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Sour Cherry Pie Filling for Canning

Sharing our family go-to recipe for making and canning a batch of homemade sour cherry filling for use in making pies, strudels, cakes and more.

Jars of sour cherry pie filling for canning.

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Easy and Delicious Homemade Sour Cherry Pie Filling

Our parents have a good size sour cherry tree growing on their property that produces delicious sour cherries each spring. This past year, the bounty was so substantial that we were able to make more desserts than previous years. From homemade strudel, cheesecake and pies to delicious and moist sour cherrry cake; we’re in sour cherry heaven!

Since most of the dessert recipes call for the same pie filling, we find the quickest way to make all these desserts is by canning a batch of sour cherry pie filling. This way the filling is always on hand whenever an occasion calls for a sweet homemade dessert.

To be sure the sour cherry filling will last, it’s important to properly sterilize the jars and lids, killing any microbes on the inside surfaces.

Preparing Jars and Lids for Canning

As you are preparing the sour cherry pie filling, place new or thoroughly cleaned jars (ideally fresh from the dishwasher washed on hot setting) and lids in a large cooking pot filled with water and boil on the stove top for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, arrange the cleaned jars, open side up, in a deep, oven-safe baking dish. Place the dish with the jars into the oven and heat to 210F for 15 minutes. The jars will be sterilized – make sure not to touch the insides of the jars with anything that hasn’t been sterilized.

Just before pouring the filling into the jars, boil the rims, lids, a pair of tongs and ladel on the stove top for 5 minutes. Do not touch any of the inside surfaces with anything that hasn’t been sterilized.

boiling mason jar lids and rims for canning pears

Sour Cherry Pie Filling for Canning

Jane and Sonja
Prepare and can a batch of homemade sour cherry pie filling for making pies, strudels, cakes and more.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 5 cups sour cherries pitted
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 2 packages of Gelatin
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch


  • Place sour cherries (pitted), sugar and lemon in a large pot and cook over a medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Stir occassionally and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, sterilize jars and lids.
  • In a separate bowl, mix Gelatin powder with water as instructed on packaging.
  • Next, mix cornstarch with just enough cold water to melt the cornstarch in another separate bowl.
  • Slowly add the Gelatin and cornstarch mixtures into the cooking pot and slowly stir all together.
  • Continue cooking for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Transfer mixture to sterilized jars. Seal with lid and store in the pantry.
Keyword canning, dessert, filling, pie, recipe
Tried this recipe?Tag @sustainmycookinghabit or #sustainmycookinghabit!


Pour the cooked cherry pie filling into the hot jars, seal them and place them in the oven at 220F on a baking sheet for 30 minutes for a better seal. 

To check if the jars are sealed properly, push down on the center of the lid. If you hear a clicking sound it means the jar is not sealed well. Place any jars that are not sealed properly in the fridge to enjoy in the near future.

Storing the Sour Cherry Pie Filling

Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dry location for up to year. Take out of storage and use it to make delicious sour cherry cheesecake, strudel or pie using our homemade pie crust recipe.

More Homestyle Canning Recipes

For more canning recipes check out these tasty canned peaches, reduced sugar canned pears, easy canning pickles recipe and this amazing homemade salsa.

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Jars of sour cherry pie filling for canning with text overlay.
5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 28th of June 2023

In the ingredients you list Gelatin. Do you use plain Gelatin like Knox brand or a cherry Gelatin like Jello brand? My grandma keeps giving me frozen sour cherries and I don't know what to do with them and your filling sounds great!

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