The Best Fresh Cherry Pie

This cherry pie was adapted from my Mother-in-law’s recipe for fresh cherry pie filling which makes about four quarts of pie filling and is more suitable for canning (canning instructions included in the recipe linked) or large batches of cherry desserts. This recipe for cherry pie uses cherry Jello and clear Jel for a well set cherry pie filling that doesn’t get more watery as it bakes like cornstarch fillings often do. In my family’s opinion, this sweet and tangy cherry pie with plump cherries and a bright cherry flavor from the cherry Jello, is simply the best!

If you love pie recipes, be sure to also try Amish chocolate mousse pie, fresh peach pie and Amish spiced apple pie!

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The best cherry pie with clear jel and cherry jello

The Best Fresh Cherry Pie

marilynpeight
This family favorite for fresh cherry pie creates sweet and tangy pies that are loaded with plump cherries in a well set cherry pie filling, completed with a flaky homemade pie crust!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 9 inch pies

Equipment

  • Glass Pie Plates (linked below)
  • Stock pot (linked below)
  • Mixing bowl (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar *see note for semi sweet or sweet cherries
  • 3 oz. black or red cherry Jello
  • 1/2 cup clear jel
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 heaping cups sour or semi sweet cherries (pitted)
  • 2 9 inch homemade pie crusts (chilled for 30-60 minutes) enough for the bottom layers and lattice tops

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 425:

  • Combine the water, sugar, cherry jello and clear jel in a 5-6 quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly to eliminate clumping. Cook until thickened and clear, then remove from heat.
  • Stir in the salt and almond extract, then gently fold in cherries, adding cherries until the filling/cherry ratio is to your preference. Place the cherry pie filling in an ice batch or in the refrigerator until cooled completely.
  • Prep the pie crusts using the recipe linked above, or your favorite pie crusts. Fill each chilled 9 inch pie crust with half of the filling, then top with a lattice top or pie crust with slits cut into it to allow the pie filling to "breathe" as it bakes.
  • Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes until the filling has begun to bubble and the pie crust is golden on the top and bottom. Cool completely (chill in the refrigerator for several hours) before cutting, then enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is made for using sour cherries, but you can also use semi sweet cherries (I only add 1 scant cup of sugar with semi sweet cherries) or sweet cherries. If using sweet cherries, feel free to adjust the amount of sugar added (to taste). 
Be sure to cool the filling completely before baking it in the pie crusts. This helps to prevent a soggy bottom on the crust. It is also helpful to chill the pie crusts for 30-60 minutes before baking if you wish to prevent a soggy bottom. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Homemade cherry pie, with clear jel, with cherry gelatin, fresh cherries, sour or semi sweet cherries.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for this homemade cherry pie filling:

  • Glass pie plates You will need two 9 inch pie plates for the amount this cherry pie recipe produces. I prefer to use glass pie plates, which makes checking the bottom of the pie crusts for doneness a lot easier.
  • Stockpot A stockpot is needed to cook the cherry pie filling. I like to use a stockpot that is large enough to fold in the five cups of cherries once the filling has thickened.
  • Mixing bowl A mixing bowl is useful for holding the pitted cherries until the filling has been prepped.

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Step 1: Combine the water, sugar, cherry jello and clear jel in a 5-6 quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring constantly to eliminate clumping. Cook until thickened and clear, then immediately remove from heat.

Note on adding clear Jel:

I would recommend adding a scant half cup of clear Jel at first, then adding a slurry of water and additional clear Jel as needed if the pie filling seems too thin once it has cooked and thickened. Bring the filling back to a boil if adding additional clear Jel and cook just until thickened again. Keep in mind that the filling will also continue to thicken as it cools. A full half cup of clear Jel will produce a pie filling that is pretty thick and well set (this can also depend on your measuring cup), but this may be your preference. If the filling seems too thick once cooled, I would recommend adding more cherries (undrained) or stirring in a little more water.

Step 2: Stir in the salt and almond extract, then gently fold in cherries, adding until the filling/cherry ratio is to your preference. Place the cherry pie filling in an ice batch or in the refrigerator until cooled completely.

Why not add the cherry pie filling to the pie crusts while it is still warm?

I actually did add warm cherry pie filling to my pie crusts in the process of testing this recipe. While the pie was nice and flaky on day one, it was soggy on the bottom by day two. Some sogginess on the bottom is to be expected the longer a fruit pie sits in the refrigerator, but it does help to prevent a soggy bottom if your filling and pie crusts are chilled before baking. A chilled pie crust is important for fruit pies with a wetter filling, because it helps to solidify the fats in the pie crust, essentially creating a stronger barrier as the pie is baking. You can also do a 10 minute blind bake at 350 (with or without pie weights) to help prevent a soggy bottom on your homemade pie crust.

Step 3: Prep the pie crusts using the easy and flaky pie crust recipe, or your favorite pie crust. Fill each chilled 9 inch pie crust with half of the filling, then top with a lattice top or pie crust with some slits cut into it to allow the pie filling to “breathe” as it bakes.

Why I prefer a lattice top for fruit pies:

Baking fruit pies has been a definite learning curve for me (and still is). I have done several fruit pies with a full sheet of pie crust on top and only a few slits to allow the pie crust to breathe. While this method may be ok as long as your slits are large enough to allow adequate steam release, it has turned out to be a lot messier for me than using a lattice (woven) top, because too often the pie filling will try to escape from the sides of the pie creating a huge mess in the oven. With a lattice top, it gives the pie a lot more room to breathe and it doesn’t create as much leakage from the sides. To reduce leakage, be sure to keep an eye on your pie while it is baking and remove it from the oven as soon as the filling begins to bubble and the crust is golden.

Step 4: Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes until the filling has begun to bubble and the pie crust is golden on the top and bottom.

Step 4 continued: Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting (this helps to prevent the filling from being a soupy mess as you cut into it). Serve plain, with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Storage notes for this homemade cherry pie filling:

I do not recommend keeping these cherry pies at room temperature for more than 24-48 hours, but they can be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days. This pie is not freezer friendly because of the clear Jel in the filling, which can become mushy once frozen and thawed. If you wish to can this cherry pie filling, be sure to check out my recipe for The Best Homemade Cherry Pie Filling, which includes instructions for hot water bath canning.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later and be sure to tag me on Instagram to show off a photo of your own creation of this recipe. Thank you for your support!

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