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How to Make Homemade Sweet Cherry Pie Filling; Canning

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Marie and I love desserts and we are up there with many Americans when we claim pie as one of our favorite desserts. Cherry pie is up there at or near the top of the pie list. It is seriously one of the joys of summer. Especially since we have a FREEZE BULK PIE CRUST recipe that when combined with this homemade sweet cherry pie filling will help you go from zero to pie in nothing flat.

Cherries are a common crop in our area of the Pacific Northwest and we love to take advantage of the fresh fruit from our neighbors. These cherries are compliments of Mike and Fran Shoenwald at Schoenwald Orchards. Canning cherry pie filling allows us to enjoy this fabulous fruit year-round, not just when it is in season. Canned pie filling also makes for quick and easy pie, crisp, and pancake, waffle, or ice cream topping; it’s not just to make delicious pies.

Prepare your cherries and ingredients to make homemade sweet cherry pie filling.


The big thing with canning is planning ahead. If everything is prepared in advance canning goes smoothly. I think one of the hard things is that canning is seasonal. With the yearly fruit yield, certain details might be forgotten when we wait for the next season to come around. Hopefully, our video will help you to remember the way that works best for you.

Preparation to Make Homemade Sweet Cherry Pie Filling:

Generally, this recipe makes 4 pints of cherry pie filling.


4 1/2 pounds cherries 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 1/2 tablespoons almond extract 1 cup water 3/4 cup corn syrup 3/4 cup ultra gel

In preparation, you want to heat your jars in the oven and boil/simmer the lids. I place my jars in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place my lids in a small pan of water on the stove to simmer. Fill your boiling water bath about halfway and place it on medium heat to warm up. We want it warm, but we do not want it to boil yet.

Wash your cherries.

Wash Cherries

Marie is pitting the cherries using the Norpro deluxe cherry pitter.

Pit Cherries

Blend 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 1/2 tablespoons of almond extract, 1 cup of water, and 3/4 cup of corn syrup in a large pot.

Prepare the sauce ingredients and then add the cherries.

Combine Sauce Ingredients

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pitted cherries. Next, simmer until the cherries are hot. Now, stir in 3/4 cup of ultra gel and heat until thick.

Cook the cherry pie filling until thick.

Cook until thick

Canning Cherry Pie Filling:

Fill your pint-sized jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean cloth if needed. Without touching the underside, place the lids on the jars and tighten them until they are fingertip tight.

Fill the jars with your homemade sweet cherry pie filling.

Place in Jars

Place the filled jars in the water bath. The water should be 1-2 inches above the top of the jars once all of them have been added. Bring the water to a rolling boil then start a timer for 10 minutes if you are at sea level. If you need to know how altitude affects the amount of time you process your jars check out our canning basics video/post.

Once the processing time has completed and the cherry pie filling is done processing, remove the jars from the boiling water bath and place them on a towel on the counter. The towel protects the counter from being burned and the jar from the cool counter, which could break the jar due to the temperature difference. Allow the jars to sit for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, check to be sure that the lids have sealed down. Lids will suck down if they are sealed. If you have any that do not seal, place them in the refrigerator and use them within the next week. Label your jars with the contents and date preserved. Store sealed jars in a clean, cool, dark place.

A beautiful jar of homemade sweet cherry pie filling.

Sweet Cherry Pie Filling

This sweet cherry pie filling can be used for pie, crisp, on pancakes or waffles, ice cream topping, and any number of other uses.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

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