Sour Cherry Pie and Canning Cherry Pie Filling

Sour Cherry Pie

Happy Canada Day!

Today’s recipe is a classic sour cherry pie filling that makes wonderful pie, or a delicious topping for vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

When we were in Pittsburgh, there was an awesome farm close by that sold buckets of pre-pitted sour cherries for a couple of weeks every summer. I am not a fan of pitting cherries, so I LOVED this! These cherries were perfect for making lots of jars of canned cherry pie filling that could be used throughout the year.

We have now moved and are too far to get these cherries anymore. As I’m still not a fan of pitting my own cherries, I rarely make multiple jars of canned cherry pie filling anymore. Okay, never. But I did scale down the recipe to make a single cherry pie (from either fresh or canned sour cherries).

For those who LOVE pitting cherries, or have access to places that will pit them for you, I have also included the large batch canning recipe.

And for those looking for a visual on making a lattice pie crust, here are a few photos:

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Sour Cherry Pie 2

To avoid burned edges when baking your pie, use a pie crust shield after the first 10 minutes of baking. If you don’t have a commercial pie crust shield, it is easy to make your own. See the easy tutorial in the following link. This method does NOT use foil strips! That just leads to frustration and burnt fingers.

Make-Your-Own Pie Crust Shield

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RECIPES:

Sour Cherry Pie

Sour Cherry Pie

Filling:
3 cans (15 oz each) sour cherries (or about 5 cups/2 lb fresh sour cherries, pitted)
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
dash salt
¼ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops red food coloring, optional
1 Tbs lemon juice
½ cup Clear Jel

Double pie crust
Milk and coarse sugar (turbinado) for brushing on top pie crust

Drain cherry juice from the cherry cans into a measuring cup; set cherries aside. Pour 1 cup of the cherry juice into a saucepot (If using fresh cherries, add 1 cup water to the saucepot). Add remaining filling ingredients (except cherries) to the cherry juice in the pot. Whisk until well mixed and then cook over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cherries and return to a boil. Remove from heat.

Place bottom crust in pie plate. Add hot cherry filling. Top with second pie crust (or make lattice). Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Place a piece of foil on the lowest oven rack to catch any drips. Bake pie on middle rack.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Use a pie crust shield after the first 10 minutes to avoid burned edges.

NOTES:

  • This provides filling for a large deep dish pie plate. If you have extra filling, refrigerate and use as an ice cream or yogurt topping.
  • If using sweet cherries, add less sugar (about 2/3 cup)

Canning Cherry Pie Filling

  • Servings: Makes about 7 quarts
  • Print

Sour Cherry Pie

6 quarts (24 cups)  sour cherries (fresh or frozen, thaw before measuring)
7 cups sugar, divided
9 1/3 cups cherry juice or water, divided
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt
2 tsp almond extract
¼ – ½ tsp red food coloring, optional
1 ¾ cups Clear Jel
½ cup bottled lemon juice (not fresh)

If using fresh cherries, wash and pit cherries. Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add cherries (in 6 cup batches) to boiling water. Return water to a boil and then boil for one additional minute. Remove cherries and proceed as below. (Cooking is not necessary is using frozen cherries)

In a large stockpot, combine cherries, 6 cups sugar, 8 cups water/juice, scraped vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, salt, almond extract, and food coloring. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.

Combine Clear Jel, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/3 cups water/juice, and lemon juice. Stir into pot with cherries. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove vanilla bean pod.

Immediately fill canning jars, leaving 1” headspace. Wipe rims and add lids and seals. Process in a boiling bath canner for 30 minutes (after returning to a boil) for quarts or pints.

Makes 7 quarts pie filling.

Note:
A regular pie plate uses 1 quart filling. A deep dish pie plate uses about 1 ½ quarts filling. I usually can both quarts and pints to avoid only using half a jar.

To bake Cherry Pie using Canned Filling:
Double Pie Crust (or 1 bottom crust and lattice for top)
1 quart of filling for a regular 8” pie plate, 1 ½ quarts for a deep dish 9” pie plate

Place bottom crust in pie plate. Add filling. Top with second pie crust (or make lattice). Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Place a piece of foil on the lowest oven rack to catch any drips. Bake pie on middle rack.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Use a pie crust shield after the first 10 minutes to avoid burned edges.

All-Butter Pie Crust

  • Servings: Makes one double crust
  • Print

image

2 ½ cups flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter
4-6 Tbs ice-cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse once. Add butter, in 1 Tbs chunks, and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add water and vanilla, 1 Tbs at a time, until dough just barely sticks together. (If you are not using a food processor, grate very cold or frozen butter into flour mixture using a cheese-type grater. Stir with a fork, or pastry cutter, and then slowly add water until dough sticks together.)

Divide dough in half and roll out each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. If dough is too sticky to work with, place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Top with a second piece of plastic wrap and press with your hands or a rolling pin until dough is a thick disk. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, then roll each disk again until thin enough to fit pie plate (about a 12-13” in diameter).

Place one crust in the bottom of a chilled 9” pie plate. Fill with desired filling, top with second crust (if desired), crimp edges, and bake as directed in pie recipe.

Makes one double-crust for a pie (or 2 single crusts).

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Filed under Canning/Freezing, Desserts

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