Apple pie is a delicious holiday dessert popular across America. Making apple pie is easy, but sometimes it really takes time off your prep when things are done ahead of time. Making this delicious canned apple pie filling is a great way to get homemade apple pie without the added prep time.
Putting Together this Delicious Canned Apple Pie Filling
Fall is the perfect time to prep this delicious apple pie filling. With apples abundant, using fresh ingredients is what will make this canning recipe really shine. Be sure to use apples that are made for baking.
What Are Baking Apples?
Baking apples are apples that have a tart flavor and are extra crisp, maintaining their structure through cooking. These types of apples include: Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Pink Lady. There are plenty of other apples that you can use, but the list above is ideal.
Ingredients Needed for the Apple Pie Filling
- 2 1/4 cups of Clear Jel (This is not pectin or cornstarch, but acts similarly, thickening the filling)
- 12 cups of sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 quarts of water (20 cups)
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 12 quarts of apples (peeled cored and chopped – I pile them into the quart-sized jars to measure them)
Supplies You’ll Need
- Large Stock Pot
- Water-Bath Canning Pot
- Canning jars
- Canning lids with bands
- Canning Pot Supplies (jar grabber, etc)
Making the Delicious Pie Filling
In your large stock pot, mix together until completely combined the clear gel, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir the 5 quarts of water into the large stock pot and place on medium/high heat. Heat until mixture gets to a boil.
Add the apples and the lemon juice to the mixture. Coat the apples completely in the mixture and allow it to come to boil.
Prepare 14 quart canning jars cleaned and warmed in your large canning pot. Fill your quart jars with the apple pie mixture, be sure to leave an inch of head space.
Wipe the tops of the jars, and place the canning tops on each quart, place bands on the jars but do not over-tighten.
Process the apple pie filling for 25 minutes at sea level.
Altitude In Feet – Increase Processing Time By:
1,001-3,000 feet – increase by 5 minutes
3,001-6,000 feet – increase by 10 minutes
6,001-8,000 feet – increase by 15 minutes
8,001-10,000 feet – increase by 20 minutes
Once your apple pie filling has been process, allow the jars to cool on the counter and make sure the lid is sealed before storing. If one of your lids didn’t seal, put the apple pie filling in the refrigerator and make sure to use it within 10 days. Otherwise, any properly canned apple pie filling has a shelf life of 18 months (per the canning lid). However, the food may still be good after 18 months, but the flavors of the food begin to degrade.
Why Can’t I Use Cornstarch When Canning?
Cornstarch is in many apple pie filling recipes. However, it is not recommended as a canning option. Cornstarch does not break down properly during the canning process, creating a possibility of the heat not penetrating the food during processing. This could allow bacteria to grow as the food wasn’t properly heated during the canning process. (Read more about this in the Ball Canning Book!)
Be sure to always use clear gel, or, after your pie filling has been processed, add cornstarch and heat the mixture up before pouring into the pie crust.
The best part about this recipe is that you simply open a jar and a quart fills a 9 inch pie crust, making apple pie and easy option for holidays and special occasions. Be sure to make your pie crust from scratch (which you can also freeze ahead of time) and, presto, you have a delicious, from scratch, apple pie!
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