Fresh Cherry Pie Filling

cherry pie fillingWhat’s your favorite dessert? I would have to answer- PIE. Some folks are cake people, some are cookie people, and I am for certain a pie person.

I’m a southern gal, so maybe that is where the love of pie comes from…or maybe it’s because nothing is better than a sweet pie filling and a flakey crust.

It only took me 7 years to master the art of making the perfect pie crust, passed on by my Grandma Hart and mother. As for the pie filling, that was much easier to master.

I’m sharing my recipe for Fresh Cherry Pie that has become a favorite of friends and family. Now, don’t expect this to be one of your typical “so sweet it will send you straight to the dentist” cherry pie, mine is sweet, with a little tartness. If you don’t want to mess with pitting the cherries you can buy frozen dark cherries (be sure and thaw and drain the cherries) or I have also used canned bing cherries before. Whenever you purchase canned fruit to make a pie, be sure you buy straight canned cherries, not cherry pie filling. This recipe will show you how to make your own cherry pie filling.

 Fresh Cherry Pie

6 cups fresh pitted cherries, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. fresh nutmeg
3 T. butter

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in almond extract and nutmeg. Cool slightly. Pour filling into a prepared pie crust, then add the butter on top of the pie. Add your second crust (make a lattice crust or try cutting out mini cookie cutter shapes). Top your crust with an egg wash made with 1 egg beaten and 1 T. water. Brush this mixture on the top of your pit crust, then sprinkle with raw sugar (or regular sugar). Bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until the pie filling starts to bubble over.

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