Baking/ Canning/ Desserts

Apple Pie Filling

October 29, 2020

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Preserve your  apple harvest and make apple pie filling and can it in canning jars to use at a later date! Canned apple pie filling allows you to make delicious apple desserts with homemade pie filling all year long. 

Quart sized canning jars filled with apple pie filling.

I love apple pies! My favorite is made with tart fresh apples. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to make a pie and this apple pie filling really comes in handy.  You just make a quick pie dough, open a jar of filling, pour it in and bake! Instant dessert!

Apple pie filling is also amazing in cobblers, crisps and warmed and spooned over ice cream! And I’ll let you in on a little secret – this pie filling is delicious just scooped right out of the jar and eaten with a spoon!

A peeled and cored apple on a small wooden cutting board.

I love canning and preserving our own food. We grow a lot of apples and while I do love them best fresh, I also love canning apples and using them all year long. Some of my favorites include apple butter, apple sauce and this canned apple pie filling.

Green apples on a tree ready to be picked

Type of apples to use

Almost any type of firm apple will work fine for this canned apple pie filling. You do want an apple that is going to hold its shape when cooked. Some good options are Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, Macintosh and Gravenstein.

Many of our apples are old trees that were planted several decades ago. We don’t know the true variety, but when you bite into them, they have a great crispness to them.

Ribbons of apple peel piled on a cutting board with more apples behind the peels.

Peel and core your apples

To peel, core and slice the apples, I used an apple peeler.  If you don’t have one, no problem! Just use a small paring knife. The apple peeler makes canning this filling a bit quicker! It not only peels the apples, but it cores and slices the apples too. Once the apples are all peeled, I slice the stack in half. It make it easier to fit half moon slices into the jars.

Don’t worry if your apples begin to discolor a bit. You can add them to a large bowl filled with water to help stop discoloration if desired. Once added to the thicken mixture, the sliced apples will take on the golden color from the cinnamon and nutmeg.

A pile of peeled and cored apples.

Clear Jel

Clear Jel is a modified corn starch that is designed for commercial bakeries and home canning.It is a USDA approved thickener for canning pie fillings at home. Clear Jel is heat tolerant and can be reheated again and again, which makes it perfect for canning and then baking again into a dessert.

Look for Clear Jel at some grocery stores and small markets that specialize in repackaging and selling bulk food items. You can also buy it online and have it shipped directly to your home.

A pot filled with apple slices with a thick gelled sauce.

Canning guidelines

  • Use clean, sterilized canning jars (sterilize jars in a dishwasher or by pouring boiling water into clean jars)
  • Select the best fruit you can find (you can cut off any small bruised areas)
  • Use a small spatula to remove air pockets in filled jars
  • Always wipe rim of jars before putting lid on
  • Tighten ring firmly
  • Boil in a water bath according to USDA recommended times (adjust according to your altitude)
  • When time is done, turn off heat and let jars remain in the boiling water for 5 minutes before you remove. This helps prevent the filling from leaking out of the jar when it hits a cooler room temperature. Tip from Ashley at Practical Self Reliance.
  • Let jars cool for at least 12 hours before removing rings
  • Wash jars to remove any sticky residue. Rings should be removed for washing.
  • Check to make certain jars are sealed
  • Label and date jars
  • Use any unsealed jars right away
  • Store canned goods in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months
Glass canning jars filled with an apple filling.
How long will canned apple pie filling last?

These canned apples should last for 18 months if stored in a cool dark place.

How can I tell if the apple pie filling is still good?

Anytime you open a jar of canned goods, you want to examine the jar first. Look for anything unusual – foaming, bubbles, leaking are all signs that the contents are not good. Also make certain the lid is fully sealed. If mold and discoloration occurs on the top, discard the contents. When in doubt, throw it out! Never taste a product that you are unsure of.

What do I do if one of my jars didn’t seal?

If a jar didn’t seal, you have two options – Place it in the refrigerator and use up within one week or remove lid wipe down surface of rim. Place a new lid on and process in water bath again.

Why do processing times vary by elevation?

The temperature for water to boil varies by elevation. The higher you go, the lower the temperature for water to reach a boil. In order to compensate for this lower boil temperature, time is added to your processing time.

If you are looking for other canning recipes, try Canning Tomatoes, Homemade Blackberry Jam and Apricot Jam.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

Canning jars filled with apple pie filling with fresh apples in front of the jars.

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my canning recipes.

Quart sized canning jars filled with apple pie filling.

Apple Pie Filling

Kathy
Preserve your apple harvest by canning your apples with this apple pie filling.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 quarts
Calories 122 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 quarts apples (peeled, cored and sliced – approximately 30 medium sized apples)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Clear Jel
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, combine sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, nutmeg and water.
  • Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Stir mixture often to prevent scorching.
  • Add lemon juice and continue cooking for one minute
  • Add apple slices and stir carefully
  • Heat for 3-5 minutes on low until apples are heated through.
  • Remove from heat and fill prepared jars with mixture. Leave at least 1 inch head space in each jar.
  • Use a small spatula to get rid of any air pockets or air bubbles in jars
  • Wipe jars. Place canning lid and ring on jars.
  • Process for 25 minutes (adjust for altitude) in a boiling water bath

Notes

Canning Guidelines
  • Use clean, sterilized canning jars (sterilize jars in a dishwasher or by pouring boiling water into clean jars)
  • Select the best fruit you can find (you can cut off any small bruised areas)
  • Use a small spatula to remove air pockets and large bubbles
  • Always wipe rim of jars before putting lid on
  • Tighten ring firmly
  • Boil in a water bath according to USDA recommended timesย 
  • When time is done, turn off heat and let jars remain in the boiling water for 5 minutes before you remove. This helps prevent the filling from leaking out of the jar when it hits a cooler room temperature.
  • Let jars cool for at least 12 hours before removing rings
  • Wash jars to remove any sticky residue. Rings should be removed for washing.
  • Check to make certain jars are sealed
  • Date and label jars
  • Use any unsealed jars right away
  • Store canned goods in a cool, dark place
Nutritional value is estimated at 1/2 cup serving.
Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 62mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 29IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple pie filling, canning apple pie filling
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

This recipe was originally published in October 2016. The recipe and pictures have been updated.

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79 Comments

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    October 3, 2016 at 5:30 am

    I love making my own apple pie filling, but I’ve never canned it before! Thanks for the tips…and thanks for linking to the Clear Gel. I’ve never heard of that one, but I’ll have to check it out. (I’m not a fan of using gelatin as a thickener.) Looks delicious…and I foresee many apple pies in your future, Dawn!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 4, 2016 at 5:10 am

      It was a first for me….I will definitely be making it again!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    October 3, 2016 at 4:39 am

    5 stars
    Why have I never thought of this?! Genius idea Kathy! Perfect to use up all those apples I’ve been hoarding!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 3, 2016 at 4:50 am

      Fresh apples can only last so long….making pie filling lets you enjoy them a little longer. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Megan - The Emotional Baker
    October 3, 2016 at 4:33 am

    I haven’t canned anything before, but apple pie filling seems like the perfect place to start ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love apple pie and how great to be able to enjoy it year round!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 3, 2016 at 4:49 am

      Apple pie filling is the perfect place to start! Happy Canning!

  • Reply
    Kushi
    October 2, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    5 stars
    WOW! This looks amazingly delicious!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 3, 2016 at 4:46 am

      I can’t wait to enjoy it mid-winter….and late winter….and spring….and now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria @ kitchenathoskins
    October 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Warm, comforting and delicious!!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kate @ Framed Cooks
    October 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I have been making applesauce upon applesauces with the Honey Crisps that are all over our local farm market – but now I need to make me a jar full of THIS!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      You definitely want to make this apple pie filling! I need to get busy and make some applesauce! Hmmmm….maybe we should do a trade ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    patty
    October 2, 2016 at 8:06 am

    What variety of apples do you use?

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Hi Patty,
      We get ours from an old apple tree and the variety is unknown. However, any firm, crisp apple will do. Avoid transparent variety apples. They are great for making applesauce or apple butters because they break down quickly.

  • Reply
    Nicoletta @sugarlovespices
    October 1, 2016 at 11:53 am

    So cool, Kathy! I had never thought of making apple pie filling, ready for you when you want to make an apple pie. And we LOVE apple pies! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Apple pies are the best! This pie filling makes it so much easier to have them more often.

  • Reply
    Lori from LL Farm
    October 1, 2016 at 11:33 am

    This looks so good! I bet your kitchen smelled amazing when you were making it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Oh Yeah! The kids were going crazy with they yummy smells! They wanted to eat the pie filling straight from the pot!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    Though I love so many pies…at the end of the day, apple is my favorite! Especially with a little scoop of ice cream. So this(!) is a recipe and idea I can absolutely get behind!! Love it!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

      A little scoop of ice cream with apple pie is the best!

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