Quick and Easy Cherry Pie Filling is the best way to fill up a pie crust. Whole, pitted cherries, in a thick, not-too-sweet homemade sauce, is just the thing to make your summer cherry pie a little more special.
Nothing screams summer or summer comfort food/dessert more than a homemade cherry pie. Well, maybe for some, an apple pie does that, but I tend to associate apple pie with September and October rather than the summer months. Cherry pie is traditionally made with tart rather than sweet cherries. But, with my quick and easy recipe, you can use whatever whole cherry you prefer. I find that the sweet cherries, which is what I used, require less added sugar, which is always a bonus.
Did you know that cherry pie is more associated with North America than any other place on earth? And did you know that due to the harvest of cherries taking place midsummer, which coincides with both Canada Day and Independence Day, cherry pies are very often served on these particular holidays?
Is cherry pie a go-to, summertime dessert in your home? It’s not in ours. John.e loves cherries and will often treat himself to a large bag every summer. I’m not a fan of farm-grown cherries. But, I do love them baked into a cherry pie. Although, if I’m being completely honest here, I am a very picky eater when it comes to texture. So, even though I love raw wild cherries, and I love my Quick and Easy Cherry Pie Filling, when eating pie, I usually move the whole cherry to one side on my plate, and just eat the cherry sauce and the pastry.
Growing up in Newfoundland, I can’t ever remember eating homemade cherry pie filling. My mom always bought cherry pie filling in a can. In fact, the cherries that we ate in Newfoundland never came from a store. We had a huge cherry tree directly behind our house. It was a wild cherry tree, which meant the cherries were quite small; about the size of currents. There was no way anyone was going to try to pit those babies.
I don’t remember how the tree came about to be honest. I do, however, remember climbing that tree and picking handfuls of those cherries. Us kids would forage and walk around spitting the seeds out of our mouths at random. So classy, weren’t we? Just up the road, a gentlemen that everyone knew as Uncle Roy, owned what you would refer to as a ‘real’ cherry tree. The cherries were huge, and oftentimes, if we were lucky enough to be walking by, either him or his wife, Aunt Jessie, would give us kids a few and send us on our way. As I got older, I realized that Uncle Roy and Aunt Jessie were actually my great Aunt and Uncle. I never knew at the time. I just called them Aunt and Uncle, because that’s what we did to show respect to our elders. I can’t tell you how many Aunts and Uncles I had that were in fact no blood relation at all! Times surely have changed.
That cherry tree, and our family home, are gone now. We moved from Newfoundland to Ontario when I was very thirteen years old. A few years later, there was a house fire, and the house and the trees around it are gone. I went back to Newfoundland in 2003 to see it and there was just a big black hole where my entire childhood had once stood. When I was a kid, the house seemed like it was so big, but looking at that empty space, void of anything but ashes and rubble, it looked so small.
Just like the memories of my mom’s store-bought cherry pie filling and all of the desserts she was able to create with it, all I have now are glimpses of imagery that periodically pass through my mind. From time to time, I’ll recall the velvet wallpaper in the living room, or the round orange and brown cushion covers my mom would crochet to match the couch cover. I’ll think about watching Three’s Company and Happy Days during our weeknight dinners at that old green and gold chrome dining room table. And, of course, I could never forget the bedroom that I shared with my brother with the circus lion wallpaper, and my large collection of Archie comics.
I’m sorry, Dear Reader. This post quickly turned from all that is Quick and Easy Cherry Pie Filling to a walk down memory lane. Do you see how something as simple and as good as a pie filling can conjure up images of times gone by? That’s one of the things I love most about food. Food, for me, is all about comfort and sharing that comfort and love with the ones I care mostly about. That’s why Lord Byron’s Kitchen is a place where I get to document not only the recipes I love, but also, the moments and the memories that have created me and continue to inspire me.
And, speaking of comfort food, nothing is as comforting as a good homemade pie – especially if that pie is filled with this Quick and Easy Cherry Pie Filling! Until next time, Dear Reader – Cheers!
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Quick and Easy Cherry Pie Filling
- 8 cups cherries, pitted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Whisk together the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, and salt.
- In a large sauce pan, add the cherries, and then the sugar. Pour the cornstarch mixture over top and on medium heat, bring mixture to a boil.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- It is imperative that you stir the mixture at regular intervals to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Once down, pour the cherry pie filling into sterile mason jars. Wipe the jars clean and place on a seal, followed by a ring. Tighten and leave jars to cool completely undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a dry, cool pantry for up to 6 months.
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