Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

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Prepare Cherries:

If using fresh cherries, wash them, remove the pits, and cut them in half. If using frozen cherries, thaw and drain any excess liquid.

Combine Ingredients:

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, almond extract (if using), lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Cook Over Medium Heat:

Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. The cherries will release their juices, and the mixture will thicken as it cooks.

Simmer Until Thickened:

Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until it thickens to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

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Adjust Sweetness:

Taste the filling and adjust the sweetness if necessary. If it's too sweet, you can add a bit more lemon juice to balance the flavors.

Cool and Store:

Once the cherry pie filling has thickened, remove it from heat and let it cool completely. Transfer it to a clean, airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

Serve:

Now you have a delicious homemade cherry pie filling ready to be used in your favorite pie crust or other desserts. Enjoy it in pies, tarts, or even as a topping for ice cream or cheesecake!

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