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 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.
- 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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Process jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes.
- Remove jars and completely cool, preferably on a cooling rack.
- Check lids for seal after 24 hours, they should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
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.
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
- Wash, peel and core apples. Chop them into 1 inch chunks.
- Add chopped apples to a large bowl and add lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
- 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.
- Bring to a boil while stirring often, and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool apple filling to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container or jars and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.