Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

I’m on a pretty serious cherry kick, meaning I have a bag on hand at all times. And although eating them by the fistful is certainly satisfying, I’ve decided to use this gorgeous summer fruit for more than just snacking.

First I made Frozen Cherry Mojitos that were knock your socks off good and I then I got the hankering for cherry pie. But anyone who knows me well, knows that I have an adverse reaction to anything cherry flavored.

Cherry flavoring or perhaps the red dye, makes me cough like crazy which then triggers a sneezing fit, like 15 sneezes in a row…I kinda like to sneeze though. Anyway, canned cherry pie filling is pretty much out of the question. I have the same reaction to banana and green apple flavored things as well. Weird, I know.

I set out to turn the huge bag of cherries that I purchased into a homemade cherry pie filling. I used a recipe from About.com as a guide, but of course threw in a couple of extra ingredients to create an incredible cherry pie filling that left me super happy and free of any crazy coughing fits.

Stay tuned in coming weeks to see what deliciousness I have in store for you using this simple homemade cherry pie filling recipe.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling


  • 5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds ( I used Bing)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in almond extract. Cool slightly before using as a topping.


  • If using sour cherries, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar. I’d recommend starting about ¾ cup and working your way up if more sweetness is needed.
  • Refrigerate leftover fresh cherry pie filling in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
  • I have not tried freezing this cherry pie filling, but if you do, please let me know.
  • Recipe adapted from about.com

176 Responses to “Homemade Cherry Pie Filling”

  1. Monica — March 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Hi! I do not have enough time to browse all comments (sorry for that) and I really need to ask you this, before preparing this recipe. Can I use frozen cherries instead of fresh ones? Its early spring here si no cherries yet. But I still want to try this recipe. Thanks a lot !


    • Jamie — March 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Hi, Monica! I think the frozen cherries will be fine. Please let me know how it turns out!

  2. Darren Bagnall — March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Jamie, thank you for your recipe. I used frozen cherries picked last summer and the cherry filling turned out fine, although my pastry skills need some work!


    • Jamie — March 6, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Darren!

  3. Betsy — April 15, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Monica – Sometimes I use canned cherries in water, and it works out great too!


  4. Angelique — July 10, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I used lemon zest instead of almond extract and it was delicious! 


    • Jamie — July 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Sounds wonderful, Angelique!

  5. Tammie — July 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    This sounds great, could you can it as well? I have 20lbs of cheeries and would love to have some in the pantry for the fall!


    • Jamie — July 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Hi, Tammie! I haven’t tried canning it, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how you like it!

  6. Loretta — July 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Making pie this morning ,perfect day, since it’s raining. Can I add this to a pie shell right after the cooking process? Thanks!


    • Jamie — July 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Hi, Loretta! I think you can add the filling right away. I hope you enjoy your pie!

  7. Loretta — July 20, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Hi ya! We love, love, love this recipe! Nothing could be easier for me , and not to sweet for my husband! I’m making another one today! Thank you from my bowl of cherries!
    Sincerely, Loretta


Leave a Comment