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4.2 from 10 votes

Vegan cherry pie filling from scratch

Think beyond pies , this cherry filling will satisfy your sweet tooth in more than one way. You can make it all year long using frozen cherries too!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: jam, sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 142kcal
Author: Khushboo


For corn starch paste

  • 3.5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup water

Other ingredients

  • 5 cups / 3 pounds fresh cherries pitted already
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup additional water for cooking
  • 1 cup sugar in raw/ organic granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract or any flavoring of your choice , optional


  • In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and ½ cup water until a smooth paste . Keep aside.
  • In a thick bottom saucepan combine cherries, ¼ cup water, lemon juice, sugar , extract , flavoring over medium heat.
  • Cover lightly for quick cooking. Stir occasionally .
  • Bring this mixture to a simmer . Cherries will release its juices .
  • Now slowly stir in the cornstarch water paste. The mixture will start to thicken immediately.
  • Now reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until the cherries are tender but not fully smashed and the filling has thickened.
  • Add in the cinnamon and combine.
  • Switch off the flame and let the filling cool down. It will thicken more as it cools.



I have made jam in in my IP with great success so thought why not try pressure cooking the cherries for filling in my Instant Pot as well.
This was a pretty successful experiment which didn’t require me to be around stirring the filling. And I am happy with the results too.
How to make Cherry Pie filling Recipe using Instant Pot- 
Refer to the ingredient list above.
Switch on the Instant Pot
Throw in everything called for except the cornstarch water paste.
Give it a good stir
Close the IP lid on sealing position.
Hit Manual , low pressure 1 minute .
Then perform quick release by carefully turning the valve to vent.
Once the silver pin drops open the lid .
Switch IP to Saute mode.
Add in the cornstarch paste and stir 2-3 times to combine.
Let the filling come to a simmer once and then switch off the IP.
Stir once again and its done.
The filling thickens more as it cools down.
Let it cool down completely before storing or filling.
If using frozen cherries then use MANUAL LOW PRESSURE 0 minute .QUICK RELEASE.  Skip the addition of the 1/4 cup water called for cooking as frozen cherries will release enough water to cook .
Cinnamon is optional.
The cherries I have used were super sweet so the sugar is used accordingly.
If you have a different setting to try on , please share it in the comment section so that everyone will benefit. It is all about experimenting.
I had used sweet cherries. If using tart ones adjust the sugar quantity.
Make it all year long with  frozen cherries- 
You may use already pitted frozen cherries. I have tested this recipe with frozen cherries too. Follow the recipe above for stove top or instant pot. Just do not add water to cook cherries initially as frozen cherries will release enough liquid. Add water plus cornstarch paste later as mentioned. 
Additional flavors that you can add are almond extract, cardamom or cayenne .

Shelf Life of homemade cherry pie filling

1 week in the fridge and upto 2 months in the freezer. Freeze in one time use portions and do not re freeze. You might need to add couple teaspoon water and warm it a bit after thawing if it is too thick.


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg