Canning Cherry Pie Filling

Me, being silly with our brand new cherry tree. The birds ate the 5 cherries we got that first year.

Making Sweet Cherry Pie Filling is a snap if you can this ahead of time.  Cherries are an acid food and can be safely water bath canned.

These directions are for either sweet cherries like bing cherries (this is what you see in the pictures) OR sour cherries that you traditionally use for pies. 


Gather your canning supplies


  • Cherries - 6 quarts usually sour is preferred for pie filling, but I also use sweet cherries.
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups or Clear Jel
  • 9-1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon - optional
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract - optional

canning cherries

I have always used flour for a thickener in my pie fillings. I now switched to clear jel. It will give you a nicer filling with more consistent results when you are canning.

If you use Clear Jel be sure you purchase the non-instant or regular type. Click here for more information. Clear Jel


washing cherries

Wash and pit cherries. This is the most challenging part. :0) But if you just sit down and DO IT, you can make some delicious dishes. Have a friend come over and visit while you pit.

Place cherries in boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Drain. Keep warm. I do this simply by covering the pot until I am ready to mix in sugar mixture.

Combine sugar and clear jel in a large pan. Add water and cook over medium heat stirring constantly.

When product begins to thicken and bubble, add the lemon juice and boil for 1 minute.

Add cherries, stirring gently to mix.

Fill hot jars with hot cherry pie filling leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.

For more packing details follow water bath canning instructions. 


pints or quarts for 30 minutes.

Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet Increase processing time
1001-3000 5 minutes
3001-6000 10 minutes
6001-8000 15 minutes
8001-10,000 20 minutes

What else can you do with Cherries?

Canning Cherries
Cherry Jam
Cherry Cobbler Recipe
Freezing Cherries
Cherry Rhubarb Bar Cookies
› Cherry Pie Filling

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