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Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe

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Learn to make this strawberry pie filling recipe without jello! It’s perfect for springtime desserts, and great for canning too!

Homemade strawberry pie filling in canning jars

I don’t know about you, but spring is hands-down my favorite season, and the reason it beats out fall is because of the strawberries. I freakin love strawberries, fresh off the plant, still warm from the sun. They’re a fantastic dessert all by themselves. It’s worth all the annoyance of growing strawberries in the south.

But enjoying strawberries isn’t limited to picking them, as we all know. There are so many things you can do with strawberries! One of my favorites growing up was my mom making strawberry syrup to go on pancakes. What a treat!

And strawberry muffins for breakfast, or strawberry lemon blondies for dessert. Toward the end of the season when it’s really getting warm, you can’t beat strawberry shortcake ice cream. There are really too many recipes to name, but those are just a few, and you’d probably rather get on with discussing this strawberry pie filling recipe.

Here’s the skinny: This is a very simple mixture of strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and thickener.

It’s great for using fresh, and down below, you’ll also find canning instructions so you can preserve it to use later as well.

Ingredients for jello-free strawberry pie filling

ingredients for making strawberry pie filling

Most strawberry pie filling recipes use strawberry jello as a thickener and flavor enhancer. In this from scratch recipe, we let the strawberries themselves shine, and use a thickener that can be used in both hot and cold pies, as well as in canning.

The main ingredients here is strawberries – of course. As you know, I’m a big believer in using what you have, and that includes buying strawberries on sale at Aldi, or even using commercially frozen strawberries.

However, if you can get fresh strawberries, locally grown, in season berries are far superior to any other berries you can buy. The only way to get better strawberries is to grow them yourself.

For two pies, or three quarts of filling, you’ll need about 5 lbs of strawberries.

The other ingredients are sugar, water, and cornstarch, or if you’re canning the filling, clear jel.

Ingredient substitutions

The only real substitution to be made here is with the sugar. You can use honey or maple syrup, or another nutrient-rich sweetener instead if you prefer.

As mentioned above and in my recipe for canning apple pie filling, if you’re canning this pie filling, you’ll want to use clear gel instead of cornstarch, as that is safer for canning (regular cornstarch can interfere with the way heat penetrates the jar).

I suppose another sub could be lime juice instead of lemon juice if you’re feeling funky. I do find lemon juice necessary for flavor no matter how tart or flavorful I think my berries are, but feel free to taste and decide for yourself.

How to make Strawberry Pie Filling

  1. Cap and slice strawberries to desired size – I like to slice mine to about 1/4 inch thick – and set them aside
    capping and cutting strawberries
  2. In a large pot, combine water, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch or clear jel
    water, lemon juicer, sugar, and clear jel in a large pot
  3. Heat over medium heat, stirring until thickened
  4. Stir in strawberries, and continue to heat until strawberries are slightly softened. The liquid should turn pink or reddish as the strawberries warm
    strawberries added to pot
  5. Remove from heat and use as desired.

Note: The filling will continue to thicken as it cools

How to Use strawberry pie filling

bowl full of strawberry pie filling

  • To make strawberry pie: Pour filling into a 9” baked pie shell. Top with another pie crust, being sure to cut vents into the top (or make a lattice), and broil under low heat until top crust has browned
  • Another pie variation: Pour filling into a graham cracker crust, top with whipped cream, and refrigerate until set.
  • This is also a great filling for our blueberry crisp topping
  • You can also serve over pancakes, such as these gluten-free pancakes, crepes, or waffles, such as these sourdough waffles. 
  • This also makes a great topping for ice cream or cheesecake!
  • Use as cake filling

How to can strawberry pie filling

  1. After Stirring strawberries into the thickened sugar and starch mixture, Ladle into sterilized canning jars. It takes 1 1/2 quarts of filling to make a 9” deep dish pie, so I like to do a mix of quarts and pints.

    jar full of strawberry pie filing
  2. Wipe rims of jars with a paper towel or microfiber cloth to make sure they’re free from debris, and screw down lids and rings. I buy my replacement lids from Denali canning. They have a 30 day guarantee, and have never failed me yet!
  3. Process in a water bath canner 15 minutes for pints, and 20 minutes for quarts. (i.e. fill your caner with water 1-2 inches over the tops of your jars and bring to a rolling boil. When a rolling boil is achieved, that’s when your processing time begins).
  4. Remove from heat and let cool. I don’t like to remove my jars from the water until it has cool significantly to reduce the change of jar breakage. If you do remove the jars while they’re hot, be sure to protect them from drafts by covering them with a towel.

Other recipes to try:

 

Print

Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe

  • Author: Elise New

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 lbs strawberries
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch or clear jel if canning
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cap and slice strawberries to about 1/4 inch thickness
  2. In a large pot, combine remaining ingredients, and stir until lumps are all gone
  3. Heat over medium heat, stirring until mixture is thickened
  4. Add strawberries and stir until strawberries are softened, and filling is pinkish red
  5. Remove from heat and use as desired
  6. Makes three quarts, or 2 deep dish 9″ pies

For canning: 

  1. Double, triple, etc. recipe as needed
  2. After filling is made, ladle into clean, sterile jars, and screw down rings and lids
  3. Process in hot water bath – 20 minutes for quarts, 15 minutes for pints.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! Thanks to you, I was able to make a delicious and beautiful strawberry pie. The sweet and sour strawberry flavor blends with the crispy crust to create a wonderful flavor. Your recipe is easy to follow and the finished product is beautiful. I will continue to test your other recipes in the future. Good luck!

  2. Elise’s dedication to crafting a delectable treat while fostering culinary confidence embodies the spirit of homemade goodness and culinary creativity.

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