Sunday, November 6, 2011

Canning Apple Pie Filling

I have an abundance of apples and I have been trying my best to keep up with them. I got one box off my two dwarf Jonagold trees. My DSH got a box of some fantastic eating variety, Honeycrisp, maybe. And I came home with 2 1/2 boxes after I went cidering with some friends a couple of weeks ago. I canned up the cider I had, and I have been drying 12 trays the past 3 weekends. But we still have apples. I will make applesauce soon, but you can use apples that aren't as firm and crisp, so I wanted to make some more apple pie filling since I only had one jar left. I I only have so much room in my fridge to keep apples in cold storage, which is where I have my home grown Jonagolds. The rest are sitting in the garage under less than ideal conditions. So I need to use them soon, or put together some form of makeshift root cellar.

Canned Apple Pie Filling

7 quarts

6 qts. fresh, tart apples
1 tsp ascorbic acid
5 1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C Clear Jel (you can order this from Kitchen Krafts here)
1 TB cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
5 C apple juice
2 1/2 C water
3/4 C bottled lemon juice

** A note on Clear Jel- do not use regular corn starch as it will not stand up under the processing. Clear Jel is approved for use in canning. Plus, Kitchen Krafts will send you other pie recipes to make with the Clear Jel.

Wash, peel and core the apples. Cut slices 1/2" thick. Place in a bowl with 6 C. cold water and 2 TB. of Fruit Fresh or other treatment to prevent browning while you are working.

Bring to a boil 1 gallon of water and add the ascorbic acid to prevent browning.
Place 6 C of apples at a time in the boiling water and blanch 1 min. after water returns to boiling. Drain, and put in a covered pot to keep warm. Repeat until all apples are blanched.

Combine the sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large pot. Stir in the apple juice and water. Stir and cook over Med-High heat until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble.

Add the lemon juice and boil for 1 min, stirring constantly.

Fold in the drained apples and quickly fill hot quart jars with the apple mixture. Remove air bubbles, cap and seal.

Process in a boiling water bath (BWB) for 25 min. and adjust for altitude if needed.

To use, dump in your home made or store bought pie crust and bake!

Sorry I don't have any pictures, but my camera died and we've been spending money like no other on never ending expenses.

When I made the filling today, I ended up with 6 qts to can, and about 1 cup left over. So I opened my last remaining jar, made a pie crust, dumped in my jar of filling and added the leftover pie filling I had just made on top. I topped with the crust and it is in the oven as I write. Smells wonderful... and I think there is some ice cream in the freezer.


  1. This was the first year I canned apple pie filling. It is so wonderful but not without problems in canning. My 1st batch had two jars not seal (Oh darn, had to make pies). The next batch I filled the jars half way put the goop in (my clear-jel mixture was THICK)and finished with the rest of the apples and goop leaving a good 1 inch head space. That seemed to work.I stil had problems with syphoning off goop after the water bath. But they did seal. Have you any other tips to make filling the jars easier? I also made some Peach-ginger filling that is to die for. Keep up the good work! Herdog

  2. You are a culinary temptress. I will blame the next 5 lbs on you next time the doctor cusses me out.

  3. Herdog, I don't have any special tips for filling the jars, I just ladle it in, remove air bubbles, cap and seal. I have never had any seep out, so I'm not sure of any suggestions. Your peach-ginger pie sounds delicious. I see the peach pie filling recipe on my Clear Jel insert, do you just add ground ginger to that?

    Hillbilly, that's my mission- tempting your taste buds. I will gladly take the blame :)

  4. We canned apple pie filling last year, but only a couple of quarts made it into pies. Most of our jars ended up being poured over vanilla ice cream. Sometimes we heated up the filling before serving it over ice cream.

  5. Tricia, that sounds like a tasty way to use the filling. The filling is good in turnovers, too. I'm wondering how well it would do in a danish. I will have to try that out and let everyone know.


Your thoughts are welcome!