Cherry Topping or Pie Filling

5 star Avg. rating 5 from 6 votes.

Recipe Information

Recipe Created By: Kathy Przywara


1 14 oz can sour pie cherries
1/2 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
2-3 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1 Tbsp Kirsh or other cherry brandy (optional)


Open can of cherries and drain the liquid into a small saucepan. Try to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Whisk granulated sugar and arrowroot into the cherry juice.

Place pan over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. This will take 10 minutes or more – be patient, it will thicken even though it seems like it never will.

Remove from heat and continue to whisk for a minute. Gently stir in cherries and Kirsch if using. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate.

To fill a 9″ pie, you will need to double this and use 2 cans of cherries.


KFA Iron Chef Valentine’s Battle 2008: Desserts and Candies

This cherry pie filling recipe can be used for the Black Forest Brownie Torte recipe.

I use Oregon brand sour pie cherries in their own juice. They are not sweetened. The 1/2 cup of sugar makes a nice tart topping. Adjust the sugar to taste. If your canned cherries are already sweetened, taste the juice and adjust accordingly. I can sometimes get jars of Zerguit sour cherries which are slightly sweetened and require less sugar.

Use 3 Tbsp of arrowroot for a thicker consistency like a pie. Use 2 Tbsp if you want something more “saucy” as a topping.

This topping will only store in the refrigerator for a couple of days before it starts to separate. You can stir it back together, but it won’t have the quite the same smooth feel as when it’s fresh.


I have not been successful using tapioca starch to make this. I either get a milky looking soup that will not set up or a stringy goopy mess that is less than appetizing. This can be made with cornstarch, but use half the amount.
Corn Substitutions: Corn is a common ingredient in products. Starch, modified food starch, dextrin and maltodextrin can be from corn. Consult with your physician to find out which corn derivatives you need to avoid. Many corn-free options are available in the US. Find out more about corn substitutions.

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