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Jar of homemade cherry pie filling next to a white bowl of fresh cherries.



Cherry pie filling is quick and easy to make. This is Grandma’s recipe for an award-winning cherry pie! Enjoy this delicious fruit filling over cheesecake, waffles and vanilla ice cream.


  • 5 1/2 rounded cups fresh cherries (about 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (or more to taste!)
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly-squeezed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


RECIPE PREP: Prepare an ice water bath. In a broiler pan or a large oversized bowl, add cool water and ice cubes. Pull out an aluminum pie dish or a medium/large stainless steel bowl. Put them aside.

  1. Remove stems and pits from the cherries.
  2. In a ramekin, mix cornstarch and water until it’s dissolved. Set cornstarch slurry aside.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Stir in the corn starch slurry. Cook mixture 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until fruit softens and juices thicken. Remove pot from heat. Gently stir in vanilla.
  5. Transfer cherry pie filling to the aluminum pie pie plate (or stainless steel bowl). Set it over the ice water bath. Let it shed heat and chill for 20 minutes. Use as desired, or refrigerate.


TART CHERRIES: If the batch of cherries are tart, add more granulated sugar to balance out the tartness.

HOW LONG WILL THE FILLING STAY FRESH IN THE FRIDGE? When stored in an air-tight container, the cherry pie filling will stay fresh for up to 1 week. But the texture is best within the first 3 to 5 days.

CAN CHERRY PIE FILLING BE FROZEN? Yes! This summer fruit filling freezes very well. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cherry Pie Filling