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The uses of cooked fruit fillings for pies, tarts, fruit bars and various pastries are endless. Traditional Hungarian fruit fillings were made from fresh fruit with the juices squeezed out. Most Hungarian food bloggers add cooked pudding for thickener these days. Not wanting to do either with my lovely frozen cherries, I began to experiment with cooked cherry filling.

The recipe will work with fresh or frozen pitted cherries. Fresh cherries let a considerable amount of juice when pitted. Hold onto the juice. Frozen pitted cherries, with some of their juices gone, require some additional liquid to cook. Avoid defrosting the cherries before cooking. 

Cooked Cherry Filling

4 cups of fresh pitted red cherries including their juices
or 4 cups of frozen pitted red cherries + 1/4 cup of pure apple juice or water
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2+1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp butter

  • Place the frozen cherries with their liquid and lemon juice in a medium sized pot.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar and give it a gentle stir.
  • Let the cherries stand for 10 minutes.  
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot and stir to combine.
  • Slowly bring it to boil.
  • Simmer fresh cherries for 5-10 minutes stirring often. If using frozen cherries, simmer only until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove pot from heat and immediately stir in the butter.



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