Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is the BEST!

When cherries are in season it’s time to put them to my favorite use, in a cherry pie. Making your own Homemade Cherry Pie Filling really lifts the bar; you’ll be lucky if you don’t eat the entire jar with a spoon!

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

This post wasn’t planned this morning. I was making some homemade cherry pie filling from cherries I had bought last week in preparation for making fresh cherry pie bars (for Wednesday!). I was on the phone with a friend, mentioned what I was doing and she begged me to share my recipe…no begging required!

I’ll be honest, it’s one of those recipes that hardly seems a recipe; just a couple of standard ingredients that results in a glaze that holds together whatever fruit that is used. It follows a pretty time worn tradition of adding some liquid, sugar, cornstarch and often a flavoring extract to fruit.

Everything is heated until the fruit has softened a bit and the liquid thickens and it’s so easy and SO much better than any canned filling and perfect for the Cherry Pie Bars that are in the oven even as I type.

Cherry Pie Filling

Funny but I would never typically do this for a pie I’m making that same day. For me those are as simple as mixing the fruit with sugar and cornstarch and the baking process will take care of the thickening.

I’ll use this when I have fruit that needs to be used with the pie coming a few day later or as mentioned for a layered bar that originally called for a can of pie cherries (but these are so much better!). Best use of all is giving a big jar to a friend or two who would normally hesitate to make a pie but if I’ve done most of the work they’ve got no excuse!

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Certainly not required but I used the last of a bottle of Luxardo Cherry Liqueur instead of the water in the recipes. Might this be why I can’t stop sampling the goods? Silly me…like they wouldn’t taste good? 🙂

Perfect Pie Crust and a Cherry Pie

I will leave you with this Cherry Pie, my absolute favorite pie of ALL time!

‘Homemade Cherry Pie Filling’

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling in Jam Jars


Homemade Cherry Pie Filling in Jam Jars
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Creative Culinary


  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp water I used 1/4 cup Luxardo Cherry Liqueur and 2 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups fresh pitted cherries, about 1 1/2 lbs ( I used Bing but you can use sour cherries; you will have to adjust the sugar accordingly)
  • ¼ tsp almond extract use vanilla for blueberries or peaches


  • Combine lemon juice, water or liqueur, sugar and cornstarch in a medium pan and mix thoroughly. Add cherries and gently stir to coat with liquid.
  • Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and gently to not break up cherries; liquid mixture should be thickened.
  • Add butter and almond extract, stir gently to combine.
  • Cool.


Can be refrigerated for a couple of days in the refrigerator; this method is not like canning so it does NOT insure longevity!


Serving: 1grams

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  1. You had me at the Luxardo! So all I need are some cherries….. they are going to make amazing bars I can already tell…. or drizzled over some chocolate ice cream…. or like you, just eat them out of the jar!!!!

  2. Now why did I not this of doing this, making cooked cherries ahead of time. I love the idea of doing this (while the cherries are still abundant and sweet) and using it to stir into a coffee cake or layered in bars. Or between cake layers. Gorgeous!

    1. All perfect ideas. This is not processed so a shorter shelf life but I’m going to try freezing a batch so I can take advantage of their bounty but make cherry pies in the fall if I want to. When I want to gag at the very thought of pumpkin ANYTHING! 🙂

      1. Hey i love cherry pie and want to try this but a couple of questions from a no experience pie maker! Is the cherry liq something that really makes a difference and if so where do you buy it and two how much filling do you put in the pie? How long do you cook it at what temp? Thank you for your help and also would it be good to mix sour cherries half and half with sweet? Thanks

        1. It is not an absolute; if you don’t have it just leave it out or substitute it with some vodka if you want a bit longer shelf life in the fridge. I think you can mix the cherries fine but be sure to taste them; the sour cherries will probably require a bit more sugar too.

          I have a separate post for a cherry pie at https://creative-culinary.com/homemade-fresh-cherry-pie/ – I’m going to go link that now too…thanks for the reminder!

  3. Yup, when we use fresh cherries in a pie (the best way to go, IMO), we just kinda combine stuff and let the baking process do the work. Same as you do. But this looks excellent — I should try this sometime. Great way to use sweet cherry liqueur, too!

    1. I used it to make some cherry pie bars; basically a shortbread crust with cherries on top. Just perfect; no way the canned ones taste this good!

    1. I make all of my holiday gifts…so hoard these jars like crazy because they’re my favorite. Not something I could can in but that’s OK. I don’t can. 🙂

  4. I now have an almost uncontrollable urge to make no-bake cheesecake and top it with this. Nostalgic, but better than the original. Yum!

    1. Interesting how Lizzy? It’s a pretty standard ingredient to thicken fillings and sauces and I’ve used it forever for that purpose with pies.

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