ORGANIC Dark Sweet CHERRY PIE
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
Ditch the can and make your own homemade organic dark sweet cherry pie filling! This is a SUPER EASY recipe naturally sweetened with honey. It's so good, you'll be eating it straight from the jar!
Although I adore fresh cherries, I used to shy away from cherry pie, because most I tried were sweet and syrupy, loaded with unpronounceable ingredients. What a great injustice to one of summer’s most precious gifts!
PREP: 15 mins
COOK: 10 mins
SERVINGS: 2 heaping cups (enough for a 9-inch pie)
4 cups whole pitted fresh sweet cherries about 2 pounds with pits or 1 1/2 pounds pitted or frozen, thawed pitted cherries. I use 2 bags (it equals out to 4 cups) of the organic dark sweet cherries (pictured above) which I get at Whole Foods.
1/2 cup honey plus additional to taste (if using tart cherries, you may need to add a bit more) (I use: Local Hive Honey, Northeast Raw Unfiltered )
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use: Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice from the bottle, so there are no seeds involved)
1/4 cup cornstarch (I use: King Arthur Flour, because it's organic + non-gmo)
1/8 teaspoon pure organic almond extract optional or substitute 1/4 teaspoon of pure organic vanilla extract (I use: Simply Organic brand)
1 egg (I use: Vital Farms brand - organic pasture raised - brown box)
Need a great pie crust?
I love the Wholly Wholesome brand below that I get at Whole Foods.
I like to preheat the oven and bake one of the pie crusts that I am going to use for the base of my pie. Follow the directions on the pie crust packaging. I like to poke a few light holes with a fork into the crust so it vents. I just like to bake the crust until it's firm, so if you are using the organic crust above, I set my oven to 375 degrees for about 10 minutes then take out of oven and let it cool.
Defrost your organic black cherries in the bag.
Place cherries into a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup honey, lemon juice, cornstarch, and almond extract (if using), then stir to coat. Turn on the heat to medium. Cook the filling, stirring often, until glossy and thickened, about 5 - 10 minutes.
Very carefully so as not to burn your tongue, taste the mixture. If you desire additional sweetness, add more honey a few teaspoons at a time. Remove pan from the heat and let the filling cool completely. Transfer to a storage jar or continue to the below instructions if you are using right away.
Fill your pie shell with the organic black cherry pie filling as shown below:
A woven lattice pie crust can make a homemade pie look so pretty. As intimidating as it might look to the non-weavers among us, weaving a lattice pie crust top is actually quite easy to do. Watch out though, you might experience flashbacks of kindergarten and construction paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other half of your pie dough. It's easier to work with the dough if it is chilled, so if it the dough has softened too much, put the rolled-out piece on a flat cookie sheet and chill it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.
Cut the dough into even strips, 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch wide, depending on how thick you want your lattice strips. You can use a blunt knife with or without a ruler or straight edge to guide you, or you can use a pizza wheel or a pastry wheel if you have one.
After you have filled your pie shell with the pie filling, lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, depending on how thick your strips are, on top of the filling, with about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch space between them. Fold back every other strip.
Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips as shown. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.
Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as shown. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip.
Continue this process until the weave is complete over the top of the pie.
Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish, which should be about half an inch over the sides. Fold back the rim of the shell over the edge of the lattice strips, and crimp to secure.
Optional: Mix 1 egg in a small bowl. You are going to use this as a wash for the top of your crust to give the crust a nice touch of golden brown when it comes out of the oven. You can either use a kitchen brush or your fingers to rub the egg wash along the pie crust.
You are now ready to bake your pie in the oven! Follow the directions on your pie crust packaging.
Remove from oven carefully and get ready for the BEST PIE OF YOUR LIFE!
You can store you organic black cherry filling in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
NOTES ON FREEZING: Because the pie filling is made with honey, it does congeal somewhat when frozen and thawed. I found it worked best to let the frozen filling thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm it in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, to smooth it out a little. If you are going to use the cherry pie filling in a classic cherry pie or as a sauce on top of ice cream, I would not recommend freezing, since in these cases, you'll want the smoothest texture possible.
This cherry pie filling recipe turned out to be so tasty and so easy, I made a second jar the very next day and tucked it into my freezer for a later day.
Even if you are not a fan of cherry pie, there are many, many delicious ways to devour this jar of homemade cherry pie filling:
Mixed with yogurt and granola
On top of Steel Cut Oats (or Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats and Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats - I love Bob's Red Mill brand because it's organic + non-gmo)
Spooned over a scoop of ice cream with Date Lady Coconut Caramel Sauce which you can get here
Spread on graham crackers with Date Lady Chocolate Spread which you can get here
Baked in pie crust pockets to make a homemade Pop-tart
On top of cheesecake
Let me know if you make this or any of my other recipes in the comments below or on Instagram: