After trying this easy-as-pie Homemade Apple Pie Filling, you’ll never buy canned pie filling again! Your favorite apples, a handful of pantry items, and ten minutes are all that stand between you and all sorts of delicious apple dessert possibilities!
Thank goodness for cooler weather.
It’s time to bust out the stash of scarves, boots, and extra large coffee mugs (coffee! tea! cocoa! cider)!
At least, it is for most of the Northern hemisphere. As usual, Florida hasn’t gotten the hint and we’re still warmer than usual, but I’ll take all the cooler days I can get.
Regardless of temps, I’m up to my ears in apple recipes right now, and I couldn’t be happier about it!
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
So apple pie filling.
It’s not something I ever thought I’d make on a regular basis.
While I was developing my editorial calendar for fall a few months ago, I knew apples we’re going to play a large part in it.
But man, the idea of peeling, coring, and chopping pounds upon pounds of Honeycrisps and Granny Smiths…ugh. Even with handy kitchen tools, it’s a pain in the rear.
The rewards outweigh the work, but I had to come up with a way to make it easier on myself.
Between blogging, my photography business, and life outside the internet, my free time has become incredibly valuable. I’m sure you know what I mean!
So – making and storing a ton of apple pie filling in advance only made sense.
To answer your first question, yes – this recipe is very multipliable.
The base recipe will get about 2 cups – enough to make an 8-inch pie, fill 24 cupcakes, or whip up a batch of apple cinnamon rolls (watch out for those later this week!)
You can double, triple, quintuple it (so long as you have a big enough pot) – make enough for the whole neighborhood if you want!
This homemade apple pie filling is fabulously thick and full of spices. If you’re not into heavily spiced apple desserts, you can easily adjust the amounts to your liking, of course.
Although…it’s not really a fall dessert without an explosion of cinnamon, is it?
Homemade Apple Pie Filling Ingredients
The ingredients that go into this recipe are super simple! Aside from the apples, almost everything is a pantry staple that you’re bound to have on hand.
- Apples! Use your favorite kind here and adjust sweetener as needed. I used Honeycrisps and went easy on the sugar since they’re sweet. If you opt for tart Granny Smith, bump up the sugar a bit to compensate.
- Sugar. I tend to use brown sugar in my apple filling, but you can use equal amounts of granulated sugar if you’d prefer.
- Cornstarch. This is needed to thicken the filling. Alternatively, you could use flour, but will need twice the amount and you risk changing the flavor. Arrowroot is a better option here, so use it if you have it!
- Lemon Juice. To balance the sweetness of the apples and introduce some acidity to the filling.
- Water. Not too much, since the apples release their juices as they cook. This is just to help the sugar melt.
- Spices. I use cinnamon and nutmeg here, but if you love ginger, cloves, or even cardamom in your apple filling, feel free to add it! You can also increase or reduce the amounts based on your own tastes.
- Salt. The ultimate flavor enhancer. You should put at least a pinch of this in everything!
How to make homemade apple pie filling
Making apple pie filling is so easy, and the results can be used in so many ways!
First, peel, core, and chop your choice of apples – it’s your choice how big or small you want the pieces. Place them in a 3-quart saucepan and toss them with some lemon juice and water, then simmer them over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until they begin to soften.
While the apples are simmering, whisk together some brown sugar, cornstarch, spices (I like to use cinnamon and nutmeg), and pinch of salt.
Once the apples have softened a bit, stir the sugar & spice mixture into the saucepan, making sure to coat the apples well. Cook everything for another 2 minutes or so, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is bubbling.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool completely before using it in a recipe, canning, or freezing it.
How To Can Apple Filling
If you’re swimming in an abundance of apples, canning this pie filling is an ideal way to use them up! That way, apple pie can be had all year long.
To can this filling, you must first sterilize your mason jars. Place the empty jars right-side up in a boiling water-canner or a tall stock pot. Completely cover the jars with very hot (but not boiling) water, allowing it to come about 1-inch above the tops of the jars.
Place the pot on the stove top over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes, adding 1 extra minute per 1000 feet above sea level you are located.
When time is up, turn off the heat. Place the lids and rings in the water after it cools a bit and let it all sit for another 10 minutes. If you’re not ready to can your filling yet, the jars can sit in the water for up to one hour before they need to be re-sterilized.
After the filling is cooked, use a funnel to pour it into the hot, sterilized jars, right up to the bottom rung of the jar (leaving about 1/2-inch open). Use a spoon to push the apples down and pop any air bubbles.
Place the lids on and seal the jars, then process in gently boiling water for another 20 minutes. Remove the cans from the water, being careful not to tilt them upon removal, and transfer them to a cooling rack or kitchen towels.
Let them cool, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. Test the lids for proper sealing and wipe down the jars to remove any residue from the canning process. Store them in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Can You Freeze Apple Pie Filling?
Yes – if you’re not into canning, you can freeze apple filling!
After it’s cooled, transfer the filling to a freezer-safe gallon zipper bag. Label it with the date and freeze it for up to 6 months.
How Long Do You Bake A Pie With Canned Filling?
Since your homemade filling is mostly cooked, your bake time will be a little less than a pie with raw apples inside.
I suggest blind baking the bottom crust for 10 minutes in advance to help avoid sogginess. Then, add the filling to the crust, top it with streusel, lattice, cinnamon rolls, or a top crust, and bake.
25-35 minutes at 450 degrees should do it, depending on how you top it, vs. 50-60 with raw filling!
What Else Can I Make With Homemade Apple Pie Filling?
- Apple Slab Pie
- Apple Strudel
- Caramel Apple Dump Cake
- Apple-Filled Cupcakes
- Apple Dumplings
- Use it as a dip, or topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or ice cream!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE PIE FILLING!
LOOKING FOR MORE APPLE RECIPES TO USE THIS FILLING IN?
- Nana’s Apple Pie
- Apple Pie Shooters
- Chai-Spiced Apple Crumble Blondies
- Apple Pecan Pie Breakfast Ring
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING APPLE PIE FILLING:
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Homemade Apple Pie Filling
- 5 apples medium-large sized; peeled, cored & roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- ⅔ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, toss the apples with the lemon juice. Add the water and simmer 7-8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the dry mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine, coating the apples. Simmer an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat & allow to cool.
To Can Apple Filling:
- Sterilize mason jars, lids, and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.
- Pack the apple filling into the hot jars, up to the bottom rung of the jar (leaving a 1/2 inch headspace). Use a spoon to push the apples down and pop any air bubbles.
- Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes. Store.
To Freeze Apple Filling:
- Cool filling to room temperature. Transfer the filling to a large freezer-safe gallon-sized plastic zipper bag. Label with the date packaged and freeze for up to 6 months.