In this post I will walk you through the process of canning homemade cherry pie filling, allowing you to capture the delicious flavors of cherries and preserve them to use year-round! Even once cherry season has passed! Enjoy the taste of this canned pie filling in your favorite best cherry pie recipe.

Enjoy The Best Canned Cherry Pie Filling All Year Long

Canning cherry pie filling allows you to preserve the natural flavors of fresh cherries at their peak. Enjoy the sweet-tartness and vibrant color of cherries in pies, tarts, or even over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Know What’s in Your Food

By canning your own cherry pie filling, you can reap the great benefits of maintaining control over the ingredients, ensuring a healthier, preservative-free option. There is nothing more satisfying than going to your own pantry instead of the grocery stores. Grab one of your own homemade cans of cherry pie filling to make your own delicious dessert recipe for a special occasion or just for a treat after a family dinner!

a bowl of fresh whole red cherries

How to Pit Cherries without a Cherry Pitter

If you are like me and don’t like to have a lot of kitchen gadgets in your kitchen, especially if they will only be used for a few recipes, I have a great way to pit cherries using a straw! The hardest part is getting through all the cherries for this canned cherry pie recipe.

Start by removing the stem from the cherry. Hold the cherry firmly between your thumb and forefinger and pull the stem away. Take a stainless steel straw and hold it above the cherry, with one end pointing down towards the cherry’s top where the stem was.

Gently insert the pointed end of the straw into the cherry, pushing it through the top where the stem was attached. Aim for the center of the cherry where the pit is located.

Once the straw is inserted, push it through the cherry until it reaches the bottom. This motion should force the pit out through the bottom of the cherry.

Pull the straw out of the cherry, and you should find that the pit has been pushed out and remains inside the straw. You can easily remove the pit from the straw by pushing it out with your finger or tapping the straw on a flat surface.

Repeat the process for each cherry. The stainless steel straw method works well for most cherry varieties.

Canned cherry pie filling cooling on a tea towel.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Mason jars (pint or quart size), lids, and bands
  • A large pot for water bath canning
  • Canning funnel, ladle, and jar lifter
  • Bubble remover or a clean butter knife
  • Clean kitchen towels
water bath canning kit

Waterbath Canning Kit

The best waterbath canning kit to get started on your canning journey!

Simple Ingredients

  • Fresh cherries: Select ripe, firm, and flavorful cherries, preferably from a local farmer’s market
  • Granulated sugar
  • ClearJel or cornstarch: For thickening the filling
  • Fresh Fruit (optional): took keep the colors vibrant during the canning process and to maintain the colors during the shelf life of the canned filling.
a line of canned cherry pie filling cooling on a kitchen table.

Canned Cherry Filling Steps

  1. Prepare Cherries: Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, the best way is to use a stainless steel straw to poke the top of the cherry after removing the stem, and the pit should come out.
  2. Prepare Equipment: Prepare jars, lids, and canner so they are ready when the cherries are.
  3. Combine Cherries and Sugar: In a large stock pot, combine pitted cherries and 3 cups of sugar. Stir and let it sit for 15 minutes until juices begin to flow.
  4. Boil Cherries: Over medium-high heat, bring the cherry mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches 212°F.
  5. Prepare Sugar Mixture: In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and corn starch. Mix well to ensure no lumps.
  6. Add Sugar Mixture: Stir the sugar mixture into the boiling cherries. Bring the temperature back up to 212°F while stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
  7. Fill Jars: Add a small amount (about 1 tsp) lemon juice to the each of the jars then ladle the hot filling into each hot jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rim with a damp cloth, and attach the lid and ring. Repeat for remaining jars.
  8. Waterbath Canning: Place jars in a waterbath canner and process for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts). Adjust processing time for altitude.
  9. Cool Jars: After processing, lift jars straight up from the water and place them on a clean towel. Allow them to sit undisturbed at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
  10. Check Seals and Store: Check the seals. Clean the jars, label, and date them. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.

More Canning Posts:

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling Canning Recipe

Learn how to can homemade cherry pie filling with this easy to follow recipe, allowing you to capture the delicious flavors of cherries and preserve them to use year-round!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Servings6 pints

Equipment

  • Large Stock Pot, Used for cooking the cherries and sugar mixture.
  • Stainless Steel Straw, If you don't have a cherry pitter, a stainless steel straw can be used to pit the cherries.
  • Canning Jars, Glass canning jars for storing the cherry preserves. Make sure they are in good condition with no cracks or chips.
  • Lids and Rings, Two-piece canning lids (flats and bands) for sealing the jars.
  • Canner or Large Pot, For waterbath canning to process and seal the jars. Ensure it's large enough to submerge the jars.
  • Jar lifter, For lifting hot jars in and out of the canner.
  • Canning funnel, Helps in filling jars without making a mess.
  • Bubble remover/headspace tool, Used for removing air bubbles from the filled jars and measuring the correct headspace.

Ingredients  

  • 14 lbs cherries fresh
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice bottled
  • 1 cup cornstarch

Instructions 

Prep Instructions

  1. Prepare Cherries: Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, the best way is to use a stainless steel straw to poke the top of the cherry after removing the stem, and the pit should come out.
  2. Prepare Equipment: Prepare jars, lids, and canner so they are ready when the cherries are.

Filling Instructions

  1. Combine Cherries and Sugar: In a large stock pot, combine pitted cherries and 3 cups of sugar. Stir and let it sit for 15 minutes until juices begin to flow.
  2. Boil Cherries: Over medium-high heat, bring the cherry mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches 212°F.
  3. Prepare Sugar Mixture: In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and corn starch. Mix well to ensure no lumps.
  4. Add Sugar Mixture: Stir the sugar mixture into the boiling cherries. Bring the temperature back up to 212°F while stirring continuously. Remove from heat.

Canning Instructions

  1. Fill Jars: Add a small amount (about 1 tsp) lemon juice to the each of the jars then ladle the hot filling into each hot jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rim with a damp cloth, and attach the lid and ring. Repeat for remaining jars.
  2. Waterbath Canning: Place jars in a waterbath canner and process for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts). Adjust processing time for altitude.
  3. Cool Jars: After processing, lift jars straight up from the water and place them on a clean towel. Allow them to sit undisturbed at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Check Seals and Store: Check the seals. Clean the jars, label, and date them. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.

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