Delicious cherry pie recipe using home-canned sweet cherries. Canned cherry pie filling has a crazy amount of added sugar. You can avoid all that refined sugar by canning cherries in an ultra light syrup or water and using this recipe to make a quick, simple and very tasty pie.
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You can jump to the recipe here, or you can keep reading and listen to me ramble about fruit and pies and sentimental memories with some tips for a good pie.
This cherry pie stems from sometime in my early teens. Hanging out with a friend of my moms as she made the pie and taught me how. Later she would become so near and dear to my heart to become the grandmother to my children, and the pie a much loved family favorite. The recipe has changed a bit but the flavour profile remains similar. That pie was made with fresh cherries in the height of their abundance. However, this recipe is made with home canned cherries to enjoy all year.
How to make a good pie
To make a good pie you need a good crust. Pie crust should be light and flaky but not dry. I like to use a simple all butter pie crust, it is easy and very tasty (link for the recipe below). There is a bit of technique to it but don’t let that scare you away from making your own crust.
For a good fruit filling there should be some liquid content but it shouldn’t be runny or watery. Using a thickening agent like four or corn starch will help with that.
My last tip is how sweet you make it. In my mind a good pie should be served with ice cream, but still be good on its own. This is all about the balance of sweetness. Too sweet and it’ll be overkill when served with ice-cream, not sweet enough and it won’t be as nice on its own. This recipe uses sweet cherries rather than sour cherries, they have enough of their own sweetness so not a lot of sugar is added to the recipe.
Canned Sweet Cherries
This recipe is focused around using home-canned cherries rather than cherry pie filling. Cherry pie filling, whether you get it from the store or can it yourself, contains a huge amount of sugar. It is usually made with sour cherries then sweetened up dramatically with approximately equal amounts of fruit to sugar. Instead I like to use fruit that is naturally sweet and therefor avoid the high amount of added sugar.
I look forward to canning cherries every year, they are one of my favorite things to work with. Prepping them is messy but the colour is so pretty, I find it very rewarding. There are a number of ways you can preserve cherries. I can them in a water bath canner using a syrup made with a 1/2 cup of sugar for every 5 cups of water. This is the ultra light syrup from the Bernardin Complete book of home canning. The sugar is there to preserve the colour, flavour and texture of the fruit. However, I find the thicker syrups change the flavour too much.
Using fresh or frozen sweet cherries
To make it with fresh cherries, mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan and then cook them down a bit so they release some of their juices. Next, remove the fruit and add the thickening agent to the liquid to thicken it up. Combine the fruit and liquid together again and add to your pie. Alternatively you can mix all the ingredients together including the flour and add the cold mixture directly into the pie.
Putting together the sweet cherry pie
Building this pie takes two crusts. One for the bottom one for the top. Roll out the first and place on the bottom of the pie plate. Poke the crust with a fork a few times and fill with fruit. The crust doesn’t need to be baked first. Roll out your second for the top and do whatever you’d like with it, this is the design part. I usually end up doing a lattice pattern for a super classic pie look. Create whatever design your heart desires and egg wash the top. For some added flare you can sprinkle with sugar and/or cinnamon. Bake in the oven at 350 F for about 20-25 minutes I find every oven is a little different, so bake it until it is an appetizing golden brown.
Serve warm with iced cream for best results.
Sweet Cherry Pie from home canned cherries
- 1 L jar Home canned cherries or two 500ml jars
- 1/4 cup golden brown sugar or panela sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp. flour
- Empty cherries into sauce pan fruit and 1 cup of the liquid.
- Add sugar and seasoning to cherries and mix.
- Remove fruit from the liquid in the sauce pan and set aside.
- Set liquid on medium high heat.
- Remove 1/4 cup of the liquid, sprinkle flour into it whisking constantly.
- Pour mixture back into the rest of the liquid and whisk, reduce until it thickens.
- Add back to fruit and place in prepared pie crust.
- Add top crust and egg wash
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.