Home Canned Cherry Pie Filling

Don and Bonnie have a really nice cherry tree that her mother planted on their homestead.  The cherries are perfect for jam, pie filling or just canned cherries.  Bonnie brought her beautiful, delicious pie to our family reunion this summer; and let me get a good photo before we cut into it. (Don finished making the pie, as Bonnie cut her hand - not a good idea there!, so it really is Don and Bonnie's pie in the photo.)
This recipe, from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA”, makes really good pie filling, and is the one they used.  They have also made the same pie filling and have frozen it until it’s needed.  Don uses a cherry pitter like the one in the photo; beats any other method, trust me.
We can buy clear jel in our area at a couple of Amish groceries.

Cherry Pie Filling
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.
Procedure:  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 below.
Ingredients:


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



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
Hot
Pints or Quarts
30 min
35
40
45

Cherry Pie
1 quart Cherry Pie Filling
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate.
Spoon pie filling into crust-lined plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Brush top crust with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Cut slits in several places on top crust.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool at least 1 hour before serving.

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