6:44:00 PM
For my sister Susie's birthday back in October she wanted to have her favorite pie instead of a birthday cake. I thought of it now since Misty, one of my good friends from FB is getting cherries from Amish country this week and wants to do a few jars for the family. Now Susie has always loved Cherry pie and I have never cared for it. It reminds me of most things flavored like cherry, reminiscent of the Sucrets cough drops I had to take when I was sick as a kid. They had a sweet flavor combined with a really bad medicinal after taste with every suck. So being that it was her birthday and I had the recipe, cherry pie filling was coming to the table.

This recipe can be make with fresh firm cherries or you can use as I did frozen cherries since in the middle of October there were no fresh cherries to be found. Make sure that you thaw the cherries as much as possible or you will have a very runny filling.

Clear Jel is available at the SB Canning store here!

Cherry Pie Filling

3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cherries (make sure to thaw completely)
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup + 1 T. Clear Jel
1 1/3 cup cold water

1 T. + 1 t. bottled lemon juice
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. almond extract (I used it)

Rinse and pit fresh cherries, and hold in cold water. To prevent stem end browning use lemon juice and water or Fresh Fruit from Ball. For fresh fruit, place the cherries in boiling water for 1 minute and drain but keep heated in a covered bowl.
Combine sugar and Clear Jel in a large saucepan and add water. If desired add the cinnamon and almond extract. Stir mixture over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn off heat.

Fold in drained cherries immediately and fill hot jar(s) with mixture without delay, leaving 
1 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with wet papertowel. Add hot lids and rings and waterbath for 30 minutes for pints or quarts.
This recipe make 2 pints or 1 quart.

Paula's Cherry Pie filling
Whitney posted an amazing alternative to this recipe by omitting the cinnamon and adding 1 tbsp Amaretto in place of the almond extract. Inspirational idea! Here are her jars!

Whitney's Cherry Amaretto Pie Filling: 

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