Canning apple pie filling will let you be able to make and enjoy apple pies year round, even when apples are not in season. If you have an apple tree orchard, learning how to can apple pie filling will help you make sure not a single apple goes to waste!
Like most fruits, apples are acidic in nature which means you can safely prepare the filling in a water bath canner. They do not require to be cooked in a pressure canner, although a good pressure canner will save you some cooking time!
The Secret to The Best Apple Pie Filling Recipe
The secret to a fantastic apple pie is using a variety of apples. The best apples for pie filling are naturally sweeter varieties. A mix of Jonathan, McIntosh, and Fuji apples are an excellent choice! Typically I will use equal amounts of any of those apples in addition to Red Delicious apples.
Some people will add in their flavorings such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other ingredients, but I like to simply just can the apples in a light syrup as it is more likely to give you consistently good results.
The benefit of canning apple pie filling without any additional flavorings also allows you more freedom to experiment with more recipes and seasonings later on.
A lot of apple pie filling recipes suggest to use cornstarch. However, cornstarch does not work well for canning. Using a modified cornstarch such as Clear-Jel just doesn’t seem like it belongs in something as good and natural as pie!
If you want your apple pie filling to be thick, then by all means you may use Clear-Jel. But if you prefer to use all natural ingredients, this method for making apple pie filling I share here is much better choice. It gives you the most flexibility for when you bake your pies – you can always thicken the sauce further prior to baking.
Also, with so many people having food allergies anymore, I find that it’s best to not add any type of corn or wheat products if they are not really necessary.
How to Make Canned Apple Pie Filling
This is a very simple and basic recipe, that will allow you to be able to add your flavorings such as cinnamon and nutmeg later on. This will ensure your pies are as fresh as possible – even when using canned apple pie filling!
Here is what you will need to make 7 quart sized jars of apple pie filling:
19 pounds of Apples (use a mix of sweet varieties for best results)
Citric Acid for Soaking
Water for soaking
10-1/2 cups of water
1-1/4 cups of sugar
Note: If this is your first time canning, or it has been awhile since you have canned, you may wish to check our tutorial on Canning 101 – that will get you started canning in no time!
Step 1: Gather Materials & Prep Canning Area
It is always a good idea to have all of your materials ready before you get started. You should sterilize your jars and lids and keep lids hot.
You will also want to peel, core, and slice your apples. There are a number of nifty gadgets for peeling and coring apples, check out this apple peeler corer slicer!
Make sure you soak your apples in a solution of citric acid to prevent discoloration. You can find this in most stores near the canning supplies section, but I’ve found the best deal is to buy it in bulk on Amazon.
Step 2: Prepare the Apples
You will first want to make a syrup solution using the 10 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/4 cups of sugar.
To do this, dissolve the sugar in the water while bringing to a boil and stirring frequently. Once it is boiling, add your apples to the mixture and bring back to a boil.
Be sure you stir the pot frequently while cooking, as the apples will burn if you do not keep a careful watch on them.
As soon as your apples are boiled, you are ready to use a funnel and pack them into jars. This is called hot packing and it is recommended for the best results. Make sure that you leave a 1/2 inch of headspace in the jar. Smooth out and bubbles and seal with lids.
Step 3: Canning Apple Pie Filling Process
Apples can be processed in a water bath canner, which is convenient and easier for many people who do not own a pressure canner.
However, if you do have a pressure canner and like using it, you may want to use that instead. The pressure canner will not take as long to cook, although you do need to consider cool-down time.
This helpful reference chart below will give you an idea of how long to process your apple pie filling while canning to make sure the jars will properly seal. The charts are arranged by altitude.
Water Bath Canning Processing Times for Apple Pie Filling
|0 – 1,000 feet
|1,000 – 3,000 feet
|3,001 – 6,000 feet
|Above 6,000 feet
Dial Gauge Pressure Canner Processing Times
|Canner Pressure (PSI)
|0 – 2,000 feet
|2,001 – 4,000 feet
|4,001 – 6,000 feet
|6,001 – 8,000 feet
Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner Processing Times
|Canner Pressure (PSI)
|0 – 1,000 feet
|Above 1,000 feet
Note that I include processing times for both types of canners and according to your altitude – so make sure you have the right time!
This information for processing times and canning pressure comes from the USDA guidelines to ensure accuracy and safety.
Step 4: Allow the Jars to Cool
It is very important that you allow your jars to cool in a place where they will not be interrupted for at least 24 hours so they can finish sealing. Do not be tempted to tighten rings as this could potentially cause the seal to break.
Now that you know the basics of canning apple pie filling, you’ll be ready to have your favorite apple pie recipe any time! You will want to plan for about 2 quarts per pie, depending of course on size of the pie crust and pie pan.
If you do two batches of this recipe, that will be about 7 pies you can make any time of the year! It’s especially useful in the holiday seasons because it saves a lot of time when you have a lot happening!
I hope you find this recipe and the guidelines for canning apple pie filling helpful! Do you have any questions about how to can apple pie filling? Any suggestions for making apple pie filling? You comments and suggestion are always welcomed below!