Homemade apple pie filling makes fall pie baking a snap! Impress your friends and family with a freshly baked pie without all the fuss.
This year I have really caught the canning bug. I can’t stop, I won’t stop. I intend to enjoy the freshness of summer long into the dreariness of winter.
When my fellow canning compatriot (and a huge reason for my new obsession) Kelly of Mountain Mama Cooks and I planned another day of preserving, we’d already covered jam, pickles, peaches, and tomatoes. We wanted to try something new and fun.
Kelley suggested an apple pie filling and I eagerly agreed. Peeling and slicing the apples was a little tedious (especially since we made a large batch), but otherwise the entire process of making the pie filling was very simple.
And this last weekend when I hosted a dinner party, this apple pie filling was my saving grace. I was able to make some pie crust ahead of time, so all I had to do the day of was roll it out, open a jar of filling and pour it in. It baked up beautifully and no one was the wiser!
Not interested in baking a pie? Try this apple pie filling on top of ice cream, pancakes, oatmeal, etc.
baking tip:Using ClearJel in home canning
From the USDA (via PickYourOwn.org): “It can be used for canned fruit pie fillings because it does not break down in the acid food mixtures and does not thicken enough during heat processing to interfere with the intended effect of the heat on killing bacteria during canning. It is preferred for thickening canned pie fillings as well as other foods over other corn starches because it has less or no aftertaste, the thickened juices are smooth and clear, and foods thickened with ClearJel® may be frozen…There is no substitution for ClearJel® that can be made in these recipes. This means do not use other cornstarch flour, tapioca, or other thickener in our recipes.”
Based on this advice, I only use and recommend ClearJel in this recipe. Find it online through Amazon, if you can’t find it at your local grocery store.
Homemade Apple Pie Filling
- 7 cups (800 grams) apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cup (350 grams) sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) Clear Jel starch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup (237 ml) cold water
- 1 1/2 cup (355 ml) apple juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) bottled lemon juice
- Blanch apple slices by dipping them in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minutes. Drain and keep fruit warm in a covered bowl or pot.
- Combine sugar, clear jel, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using) in a large pot with the cold water and apple juice. Stir and cook over medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Add the bottled lemon juice and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the blanched apples to the mixture and immediately ladle into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a long knife or thin spatula. Wipe rims and cover with lids and ring bands.
- Process in a water bath for 25 minutes (see notes for high altitude processing time). Let cool and ensure lids have sealed. Store any unsealed jars in the fridge and use within a few weeks.
- To bake a pie, simply pour it into a prepared pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees F until filling is bubbling.
- Store sliced apples in a solution of water and lemon juice (2 tablespoons lemon juice per large bowl of water) to prevent browning until ready to proceed with recipe.
- Increase processing time for high altitude as needed: 1,001-3,000 ft 30 minutes, 3,001-6,000 ft 35 minutes, 6,001+ ft 40 minutes.
- New to canning? See my post on Home-Canning Tips and Resources.