Prep 0 mins
Cook 25 mins
My grandmother used to can cherry pie filling to use all winter long. The only thing different that I do is add a little red food coloring to give it some color. You can also freeze this pie filling if you prefer. I am not listing any prep time because it depends on how fast you can pit the cherries.
- 7 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 14 drops almond extract
- 9 lbs sour pitted cherries
- 1 cup quick-cooking tapioca
- 7 cups water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- red food coloring
- Blend the sugar, salt, and tapioca together.
- Add almond extract and water.
- Cook on medium high heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
- Add lemon juice and cook an additional two minutes.
- Add the cherries to the sauce, stirring gently to keep from breaking the cherries up.
- Add enough food coloring to make the mixture a bright red.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute.
- Ladle the mixture into hot, sterile jars.
- Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
- Seal the jars.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes.
- Remove from water bath and place on kitchen towels on counter top to cool.
- When you're sure the jar is sealed, tighten the rings.
- If a jar doesn't seal properly, pour the pie filling into another sterile jar.
- Make sure the rim is clean before putting the lid on and reprocess.
- Or you could pour the pie filling into a freezer container and put in your freezer.
We have a sour cherry tree and I've tried tons of pie filling recipes. This is the winner so far! I might reduce the water a little...I think my type of cherries have a higher water content because all the pie filling recipes turn out a little runny. I just freeze the pie filling so its a really fast recipe for me too!
Very impressed with this recipe. Made it exactly as written and got 14 pints from it. I used 6 quarts of cherries and 1/2 t. of almond extract. Got nice and thick and had wonderful flavor! It was very easy also!
I scaled it down to just over 2 pounds of fresh cherries (around 6 cups halved/pitted). I reduced the sugar by 1/3, subbed vanilla for the almond and cornstarch for the tapioca. I agree with omitting the food coloring...even though I used raw sugar making the sauce look like caramel at first, after the cherries cooked it was a beautiful dark red. And it's plenty sweet enough! Thanks a bunch...you've gotta appreciate grandma's recipes.