If you have a large amount of fresh cherries but don’t know how to use them all, make a classic dessert: cherry pie. Fresh cherries can be more bitter than jarred, artificially sweetened cherries. The key to an appealing cherry pie filling with fresh cherries is to subtly sweeten them without overpowering their natural tartness. Homemade cherry pie filling requires few ingredients and doesn’t need cooking, so you’ll never need to rely on canned pie filling again.
Things You'll Need
Place 2 lb. of fresh cherries in a colander. Position the colander under cold running water for 10 seconds. Shake the colander gently to drain the excess water, then pat the cherries dry with a clean cloth.
Place the cherries on a cutting board, then slice off the stems and discard them. Place the flat side of a knife blade directly on top of a cherry. Press down lightly to loosen the cherry flesh so you have access to the pit. Insert the tip of the knife blade underneath the pit and gently push the pit out of the flesh.
Repeat the process with the rest of the cherries and discard the pits. Transfer the pitted cherries to a large mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar and 3 tbsp. cornstarch to the bowl with the cherries. Stir the ingredients gently until the cherries are evenly coated with the sugar and cornstarch.
Pour the cherry filling into your pie crust. Use a spatula to spread it evenly across the bottom of the crust, then top with an additional crust and bake according to your recipe.
Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract to the cherry pie filling for a deeper flavor or squeeze in the juice of one lemon.