Canning up apple pie filling is easier to do than canning jam! It really is!
Canning pie filling is great for those just getting started in canning and using the water bath method. It also makes easy make-ahead gifts for Christmas!
I use apple pie filling for much more than baking pies with. Below I’ll share lots my favorite ways I love to use it.
This homemade apple pie filling is low-sugar, it has no coloring, no artificial flavorings, no unwanted ingredients!
Its yummy with a touch of cinnamon!
Now also if you want a stronger cinnamon flavor, just add more cinnamon to it than my amount below, because this is just a light cinnamon taste. This recipe is so versatile!
Click above to watch my video, it will give you clear & easy instructions for making this filling. In the video, you get to be right in the kitchen with me, while I walk you through it. It’s there you’ll see that pie filling is simple and easy to can!
1. First get all your ingredients measured out ahead.
2. Next get your jars ready. Put your clean jars, on a rack, and in the canner. Fill the canner with water to cover them, put the lid on and turn on low.
3. Count out your rings and lids, put those in a pan with water and put on stove, on low also.
4. You’ll also need lemon juice, so get that out so you don’t forget it 😊
5. Now last, we peel our apples. (I used 12- 13 apples, for this size recipe = 9 pints)
6. You’ll add the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice on them here.
We peel your apples last because this way they don’t sit in the air and have time to turn brown, an oxidize on us. I don’t have much trouble with browning, because I stick with apple varieties that don’t oxidize and turn brown easily after peeled.
My favorite 2 apples for this, are Jonagold and Honeycrisp. These 2 varieties don’t brown or oxidize very quickly at all, after they’re sliced. (Oxidization is what they call the reaction that happens when the sugar in apple slices reacts with oxygen/room air and turns the apple slices brown. Its affects only the appearance of the slices, there’s no concern for using or eating oxidized apple slices).
I’ve learned over the years, that some varieties turn brown/oxidize very very quickly, and there are other varieties that don’t hardly brown at all. That’s important to me when I pick a variety for canning and drying, because I don’t want to treat my apples with anything, and I want my finished dried and canned apples to look good as well as taste great. So I’m pretty picky when choosing my apple variety’s that pass the test!
7. As mentioned in the video, peel & slice up 2-3 cups of extra apples, you most likely will need them, but it is optional.
I love my apple peeler and it makes very quick and easy work of this task! (Don’t buy a cheap one!)
Now comes the easy part, making the filling!
In a large stainless-steel pot pour in your apple juice, sugar, Cornabys thick gel, and cinnamon. Whisk these and turn heat on med-high. Keep stirring until bubbly and thick about 5-6 minutes or so.
8. Last, you stir in the 12 cups of measured apples that have the above 2T. lemon juice with them, into your thickened bubbly filling. Simmer and get steamy & bubbly hot for just a few minutes. (We’re not cooking them here, as they’ll get cooked in the water bath and baked in a pie or crisp) you’re just heating the filling nice & hot.
If you’ve heard my saying, I say it often: Hot produce, into Hot jars, with a Hot lid & ring, will get you a good, strong & safe seal, almost 100% of the time! And that my friends is what I want for you (and me 😊).
9. Now just ladle hot filling into each jar, leave ½ inch headspace, wipe each rim, put the lid and ring on, and back in the simmering hot water bath canner it goes. Once all jars are filled. Put the canner lid on, bring it to a GENTLE simmering boil. Now set the timer for 25 minutes! This is the water bath process time for pints and half pint jars.
NOTE: important key word “Gentle Simmering Boil”. Yes, this is very important. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen someone leave my classes, go home and can on their own, later text me a picture of filled processed jars that have the LID Bulging upward. As in not sucked downward and sealed nicely, but instead the center of the lid is pushed upward! Yes this can happen! Yet they feel they did EVERYTHING right! Let me share this important tip for water bath canning! You can over-process your jars TOO HOT!
What…. you say, I never heard of such a thing? Yes, it is a real thing my friend! IF you have your water bath boil on HIGH, and on your biggest burner, for the whole 25 minutes, high chances that will happen (and yes when I started out it happened to me too, but only once, cuz I never forgot that lesson. I learned my lesson with sad un-sealed jars). Sooooo 😊 there is no need to OVER BOIL ON HIGH HEAT the FULL time. All you need is a continual nice gentle rolling boil, so keep turning the heat down as necessary, during that 25-minute water bath time so that it stays boiling but as not to Hard Boil the tick out of your jars so that doesn’t happen to you! I want you to have 100% success, that’s why I share lots of extra tips in my classes & courses! My goal is perfectly safely sealed jars, lined up on your shelves to enjoy all winter long until the next harvest comes in!
I have just finished up my canning & preserving from my 37th garden this year! It’s hard to believe we had 37 gardens since we started our family (we missed 2 years in there). Now as I near closer to the age of 60, I have definitely learned from my mistakes, and I love to teach others so you can avoid the mistakes and end up with no-failed seals! 😊
It is also with great sentimental memories that I encourage you to start a canning notebook. Those notes will become wonderful memories, but even more than that, those notes also will push you towards more success in your canning recipes.
Keep watch, I hope to have some bright & cheerful canning notebook (printable) pages for you, before next Spring gardening gets started!
Next I share yummy spice options for your pie filling: you can add 1/8th teaspoon of apple pie spice per jar of pie filling for a deep cinnamon spice flavor. You can do this when your canning it or after wards when you open to serve & use it! Another option you can add is pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cloves or just extra cinnamon. You can add whatever your favorite pie spices are, according to how you plan to use your filling, and trust me, it will be delicious!
That’s just another reason why I love this home canned apple filling, because it’s so versatile!
Also be sure to check out my Shake on The Goodness course where I teach you about more herbs & spices, and how to use 13 healthy wholesome seasonings with great flavors! For details about Shake On The Goodness – https://www.itsadelightllc.com/shake
Some ways I looove to use it above, are in small apple hand pies or the fancy name for them is apple galettes, in glazed turnovers, and in a pie shell with a crisp topping instead of piecrust top!
I also love to make them into Carmel apple Pie bars. I just switch out the berry filling for apple filling, bake and then instead of using glaze I drizzle on some caramel (anything works, homemade, store bought topping, melted caramels its all good trust me 😊) Perfect fall weekend treat!
see my Pie bar recipe here
Mini rustic little apple galettes or called hand pies around here. (So easy, there’s no recipe. Just use small rolled circles of pie crust, add filling, bend up sides some, bake on parchment until crust is golden, serve warm 😊.)
To pour into an unbaked pie crust and top with your favorite crisp topping or top with a second crust and bake until crust is golden! This makes quick & easy apple pie when family stops in on a Sunday evening….who doesn’t love a slice of warm pie!
For easy crusts to keep in freezer ready and waiting go here!
I love Stir (a little 🙂 into oatmeal for Christmas vacation treat or on birthdays I would let the kids open a jar for special days!
I figure it has less sugar, than a packet of instant oatmeal or sugar & dyed ladened cold cereal.
I have some great make-ahead apple oatmeal packets here:
Just simply Warmed and poured over vanilla ice-cream, now you don’t even need to bake the pie! This is super quick for pop-in guests or winter birthday treat. (either drizzled with or without caramel, your welcome😊)
My daughter makes the most delicious apple turnovers with it! She uses phyllo dough for hers and they are bakery amazing, but for mine, I just use a quick can of crescent dough and glaze them once cooled. These are a holiday tradition and I don’t think my kids would ever forgive me if we didn’t have turnovers on thanksgiving morning 😊
How about over holiday waffles or French toast and topped with whipped cream (see my make ahead Whip Cream in a jar here
My sourdough crepes are wonderful filled with this apple filling.
(Perhaps, I’ll work at getting my crepe recipe up sometime in the future!)
I mostly use it for holidays and to make birthdays special. There’s no need to can 50 jars of the yummy stuff. I find a canner or 2 is plenty for special treats!
I always can it in pints and 1/2 pint jars which is a jam jar size, because then its convenient to use for small things like in oatmeal or on ice-cream. Often a full pint jar is too much for the occasional use.
Last I’ll share that it also makes great gifts!
For Christms Gift Giving idea below: I used a paper doily, a tag punched out of black cardstock paper, and some red twine! You can give it in a cute wire basket, a bright red bucket, or in a gift bag. Easy peasy and you can make these up waaaay before Christmas!
Hope you enjoy Home Canned Apple Pie filling, the video class will be available for a limited time.
- 9 cups organic apple juice (unsweetened)
- 3 cups cane sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup + 5 teaspoons Cornbys Thick gel (not instant gel thickener)
- 12 cups sliced & peeled apples
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice ( I use bottled) - I drizzle over apples
- Optional: 2-3 cups of extra sliced apples – to have ready & set aside. I don’t treat or add lemon juice to these and there just fine.
- Optional: 1/16th teaspoon of extra cinnamon per pint along with 1/16th tsp pumpkin or apple pie spice
You cannot just continue to add more thickening to Canned Pie filling recipes as 1- it gets to thick to safely can and penetrate completely during the water bath step, and 2 – because it will give an off flavor to the finished product. You can add up to 1 – 2 Tablespoon
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- Cornbys Thick gel (not the blue Instant gel!)
- Cornbys Thick gel (not the blue Instant gel!)
- Ceylon Cinnamon
- Learn why I only use Ceylon Cinnamon, get my free Chai Tea class and see why
- Pint jars - regular mouth works fine here, no need to use wide mouth jars or lids, save those for other needs
- Apple peeler