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Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Fresh tart cherries give this pie filling a homemade flavor that's superior to canned.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups fresh tart cherries, pitted
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 drops red food coloring, optional
  • Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)


  • In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the cherries, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in food coloring if desired. Yield: 4 cups.
  • For a lattice-crust pie: Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; add filling. Make a lattice crust; trim, seal and flute edges. Cover edges loosely with foil.
  • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
Editor's Note: This recipe makes enough for a 9-in. pie. To use in other dessert recipes, a 21-oz. can of commercial pie filling is equal to 2 cups.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 359 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 277mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Michael
    Feb 9, 2020

    I am going to use canned tart cherries. Will this work as well?

  • Robert
    Jul 18, 2017

    I subsituted 1/4 of the water with orange brandy, which I added once the sauce was thickening. I also added 2 tsp of cinnimon, 1 tsp of cardanom, a pimch of cayenne, and almond. Also used unsalted butter.

  • sugarcrystal
    Aug 2, 2015

    Great recipe. Store bought stuff doesn't really do it for me. My only change was to add a dash of cinnamon, cloves, & almond extract.

  • rippleon2000
    Sep 18, 2014

    Had a bunch of fresh cherries that didn't work so well after freezing in a couple of recipes we tried. Turned out delicious with this recipe!

  • pippysue
    Aug 31, 2013

    No comment left

  • Pie_Pie_Pie
    Jun 29, 2013

    It turned out with a jelly-like consistancy, I'd look else where. It tasted kind of bitter, maybe I need to pick different cherries, but I think it needed more sugar.

  • Melanie-Obrien
    Jun 28, 2013

    No comment left

  • mom24_4evermom
    Apr 5, 2013

    Easy, delicious, exactly what I was looking for. Not gelatin like at all, for me.

  • lovedega88
    Nov 27, 2012

    Such an easy recipe and it turned out perfect! Very good! I will be using this recipe again and again.

  • jopine
    Jun 7, 2011

    this was very good me and my sister loved it :D