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Apple Pie Filling

My family is always delighted to see an oven-fresh pie cooling on the counter. What a convenience it is to have jars of homemade freezer apple pie filling on hand so I can treat them to pies year-round. —Laurie Mace, Los Osos, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    5-1/2 quarts (enough for about five 9-inch pies)


  • 18 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 6 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • 4-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 10 cups water


  • In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
  • Ladle into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1-1/2 hours. Seal and freeze; store up to 12 months.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 128 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.

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  • snker0521
    Nov 13, 2020

    I have read the recipe and the reviews for this. I will not say that I have made it but I did notice the number of people who said the pie filling, once baked was watery. If you make this try using Clearjel instead of cornstarch. I have made pie fillings for canning and I always use Clearjel so it won't break down like cornstarch will. It will thicken the filling when you first cook it and it will stay that way so that it is more like commercial filling but it is only a food starch. You can buy it online and in some kitchen stores. Just do an online search for it to find it locally.

  • Bonnie
    Sep 15, 2020

    Made this pie filling. it was so good I made enough for the whole winter oh I canned it. I also ordered another box of Apple's to make more.

  • iamyoung
    May 12, 2020

    Yummy. Made 1/5 of the resipe, decreasing water a little because of suggestions in the comments. Enough for 4 filled crepes, and enough left for a small crisp.

  • maball
    Apr 11, 2020

    Tastes fine but way too liquidy- I agree that water should be reduced tremendously.

  • AnnaDurbs
    Oct 23, 2017

    It’s very hard for me to find Clear Gel and do not want to purchase such a large amount on Amazon. What did they use in the old days if corn starch is no good?????

  • sgronholz
    Nov 6, 2016

    I made this recipe as printed, and my husband and I thought it was delicious! To those who were wondering how to prepare a pie , this is what I did: make enough dough for a double crust pie; place the bottom crust into a pie pan. Stir the thawed filling to combine and spoon into pie shell; place the top crust over filling. Flute the edges and cut slits for the steam to escape. Bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes, covering the edges and top with foil as necessary, to prevent them from becoming too dark. Cool for at least an hour before cutting. I've also used this filling in Dutch apple pie (crumb topping) and follow the same baking instructions. This filling is much better than store-bought and a great way to use a bumper crop of apples!

  • s.keeper
    Sep 14, 2016

    I just made this the other day. I made it last year and used 7 cups of water and this year I cut it back to 5. Still lots of liquid. It makes for an excellent pie mid-winter.

  • suzyqrn
    Nov 2, 2014

    This is just to answer general question about canning. If you are going to can this, and you certainly can do this, you need to use CLear Gel instead of cornstarch. Cornstarch does not "become smooth" again when reheating in the pie. You can buy Clear Gel on line. I get mine from Amazon.I prefer canning to freezing because i don't have enough freezer space.

  • homecookie
    Oct 23, 2014

    this is a really good recipe. i was doubting the amount of sugar , i put that amount in anyway and for that i'm glad. i did make a little goof, i had to add a little more apples, because when i measured my salt i did that over a measuring cup,i had already used for sugar and me being tired i forgot that it was salt in that cup, not sugar i missed,so i added a few more apples . it worked out just fine. i'm kinda glad for the goof,because the apples started to break down a little more than i wanted so, that left most of my apples in larger pieces. if i wouldn't have made that goof,there is nothing i would change about this recipe. thank you Laurie for posting this recipe. i will use this for years to come,it's excellent,tastes better than the can.

  • PatGilliland
    Sep 15, 2014

    It would be better not to can this as the cornstarch does not allow the filling to move around enough in the jar when you are canning to kill all the bacteria. I can apples with just as little light or medium syrup ( sugar and water) as will cover the apples. Then when I want to make a pie, I add more sugar mixed with cornstarch or flour.How to make pie with this: Use a commercial or from scratch crust. Put crust in pie pan. Add a jar of thawed filling. Moisten edges of crust, and top pie with another crust. Cut off extra crust hanging over the edge of the pan. Crimp edges of both crusts together tightly. Cut slits or designs in top crust either before or after you put it in the pie. Bake at 350 or 375 degrees until the middle of the pie looks done, about one hour. Do a search if you want more details on making pies.