How to Can Blueberry Pie Filling

 

So what do you need to can your own cherry pie filling? 

One thing you will definitely need to can any pie filling successfully (and ensure the quality stands the test of time) is a product called Clear-Jel. Clear-Jel basically takes the place of cornstarch or flour in pie filling recipes; It is used to thicken the mixture so that it holds together and doesn’t make your pie runny and liquidy. But Clear-Jel is better suited for canning as it does not degrade over time. Flour and cornstarch can both end up clumping together and ruining the consistency and quality of your pie filling. I use Hoosier Hill Farm Clear-Jel and have always had perfect pie filling, even after a year or more of sitting in the pantry. 

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.

Since cherries are an acidic fruit (and since we are also adding some lemon juice), you can safely water-bath can cherry pie filling. Water-bath canning simply means you need to process your jars in a boiling hot water bath in order to kill any bacteria and ensure the jars seal. It’s really simple and you technically don’t even need a proper canner to do it. You could just use a regular large pot as long as you put something in the bottom of it to be used as a rack (even some rolled up kitchen towels will work). 

If you do opt for a canner, I would recommend forgoing the water-bath canner and just getting a pressure canner. Then you have the option of water-bath or pressure canning instead of needing a different canner for each. I personally like the All-American pressure canner. But I also like the Presto pressure canner for a little bit cheaper option. The Presto is a good in-between as it is more functional than a water-bath canner but not a lot more expensive. 

I have an old All-American as well as another older pressure canner that were handed down to me by family members. I’m not sure of the brand of the other one, but it’s very similar in style and functionality to the Presto and for water-bath canning it works great! I will be testing it out this year for pressure canning so we shall see! 

Aside from maybe having a canner, I would definitely recommend some jar lifters. You can buy these for super cheap here on Amazon or at your local kitchen supply store. They are well worth the few dollars they cost and will go a long way toward protecting your hands from scolding water when lifting jars in and out of the canner or pot. They also provide really good grip so you’re not worried about the glass jars slipping and breaking.

I also use this special canning scoop and funnel to help me get my pie filling into my jars without making a total mess everywhere. My funnel is also a measuring tool so I don’t have to guess how much headspace I have in my jars. Headspace is important as it allows air to escape from the jars to create a tight seal. Each recipe calls for a different amount of headspace, so I like having the measurements right on my funnel so I don’t need to estimate or get a ruler out.

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.

This is the canning funnel that I use. It allows me to accurately measure the headspace while filling my jars so I don’t have to guess!

You will obviously need jars, lids and bands as well.

I usually find most of my jars at thrift stores for super cheap when it’s not canning season and stash them away until I need them. Just make sure to check your jars for knicks and cracks (I have personally lost a jar of cherry pie filling that exploded in the canner because there was a small crack in the jar that I didn’t notice!)

You can reuse bands as well, but make sure you only use new lids. Once lids have been used to seal jars once, they are not safe to use again as they are not meant to seal more than once. I keep my old lids to store dry goods and non-food items in Mason jars, but when I’m canning at home I always use new lids.

As for the process of canning, it’s super simple and safe, but it is important to follow directions exactly (at least until you understand exactly how canning works and what is safe and what is not). Because you are preserving food without any freezing or refrigeration, it’s important to make sure you don’t cut corners or try to get too creative with recipes because it could affect the safety and stability of your end product.

As long as you stick to a trusted recipe and process your jars in boiling water for the time specified in the directions, you have nothing to worry about. Canning itself is very safe as long as you follow best practices according to up-to-date guidelines.

The recipe I use (and have included here) is adapted from my “canning bible” The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I can’t stress enough how much I LOVE this book. I’ve tried at least a couple dozen recipes in here and they are all really good! And Ball pretty much sets the standard for safe home canning, so nothing to worry about when you’re following their recipes.

I did adapt this recipe slightly as I didn’t have enough cherries to make up the 10 lbs the book called for. But I kept all important ratios the same. I also added a little more cinnamon, but cinnamon is completely optional.

As for the cherries, to pit them I just use a toothpick that I insert where the stem meets the cherry and I run the toothpick along the outside of the pit to loosen it and then pop it out. You can also buy a cherry pitter like this and it will definitely speed things up, but the toothpick method has always worked just fine for me. Maybe one day I’ll invest the $10 or so a cherry pitter costs:)

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.

We have a cherry tree in our backyard so we used about 5 lbs of our own cherries to make this pie filling. But you can use any cherries you like. Of course, if you use tart cherries, your pie filling will be more tart, and if you use sweet cherries it will be sweeter. But neither one is better or worse than the other. Just use whatever cherries you have. I guarantee it will be amazing either way, and you’ll be eating it with a spoon too before long;)

 

Cherry pie is a sweet summer treat. But you can just as easily preserve it for enjoyment all year long! Here is a super easy (and tasty) recipe for canning cherry pie filling at home.

How to Can Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Yield: about 4 pint jars or 2 quart jars

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs pitted cherries (you can use fresh or frozen and then thawed)
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup Clear-Jel
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (only use the store-bought kind for canning as it is guaranteed to have the correct level of acidity)

Instructions

  1. Place cherries in a colander or sieve over a large bowl and allow them to drain until you've collected 4 cups of juice (this is sometimes easier to do with cherries that have been frozen and then thawed). Set cherries and liquid aside.
  2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  3. Whisk together 2 cups of the cherry liquid, sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly until it begins to bubble.
  4. Add lemon juice and continue to boil for another minute, stirring constantly. Then add cherries and return to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and being careful not to mash up cherries too much.
  5. Remove hot jars from canner one at a time and ladle hot pie filling into each one, leaving one inch headspace at the top. Remove any air bubbles with a knife and adjust headspace if needed.
  6. Wipe rim, place lid on jar and screw band down until fingertip tight.
  7. Place jars in canner and make sure they're completely submerged in water before placing the canner lid on. Bring water to a boil and process jars for 35 minutes. Once processing time is up, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid and allow jars to rest in the canner for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove jars and let cool completely before storing in a cool dark place.

CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

21 Comments

  1. RJ Fitch

    This recipe was awesome enough that I had to make it a point to come back and say as much. My Montmorency sour cherry tree produced abundantly this year (33 pounds!) and I needed ways to use all of it the best ways possible. The extra 4 cups of cherry juice (I made two batches) worked out great for making cherry jelly. I made a pie with one of the jars a couple of days ago and it was fantastic! One thing; there was note in a response here that said it made “2 or 3 quart jars”. I came up with 2 quarts and maybe ¼ cup extra. Regardless, terrific recipe, Anna!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      So glad you enjoyed it! This is one of my favourite ways to use cherries too, and honestly one of my favourite canning recipes in general!

      I do say 2 or 3 quarts because I have found that it can vary. Sometimes I end up with just a little over a quart (like you did), and other times I have ended up with almost 3 quarts. So I always prepare an extra jar just so that I’m ready with it on hand. Then I just refrigerate the extra and eat it right away:) You could also prepare an extra pint jar or two and can the extra if you have at least a pint extra, or do all pint jars (double the amount of jars if you do). But I find a quart jar is exactly enough to make a 9” pie.

      If you’re in need of more ways to preserve cherries, this recipe for Amaretto Cherry Preserves is another one of my faves:)

      Reply
  2. Pat

    What kind of cherries did you use? Tart or Sweet?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Pat,
      Anna’s recipe here used sour/tart cherries. Technically most recipes allow you use either type of cherries without any difference in measurements. However, if you have sweet cherries and don’t wish it to be too sweet, Anna says to reduce the sugar to 1-1/4 cup and increase the lemon juice to 3 Tbsp. That should give you a similar product to hers.
      I hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Francie

    The 5lbs of cherries this calls for, is the weight for pre frozen or post frozen? Pre pitted or post pitted?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      5 lbs. pitted cherries. They should be the same weight whether they’re fresh or frozen, however this is the weight before you drain the juices out.

      Reply
  4. K

    Is clear gel
    Other wise known as gelatine?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      No, Clear Gel is a different product made from a modified corn starch. It is used as a thickener in pie fillings but isn’t as thick as gelatine. You can purchase Clear Gel here: https://amzn.to/2MOffei (affiliate link)

      Reply
      • Connie

        You ask to collect 4 cups of juice but the recipe only calls for 2 cups. What happened to the other 2 cups?

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Hi Connie,
          You must collect 4 cups of liquid but then you only use half of that in the cherry pie filling otherwise there will be too much liquid. I usually just drink the rest or use it to flavour kombucha or homemade lemonade. You could also use it to make jelly. This recipe is adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which specifies the same.

          Reply
  5. Jen

    Anna, how does one drain liquid from fresh cherries? A quick search did not reveal the answers to me. I figure juicing the cherries will just pulverize them. Squeezing them doesn’t seem quite right. I agree that frozen/thawed would be a good way to go about it, but i have fresh picked cherries in front of me.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jen,

      I’m trying to remember now if I have done this with fresh cherries, and I want to say I have. For the past couple years though I have thrown my cherries in the freezer first and canned them later, and once you freeze them and thaw them the juice just drips out and collects in a bowl beneath if you put them in a colander over a bowl.

      I just double checked the Ball recipe that I adapted this one from and it also recommends freezing first. I also wondered about the juice draining on its own when I first made this recipe but if you leave them long enough you will see the juice just naturally starts to drain out.

      I would recommend freezing first (just overnight is fine) and letting them thaw out and drain. I will have to try this recipe again with fresh cherries to test how well they drain and will report back when I do. But just to be sure this time around I can definitely assure you the juice will drain out if they are frozen first and then thawed.

      I hope that helps! Let me know how it goes.

      Reply
      • Jen

        thank you! very helpful. I can’t wait to try!

        Reply
  6. roger thompson

    How many jars does this make? It says reserve 4 cups but only uses 2 cups, am I missing something?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Roger,

      This recipe will make 2 or 3 quart jars (I often find I get two quart jars and end up with almost another quart, which I then use right away in a pie or a crumble). You could always use pints instead and you should get 5 or 6 pints out of each batch.

      As for the cups of cherry liquid, drain 4 cups of liquid out of the cherries so they’re not too “watery.” It just helps to preserve the integrity of the cherries, if that makes sense. But only add 2 cups of liquid back in when making the pie filling because all 4 cups will be too thin and watery. You want the pie filling to be fairly thick.

      I hope that answers your questions!

      Reply
      • Daina Harper

        I also end up adding a little bit more than the 2 cups so that I can get the consistency I like:) you never need all 4 cups but sometimes I end up using 3.

        Reply
  7. Dr. Alina Marcu

    Great tips. I will try this definitely. It reminds me of mommy’s recipes

    Reply
  8. Emma Dawn

    I’m going to start following your blog because I have been wanting to get into canning certain things. That way I can enjoy yummies all year round

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Awesome! Canning is sort of a lost art these days, but it’s definitely making a comeback. More people are wanting to be more involved with where their food comes from as well as what’s in it. Growing and preserving your own food (or at least preserving fresh, organic local food when it’s in season) is a huge step in the right direction.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  9. Kimberley

    This post made me so so hungry! I’ve always just used all up all of munch pie filling in one go and never thought about canning it so thank you for the tips I’ll have to try this next time I make pie ?? – http://www.teaisawishyourheartmakes.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Absolutely! It’s so easy to do too, and such a huge time-saver to have it ready to dump out of a jar if you need to fix a quick dessert.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#foodsecurity #homegrownfood #homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homegrownfoodjusttastesbetter
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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

🔨 Essential Life Skills: Learn essential life skills like time management, effective goal setting and practical DIY skills to become more self-sufficient.

As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#selfreliance #selfreliant #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #modernhomesteading #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
#simplepleasuresoflife
#thatauthenticfeeling
#findhappiness
#artofslowliving
#simplelifepleasures
#lifesimplepleasure
#simplepleasuresinlife
#thatauthenticlife
#authenticlifestyle
#liveanauthenticlife
#livinginspired
#savouringhappiness
#livemoment
#localgoodness
#simplelive
#lifeouthere
#enjoywhatyouhave
#frugallifestyle
#homesteadingmama
#offgridhomestead
#modernfarmhousekitchen
#crunchymama
#rusticfarmhouse
#farmhouseinspo
#farmhouselife
#modernhomesteading
#backyardfarmer
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