University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FCS8292

Selecting, Preparing, and Canning: Cherry Pie Filling1

United States Department Of Agriculture, Extension Service2

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Quality: Select fresh, very ripe, and firm cherries. Unsweetened frozen cherries may be used. If sugar has been added, rinse it off while the fruit is still frozen.

Yield: 1 quart or 7 quarts

Procedure: (See Table 1 for suggested quantities) Rinse and pit fresh cherries, and hold in cold water. To prevent stem end browning, use ascorbic acid solution. For fresh fruit, place 6 cups at a time in 1 gallon boiling water. Boil each batch 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot. Combine sugar and Clear Jel® in a large saucepan and add water, if desired, add cinnamon, almond extract, and food coloring. Stir mixture and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Fold in drained cherries immediately and fill jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately according to the recommendations in Table 2.


Table 1. 

Cherry Pie Filling.


Quantities of Ingredients Needed For

1 Quart

7 Quarts

Fresh or thawed sour cherries

3-1/3 cups

6 quarts

Granulated sugar

1 cup

7 cups

Clear Jel®

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp

1-3/4 cups

Cold water

1-1/3 cups

9-1/3 cups

Bottled Lemon Juice

1 tbsp + 1 tsp

1/2 cup

Cinnamon (optional)

1/8 tsp

1 tsp

Almond extract (optional)

1/4 tsp

2 tsp

Red food coloring (optional)

6 drops

1/4 tsp

Table 2. 

Recommended process time for Cherry Pie Filling in a boiling-water canner.


Process Time at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0 - 1,000 ft

1,001 -3,000 ft

3,001 - 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft


Pints or Quarts

30 min




*After the process is complete, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait five minutes before removing jars.



This document is FCS 8292, a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Publication date: May 2003. Revised: July 2005. Reviewed: April 2014. This document was extracted from the Complete Guide to Home Canning, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. It was originally published on CD-ROM as part of HE 8148, Guide 2: Selecting, Preparing, and Canning Fruit and Fruit Products. Please visit the EDIS website at


Reviewed for use in Florida by Amy Simonne, assistant professor, Food Safety and Quality, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.