Apple pie filling in a jar and on a plate on a white background with three green apples.

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

This easy Apple Pie Filling Recipe comes together in minutes and preserves all those Fall apples so that you can have apple pie any time! You can can it or freeze it for a quick and easy dessert!

Homemade apple pie filling tastes so much better than canned filling and really only takes minutes to make.

In the Fall, why not take advantage of bushels of fresh apples and stock your pantry or freezer for the winter?

Canning this filling

This Apple Pie Filling Recipe can be canned in jars and will last up to a year. One quart jar holds enough filling for one 9 inch pie or makes an 8×8 apple crisp.

Just open the jar, pour into a pie crust, top with whatever you desire and bake!

I especially love to keep a jar in the refrigerator and use the apple pie filling as a topping on ice cream or stirred into oatmeal!

This Apple Pie Filling recipe also comes in handy when I have a houseful of guests during the holidays. Dessert is as simple as pouring the filling into a dish, sprinkling with a crumb topping and baking it for 20 minutes or so.

Apple pie filling in a jar and on a plate against a white background with three green apples.

Freezing this filling

If you don’t want to can this recipe by boiling the jars in a water bath, you can freeze the filling instead.

Freezing the filling in jars is fine but I prefer to fill ziploc bags, sealed them tight, and lay them flat to freeze.

Just thaw the apple pie filling in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours when you are ready to use it.

Apple pie with lattice top

Clear Gel vs Corn Starch

If you are making a pie filling, normally there is some type of thickening agent. You will see recipes that use flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder.

I used to use corn starch in this recipe but recent research shows that corn starch, and even flour, can break down both during and after the canning process.

They can also clump during processing. If this happens, the heat from the canning process may not circulate throughout the filling, causing some areas to be prone to bacteria inside the jar.

I have never had an issue with this as far as I know but I have switched to Clear Gel just to be safe.

If you are freezing your filling, any of these thickeners are fine to use. But I have found that my filling is much more smooth and it doesn’t clump and separate the way it did with cornstarch or flour.

If you do have clumping, it’s not a problem. You can just stir the filling before baking and the flavor will not be affected.

If you are giving this filling to people as gifts the way I do, you will want it to look as pretty in the jar as possible! So Clear Gel is the way to go!

Check out my recipes that use this Apple Pie Filling!

Apple Pie Mille Feuille

Apple Pie Tart

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Apple Claws

Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 6 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced

  • 4 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 cup Clear Gel

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 9 cups water or apple juice


  • In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and set aside.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, Clear Gel, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Add the water or juice and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the apples and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the apples are just tender, this should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
  • Ladle into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1-1/2 hours. Seal and freeze; store up to 12 months.
  • Fill canning jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.  Make sure to remove air bubbles, adjust headspace, and wipe down the necks of the jars before capping with 2-part canning lids.  Tighten lids to finger tight and process in a water bath for 25 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them.
  • Allow the jars to cool to room temperature before checking that they are properly sealed.  Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use it within 2 weeks or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Sealed jars will keep in the pantry for up to 12 months.

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