Canning apple pie filling is the perfect way to preserve your harvest of apples and enjoy a sweet treat all year long.
If you have apple trees, you know you have a boatload apples ready at the same time. And sure, apples last for at least a month under refrigeration, but realistically, you can only eat so many raw apples in a month.
Canning apple pie filling is a great way to use up a lot of your apple harvest or those bags of apples you bought at the farmer’s market.
It’s great to have some ready to put together desserts in your pantry when company comes over too.
New to canning? Start with our comprehensive article on “How to Can Everything“. It will walk you through all of the dos and don’ts related to canning.
What varieties of apples to use
It is said that the best apples are the apples that you have. Many different varieties are good for pie filling. We like to tart apples and a few sweeter apples for a more rounded flavor. Some varieties we like are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden delicious, Rome, and MacIntosh, among others. Choose fresh, firm fruit for best results.
What you need
- apples – use a mixture of apples for the best result.
- sugar – use all granulated sugar or half brown sugar and half granulated
- lemon juice – use bottled lemon juice
- apple juice
- clear jel – Do not use cornstarch, tapioca or flour if canning this recipe! It is not safe.
- cloves (optional)
- pinch of salt
Note: the finished color of your pie filling base will be determined by the spices you use.
How to make it – step by step
Wash and prepare jars, lids and bands. Get your water bath canner boiling because that can take up to 45 minutes to boil.
Wash apples well.
Peel, core and slice apples (½-inch thick) into a bowl with water and lemon juice or follow the instructions on your fruit fresh or another ascorbic acid to deter browning.
Get a gallon of water boiling in a large pot. Place 6 cups of apples in boiling water.
When water returns to a boil, boil for one minute.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a covered bowl to keep them warm.
Add sugar, Clear jel and spices in a large bowl.
Add apple juice to large pot. Turn burner on medium high.
Pour in sugar mixture.
Stirring constantly, heat the mixture on medium high heat until it thickens and bubbles and lumps are stirred out.
Add lemon juice. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t scorch.
Fold in the warm apples immediately.
Quickly fill hot jars with hot pie filling. Leave 1 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a chopstick or bubble tool.
Wipe rims of jars with a damp paper towel to remove any debris.
Center lid on jar.
Screw on band.
Process pints or quarts in a water bath canning pot for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Let jars sit in hot water for at least 5 minutes to cool slowly to reduce siphoning.
Remove to the counter and leave undisturbed for 12- 24 hours. Check seals. If lid flexes up or down, jars did not seal and should be stored in the refrigerator.
How long will canned pie filling last?
Store jars in a cool, dark space like the basement for about one year.
How to make a pie with canned pie filling
Make a homemade pie crust or buy a premade crust. Center crust in pie plate. pour in pie filling. One 9 inch pie will take about a quart jar of filling. Place top crust on pie and crimp edges or make a Dutch apple pie and use a crumb topping. If you use a top crust be sure to cut some holes in it to let steam escape.
Bake arranged pie at 350°F/ 170°C for 45 minutes to one hour until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.
What else can you do with apple pie filling?
- make hand pies or tarts
- make a gallette
- serve on top of vanilla ice cream
- top pound cake
- fill cakes or donuts or make apple pie taquitos
- make apple bars
- crisps or crumbles
- top cheesecake
- Add it to quick bread
- top French toast, pancakes or waffles
- Use some in smoothies or milk shakes
- Put a spoon or two on oatmeal
Pro- Tip: When canning, choose a reputable source for your recipe. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is one and the other is the USDA Complete Guide to Canning.
All of the recipes on this site are based on one or both of these trusted sources. We just do a more thorough job showing you how to do it, step by step.
More canned pie fillings
- Peach pie filling
- Blackberry pie filling
- Cherry pie filling
- Strawberry pie filling
- Blueberry pie filling
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Apple Pie Filling | Canning Instructions
- 3½ cups apples
- ¾ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Clear Jel modified cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons Bottled Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg optional
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice optional
- pinch cloves
- lemon juice or ascorbic acid
- Before starting, wash and heat jars and lids. We heat them in the canning pot because we need to have that heating anyway. Jars do not need to be sterilized because process time is over 10 minutes.
- Start another large pot of water boiling.
- Wash apples well. Peel and core apples. Slice into a bowl of cold water and lemon juice or ascorbic acid.lemon juice or ascorbic acid, 3½ cups apples
- Once pot is boiling add a up to 6 cups of apples to the pot for 60 seconds, after water begins to boil again.
- Remove with a slotted spoon. Place in a covered bowl to keep them warm and continue with remaining apple slices.
- Combine the water, sugar, clear jel and spices in a large saucepan. Stir and cook over medium heat until it thickens. (Don’t be concerned if the clearjel clumps. This is common. Just keep stirring until the clumps go away.)¾ cup Sugar, ¼ cup Clear Jel modified cornstarch, ½ cup water, ¾ cup apple juice, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon allspice, pinch cloves
- Add lemon juice. Boil one more minute.2 tablespoons Bottled Lemon Juice
- Fold in apples.
- Immediately fill hot jars with the pie filling leaving a 1 inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles with a bubble removal tool or a plastic or wooden chopstick.
- Wipe rims of jar clean with a damp paper towel. Center lids on jars. Screw on bands finger tip tight. Process immediately.
Originally published December 10, 2022.
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This was such a quick and easy way to prep apple pie! Looking forward to making this pie soon; already smells so delicious!
Thanks so much Sara! I really appreciate you letting me know.
Just made it and had it hot on some ice cream. So delicious!!
Oh yum! Especially when it’s warm. Thanks Lima!
I can honestly say that apple pie filling is not something I have ever attempted to can before. This is fabulous! I can’t wait to do this.
Thanks Kathleen. We hope you enjoy it!
We always have a glut of apples and freezer space is often limited. This is the perfect solution for quick desserts.
We love popping them open to make a quick apple crisp or pie. Thanks Amanda!
I have not made this in years, but you’ve inspired me to put some on my pantry shelf. This will come in handy this fall!
I always forget to make pie fillings too but they are so handy to have when company comes over. Thanks Amy.