Best Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is easy to make and can be used in plenty of desserts, like homemade apple pie, and it tastes so much better than the canned version.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe Tips

This Homemade Apple Pie Filling is very easy to make, it will take you about 30 minutes only, and it tastes so much better than the canned, store-bought version. I love recipe shortcuts, and I personally buy and use a lot the canned version.  Sometimes you can’t beat the convenience. However, if you have time, and want to try your hands to make your own apple pie filling, this recipe is perfect for you.

The Apple Pie Filling is sweet, flavored with classic fall spices, like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. I also added some brown sugar to it. It gives it that rich caramel color and it combines with the soft apples so well. The Homemade Apple Pie Filling is not only great in pies, you can use it on toast, especially good with some butter. You can use it as an ice cream topping, to make apple pie dumplings, pop-tarts, or Apple Pie Danish and many other delicious recipes.

What do you need to make Homemade Apple Pie Filling:

This recipe is pretty easy and ready in about 30 minutes, you will need only a handful of ingredients and spices:

  • Apples – use your favorite apples.
  • Lemon juice – to prevent apples from browning.
  • White and brown sugar – if you a looking for a lighter in color filling, replace the brown sugar with white sugar.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice – to add delicious fall flavors.
  • Water
  • Cornstarch – acts like a thickening agent and it cuts down in time, otherwise to thicken the apple pie filling you would need more sugar and the cooking time would be much longer.

Looking for more Apple Desserts this fall? Check these out:

Best Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

What kind of apples should be used to make apple pie filling?

Technically you can use any apples, but I prefer to stick to widely available Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious or a mix of these. Honeycrisps, Granny Smith and Melrose are also delicious options. As a rule of thumb, for the best pie, choose a mix of sweet and tart apples, to have the best of both worlds.

How do you make apples for apple pie filling?

  • You have to wash and peel the apples. After that, you have to core them and either slice them or dice them, whichever you prefer more. I like to cut mine into 1 inch chunks so they maintain their shape and texture better.
  • After you diced the apples, add them to a large bowl and squeeze one lemon over top.  Also, you can drizzle with some store-bought lemon juice, stir to combine. This is done to avoid the apples from turning brown.

How to water bath can Homemade Apple Pie Filling:

  1. After you peel, core and slice the apples, it is preferred to blanch them for 1 minute in hot boiling water. This is to ensure that the apples will be cooked through.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with lemon juice, and add the lemon zest if using. Follow the recipe instructions from the recipe card to prepare the apple pie filling.
  3. Prepare the boiling water canner. Heat 2-3 (2 cups each) jars in simmering water until ready for use, but do not boil. Make sure the leads are clean.
  4. Ladle the hot apple pie filling into the hot jars leaving about 1 inch headspace. Look for air bubbles and remove them, wipe the rim and jar clean. Center lid on jar and apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove jars and completely cool, preferably on a cooling rack.
  7. Check lids for seal after 24 hours, they should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling

How to store Homemade Apple Pie Filling:

Let the filling cool to room temperature first, transfer it to jars or to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 10-14 days.

How to freeze Homemade Apple Pie Filling:

First, cool the apple pie filling to room temperature. Then, add it to an airtight container, or freezer gallon bags (lay them flat in the freezer).  You can freeze the filling for up to nine months with minimal loss of flavor.

How to thaw Homemade Apple Pie Filling:

  • When ready to use, remove the apple pie filling from the freezer, and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw gradually for 24 hours, or you can add it to a sauce pan and heat it up.
  • If you decide to heat it up, and the filling is too watery, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl until fully dissolved and add the slurry to the apple pie filling.
  • Stir to combine, and let it simmer for 2 minutes, until it thickens. When the filling will cool off it will thicken more.
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5 from 17 reviews
Best Homemade Apple Pie Filling
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 9 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 mins


  • 6 medium  apples or 7 cups chopped  (peeled, cored, and diced - 7 cups chopped)
  • 1  lemon  (zested and juiced)
  • 3 1/2 cups  water 
  • 1 cup  white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup  light brown sugar  (packed)
  • 1/3 cup  cornstarch  (plus more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground cloves 
  • pinch  all spice  (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt 


  1. Wash, peel and core apples. Chop them into 1 inch chunks.
  2. Add chopped apples to a large bowl and add lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
  3. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add: water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, cornstarch and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil while stirring often, and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the apples, reduce heat from medium to low, cover saucepan with a lid and let the apples simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until apples have soften, but are nut mushy. Stir often.
  6. If the filling is too watery for your taste, in a small bowl mix 2 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water until fully dissolved and add the slurry to the apple pie filling, simmer for 2 minutes to thicken. Keep in mind that the filling will thicken more once completely cooled, so while it may look a bit watery when hot it will thicken more.
  7. Cool apple filling to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container or jars and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.
Calories: 218 Carbohydrates: 56 Protein: 0 Fat: 0 Saturated Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 75 Potassium: 162 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 46 Vitamin A: 65 Vitamin C: 12 Calcium: 26 Iron: 0.3
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Just in time for fall desserts, I will definitely be making this!



Pretty sure that would go straight into my mouth! Swoon.



This is amazing for the fall season!


Mahy Elamin

I love recipes from apples. Love this. I'm sure this is incredibly delicious!



This looks like the tasiest apple pie filling ever! A must try recipe!



I've never made a homemade pie filling. I can't wait to try this!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

I need to try this apple pie immediately, it looks so good!


Claudia Lamascolo

oh this looks super easy and perfect I just bought a bushel of apples and was going to get pie filling now I can make my own!



I don't even need a pie, I could eat this by the spoonful. I would use this so many ways. Pancakes, in yogurt, over ice cream. The ways are endless...and delicious too.


Dan Zehr

This recipe looks super easy and full of ingredients my family loves. Looking forward to trying soon.


Veena Azmanov

Perfect for this season. Love anything apples at this time of the year and this sounds so delish. So simple and easy too.


Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites

The apple pie filling has all of my favorite spices - reminds me so much of my moms - delicious!



I've never tried making my own apple pie filling before, I've always just bought it in the store. I bet this smelled great while you were making it


Jenni LeBaron

I love the spice mix you used for this apple pie filling and appreciate the tips you shared for water bath canning a batch or two of this to have ready for next fall.


Marisa Franca

Forget the pie just give me the filling. I could put a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream on top. I remember canning so many good things -- peaches and apples in the mix. I wish I were still canning -- it was so easy to have goodies whenever you wanted and you knew what ingredients were in it. Excellent post.



Such a perfect pie filling! It looks nice and thick and perfectly spiced :D I just adore apple pie.



I will ditch storebought apple pie filling, your recipe looks delicious and easy to make it. I want to try it as I too need to jump into apple baking spree.



I think I could just eat this by itself, or maybe have with ice cream. Ahhhh so many delicious possibilities!


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