Thursday, August 20, 2009

Home Canned Apple Pie Filling

Last week we began picking apples. Our first apples are wild ones that are firm and tart. They are great for baking, and many of them become apple crisp. We also can a lot of apples, mostly in the form of applesauce.

In previous years I have canned apple slices. One year they turned out pretty well. The next they were just mush. I think the difference was in the type of apple used. This year I wanted to try something different.

A friend mentioned she had a good recipe for apple pie filling. Perfect!

apples peeled, cored and sliced
9 cups water
1 cup corn starch
4.5 cups of sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Bring 8 cups of the water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice to a boil. Mix remaining cup of water with corn starch and slowly add to boiling mixture.

Pack apples into hot sterilized jars. Pour the boiled mixture over the apples, leaving 1" head space. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.

I'm not exactly sure how many apples I used, but I ended up with 6 quarts of filling. It all looked pretty in the jar, but the real test is in the tasting. We opened a jar last night. After all, we have to know if we like it before I make another batch.

I used it to make an apple crisp. Using the canned pie filling is not as good as fresh apples in my opinion, but the filling was quite delicious. The apples were soft, but did not turn into mush. I will be making more of this pie filling. The only thing I will change is using less sugar when I make the crisp topping. The sugar in the filling is more than sufficient.

Need more ideas for apples?
Crockpot Apple Butter
Apple Ginger Preserves
Make your own Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. I've been contemplating trying to CAN apple pie filling...I generally freeze it. Every September I am inundated with Granny Smith apples because my brother has a wonderful apple tree and the SIL turns up her little nose at the very IDEA of using tree apples - the horror! She will literally go to the store and BUY a bag of Grannies while we're picking the tree - it's unbelievable! I absolutely LOVE reaping the benefits of the apple tree, and we get enough pie filling (frozen), applesauce, and apple butter to last us throughout the year. Her loss! :-)

  2. I use a recipe very similar to this, and we love it too! Our family's favorite way to eat canned apple pie filling? On vanilla ice cream and on pancakes or waffles. YUM YUM.

  3. Oh fab! It's end of apple season here and apples are cheap so I'll definitely be doing this one!! Thanks!!!

  4. I have the apples processing right now, they smell so yummy! I ended up using 7.5 pounds of apples. Thanks for posting such a glorious recipe!

    I have a question: when you poured the syrup over the apple slices packed in jars, how did you get the syrup to flow past the first few inches? Did I pack them too tight? I ended up having to dump all the apples into my cauldron of boiling syrup and then repacking the syrupy apples back into the jars and ended up with 6.5 quarts (not a bad thing as I plan on using these mostly as waffle toppers!).

  5. Iris,
    I used a knife and slid the knife along the edges and middle. To keep the sauce flowing down the jar. You way sounds like a good idea too! :)

  6. I suggest layering the sauce and the apples and working the air out as you go. Make sure the apples are tight or they will float.

  7. Did you use an apple peeler corer slicer for your apples? I wonder if they would be too thin but it looks like you did from your picture.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Yes, I used a peeler/corer. They are fine for me, though, they probably would be less mushy if they were cut thicker. I never want to take the time for that. :)

  9. Ok, so I tried this this year and I really like the resulting product. I am having one problem however. They are not maintaining the seal. I have been canning for years and this is the only product that I have had this problem with. I left the appropriate head space, I wiped the top of the jar clean, processed as normal. I have had several jars that did not seal and needed to reprocess and have also had 2 jars that have lost their seal after a week or so. Any ideas what I am doing wrong??

  10. I have never had that problem with this recipe. I'm wondering if you have a bad batch of lids?

  11. i have made this recipe and followed to a t, went down in basement to take inventory of what i made and noticecd that the cornstarch and water seperated. i also found out that u should use clear jel to make canned pie filling. I was wondering if i can empty the contents out and remake the recipe.

  12. I've never had it separate. Clear jel is made from corn starch, though it is more stable than plain corn starch. I'm wondering if when you bake with the contents of the separated jars if it will still thicken up. I think I'd try one jar and see what happens. If you remake the recipe, I'd think you'd end up with apple mush.


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