Cherry Pie Filling

Processing: Boiling Water Canner 30 minutes (half-pints, pints, quarts) 
Storage: 12 months +
Yield: 4 cups per batch
       
Make homemade cherry pies in minutes! Simply pour into a pie shell, cover with the top and bake. Quart (950ml) jars are great for family-sized pies; half pint (1-cup) jars of canned pie filling make approx. 4 x mini pies. Pie filling is also delicious stirred through homemade yoghurt or used as a topping on cheesecake, pastries, pancakes, ice-cream or other desserts. 
    
PLEASE NOTE: This recipe makes 1 x quart jar. To make larger batches, multiply by the number of jars you wish to make (we recommend using 2 or 3 large pans for large batches) or refer to the chart at the end of this recipe.
         
INGREDIENTS:
3 1/3 cups cherries, fresh or thawed (sweet or sour)
water, for blanching
1 1/3 cups water (or apple juice), chilled
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Thermflo or ClearJel (1/8 cup for pancake topping)
1 1/2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice     
          
METHOD:
  1. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill.
  2. Wash fresh cherries, drain and pit. If using thawed berries, retain juice and use as part of the water in the filling. Keep cherries whole or slice in half. Blanch fresh cherries for 1 minute in water, then strain. Keep blanched fruit hot.
  3. Whisk sugar, Thermflo and the water together. Heat until thick. Remove from heat. Whisk in the bottled lemon juice. Immediately stir cherries into the pie filling, adding extra apple juice if too thick, and bottle immediately.
  4. Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.
  5. Immediately ladle the hot fruit pie filling into hot jars, leaving 1inch (2.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct, and then wipe rims with damp paper towel then seal.
  6. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 30 minutes, adjusting for altitude if required by following chart below. Start timer once water returns to a full boil. When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
  7. The next day: check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed. Please note fruit pie fillings will have tiny bubbles present after processing.
 
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
  • Add 1/8 teaspoon ground spice: i.e. cinnamon;
  • Add 1 tablespoon shredded or desiccated coconut;
  • Add extra lemon juice;
  • Add lemon or orange zest;
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract;
  • Add a little liqueur i.e. apricot, brandy or merlot;
  • Add a vanilla bean;
  • Add 6 drops natural red food colouring.
              
Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients
1 Quart (4 cups)
7 Quarts (28 cups)
Cherries (fresh or frozen)
3 1/3 cups
23 1/3 cups
Water, chilled
1 1/3 cups
9 1/3 cups
Sugar
1 cup
7 cups
Thermflo (or ClearJel)
1/4 cup
1 3/4 cups
Bottled lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons
10 ½ tablespoons
       
Processing Cherry Pie Filling in a Boiling Water Canner
Style of Pack
Jar Size
Altitude
0 – 1,000ft
Altitude
1,001 – 3,000ft
Altitude
3,001 – 6,000ft
Altitude
≥6,000ft
Hot
Half-pint
Pint
Quart
30 minutes
35 minutes
40 minutes
45 minutes
       
Thermflo Orders (Australia): megan@foodpreserving.org

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