Fresh Cherry Pie Filling Recipe

Between the beautiful, vibrant color and the juicy, sweet, and slightly tart taste, it's pretty easy to understand why cherry pie is one of the most popular desserts out there. If you've ever enjoyed a cherry pie at a family function, there's a good chance that the filling came from a can. There's no shame in the canned food game — but truly nothing beats the taste of fresh, homemade filling. With this fresh cherry pie filling recipe, courtesy of developer Jessica Morone, you'll never want to use the canned stuff ever again.

"My favorite thing about this recipe is that it's a really simple and easy recipe to make, but it tastes much better than canned cherry pie filling so it is absolutely worth making this," Morone says. Not only does this homemade filling taste better than the canned kind and avoid any unnecessary additives, but it gives you lots of room for customization, something that Morone is a huge fan of. "You can adjust the flavors and ingredients to your taste," she explains. "You can use more tart cherries for a more tart flavor or add more sugar if you want this to be sweeter." The only thing better than a cherry pie is a cherry pie that is curated to your exact taste preferences, and this recipe will help you achieve it with ease.

Gather the ingredients for fresh cherry pie filling

As the name suggests, you'll need cherries to make this filling — pitted sweet cherries to be exact, and either fresh or frozen will work. Additionally, you'll need water, cornstarch, sugar, almond extract, and a secret weapon: pineapple juice. "The special ingredient here is the pineapple juice," Morone says, explaining that it "adds a little bit of extra sweetness and a little acid that balances out the flavors." She does note that it's a very small amount, so you don't have to worry about this becoming a pineapple pie. 

Make a cornstarch slurry

Start the recipe by making a simple cornstarch slurry. Add both the water and cornstarch to a small bowl and whisk together until the cornstarch dissolves. This slurry will help thicken up the filling in the next step, because no one wants a runny cherry pie.

Assemble the filling on the stovetop

Grab a large pot and add in the cherries, cornstarch slurry, sugar, and pineapple juice. Place the pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat and let the liquid come to a boil, then reduce the heat, bringing things down to a simmer. Allow the filling to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, during which time it will thicken up. Remove the filling from the heat and stir in the almond extract. 

Use this fresh filling in pies, cobblers, and tarts

Once the filling is off the stove, you can use it in your favorite recipes. Of course, you can't go wrong using it as a pie filling but don't assume that you're limited to just that. "You can use it in tarts, crisps, cobbler, as filling in a layer cake, crepes ... I would love to just put this on Belgian waffles or pancakes too," Morone suggests. "There [are] a lot of potential uses here, you don't have to limit yourself to pie!" Whichever way you choose to use this cherry filling, your family, friends, and dinner guests will no doubt relish the impeccably fresh flavor.

Fresh Cherry Pie Filling Recipe
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The next time you bake a pie, try using this fresh cherry filling that uses pineapple juice as a special ingredient for extra sweetness.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cherry filling and spoon
Total time: 10 minutes
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 6 cups pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth.
  2. In a large pot add the cornstarch/water mixture, cherries, sugar, and pineapple juice and stir together.
  3. Heat on medium-high heat until liquid is boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the almond extract.
  4. Use pie filling in a pie recipe of your choice, or top desserts with it.
Calories per Serving 154
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 34.2 g
Sodium 5.2 mg
Protein 0.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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