Preserving the Harvest: How to Can Homemade Apple Pie Filling

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Preserve the fall apple harvest for later use in your holiday pies with this delicious homemade apple pie filling recipe!

Fall is the season for apple picking, enjoying that crisp, sweet, juicy crunch in the autumn sunshine, and it’s also the time when apples are the cheapest, so now is the time to stock up! Long-keeping apple varieties may store until spring, but there are also a number of ways to prepare and preserve apples for later use.

Apple sauce, apple butter, and dried apples are a few ways to enjoy the bounty of fall apples for months to come. Another great way to preserve apples is to can your own homemade apple pie filling! This makes it super easy to throw together a delicious homemade apple pie in no time – which will come in handy with the holidays just around the corner. Just pull out a jar of this, pop it into a pie crust, and bake – easy-peasy! You can also use this tasty filling to fill apple tarts, turnovers, and more.

If you don’t want to use the ClearJel canning thickener listed in the recipe, you can simply can the filling without any thickener, and then add your thickener of choice (cornstarch, arrowroot, etc.) after opening the jar before baking your pie.

How to Make Canned Apple Pie Filling

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 Quarts


  • 12 cups sliced, peeled, and cored apples
  • 2 and 3/4 cups raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup Clear Jel (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 and 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice


  1. Place peeled, cored, and sliced apples in boiling water for 1 minute, working 6 cups of apples at a time. Blanching keeps apples from becoming mushy when canning. With a slotted spoon, place apples in a bowl and cover.
  2. In a large stainless steel pot, combing sugar, ClearJel®, spices, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (don’t use a hard boil), stirring constantly, and cook until it thickens and bubbles. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and fold in apples. Ladle apple pie filling into warm prepared jars. Wide mouth work best for this recipe, but narrow can be used.
  4. Leave 1 inch headspace, run a spatula down the inside of the jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe rim with a damp clean towel. Center lid and screw bands down until tight. Place jars filled with apple pie filling in  a hot water bath for 25 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a jar lifter, carefully remove hot jars to a towel and allow to cool without moving over night. Check seals, remove bands, wipe down outside of jar and store in out of direct sunlight for up to 1 year.


Altitude adjustment: If you’re 1,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level, increase processing time by 5 minutes (30 minutes total), 3,001 to 6,000 feet above sea level, increase processing time by 10 minutes (35 minutes total).

Recipe Source: MelissaKNorris.com


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