Cherries! Beautiful, wonderful, delicious cherries, and one of the fruits I had never canned up until today. We got some gorgeous cherries at Camden City Market this week, and I just knew I wanted to make Cherry Pie Filling. I did not have any Clear-Jel, (required for canned pie filling), so I ordered some online and it arrived just in time for today’s cooking adventure. Following guidance from the National Center for Home Preservation, here are the amazing results! Why buy it, when you can make it so easily at home? This loveliness is going to be used in parfaits, topped on cheesecake, and more! Yummm!
*Note – some recipes call for adding red food coloring. I did not as I saw no need to since the cherries were beautiful and deeply red all on their own.
Place fresh cherries (stemmed and pitted), in 1 gallon boiling water. Boil for 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 and almond extract. 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 head-space. Adjust lids and process immediately according to the recommendations below (from National Center for Home Preservation).