Apple Pie Filling For Canning

Sweet, spiced apples, canned and ready to go on your shelf. Having apple pie filling makes creating pies, cobblers, bars, and many more of your favorite fall treats a breeze.

A blend of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and sweet and tart apples with spices makes it an instant classic.

close up view apple pie filling.

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Classic fall spices and a blend of apples create a delicious apple pie filling that's ready to use any time of year. Makes 4 quarts
Serving Size 16 servings

Ingredients 

  • 16 cups apples cored, peeled and sliced (use a mix of sweet and tart apples like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup Clear Jel cook-type for canning
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract optional, I prefer without

Instructions 

  • Prep Canning Supplies. Heat jars in the oven at 200℉, or by using the dishwasher or placing in hot water. They don't need to be sterilized, but need to be hot so they don't crack. Wash rings and lids in soapy water and place in small. saucepan of simmering water. Fill canner 3/4 full. with water and place on high heat to bring to a boil. Keep everything hot until you're ready to fill them.
    canning supplies on stove and counter.
  • Prepare the Apples Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples into uniform pieces.
    apple peeler and prepped apples in bowl.
  • Make the Syrup. In a large saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, Clear Jel, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Gradually stir in the water and apple juice (or cider) into the sugar and spice mixture. Add the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
    saucepan with syrup ingredients and finished syrup.
  • Add Apples. Gently add the prepared apple slices to the boiling syrup. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the apples simmer for about 6-8 minutes until they become tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Add vanilla if using.
    bowl with apples added to spiced syrup
  • Fill the Jars. Carefully ladle the hot apple pie filling into the prepared canning jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Use a non-metallic utensil to remove any air bubbles by gently tapping the sides of the jars. Seal the Jars Wipe the jar rims clean to ensure a proper seal. Place the lids and bands on the jars, tightening the bands until they are just fingertip-tight.
    grid of 3 process shots of filling jars with pie filling.
  • Process the Jars. Process the filled jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes (adjust processing time for altitude if necessary). Make sure the jars are fully submerged in water during the entire processing time. If you are processing pints, they need 25 minutes as well.
    process of lowering jars into canner and processing.
  • Cool and Store. Once the processing time is up, carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Allow the jars to cool completely. As they cool, you should hear a "pop" sound as the lids seal. Check that the lids are properly sealed before storing the jars in a cool, dark place. If any do not seal, place them in the fridge and use them within a few weeks.
    removing jars from canner

Video

Notes

16 cups of apples is approximately 5.25 pounds or 16 medium apples
Nutritional facts are for 1/4 of a quart, to represent the amount of filling in one slice of pie. 
ingredients on marble counter.

You’ll need the following for this recipe:

  • Apples (Granny Smith & Honeycrisp recommended)
  • Lemon juice
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Clear Jel (cook-type for canning)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Apple juice or apple cider
  • Pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • Waterbath canner
  • Mason jars
  • New lids
  • Funnel
  • See all my recommended canning supplies here.

🥫 Storage instructions

  • Cool Spot: Store jars in a dark, cool place.
  • No Seal, No Problem: If a jar doesn’t seal, don’t fret! Pop it in the fridge and use within a few weeks.
  • Freezing: Not a canning fan? You can freeze the filling in freezer bags. Flatten, remove air, and use within 6 months.
quart mason jar of canned apple pie filling.

🔍 FAQs

Why do I need to use Clear Jel?

You need a thickening agent, and cornstarch is not safe for canning. When canning, you need heat to penetrate through the entire jar to kill all the potential spoilage bacteria, ensuring your food is preserved safely. Cornstarch can sometimes create a mixture that’s too thick, preventing even heat distribution. If some spots don’t get heated enough, bacteria can survive and potentially make you sick later on.

Can I reduce the sugar?

Sugar acts as a preservative in this recipe, so a good amount is necessary. However, if you’d prefer a less-sweet filling, you can reduce it by 1/2 cup.

Can I add or remove spices?

Yes, they are only for flavor and can be altered however you’d like. 😊

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Carefully follow the instructions! Apple pie filling is prone to siphoning! (Siphoning refers to the liquid inside your jars getting pushed out during the processing. It’s when you pull your jars out and think, “Hey, where’d half the liquid go?”) Leaving proper headspace and removing bubbles can help prevent this.
  • Once you’ve finished processing the jars, resist the temptation to check the seals immediately. They need time to cool down and properly seal. Give them 12-24 hours of rest before testing the seals. By then, the lids should have been sucked down and sealed tightly.
  • Before sealing your jars, ensure the rims are squeaky clean. Any residue might prevent a proper seal, and you don’t want that. A damp cloth does the trick, wiping away any spills or drips.
  • Watch the apples in the syrup when you simmer them like a hawk. If they’re overcooked, they’ll turn mush when you bake them in a pie. Aim for tender but still firm. Remember, these apples will likely be cooked again whenever you use the filling.

📘 more fruit canning Recipes

🍽 how to use your filling

  • Classic: Baked into a an apple pie or caramel apple cobbler.
  • Apple-Stuffed French Toast: Make a slit in thick slices of bread and stuff with apple pie filling. Dip in your egg mixture and cook for a sweet twist on French toast.
  • Apple Cinnamon Rolls: Spread the filling over your cinnamon roll dough for an extra layer of flavor before rolling, slicing, and baking.
  • Oatmeal Mix-in: Boost your morning oats by mixing in a scoop of apple pie filling.
  • Pancake & Waffle Topping: Warm it up and slather over pancakes or waffles for a hearty breakfast treat.
  • Apple Turnovers: Use puff pastry or pie dough to make individual turnovers. Fill, fold, crimp, bake, and enjoy!
open jar of apple pie filling.
Apple Pie Filling For Canning

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