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Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe – this easy recipe takes just a few minutes and tastes so much better than canned pie filling! Keep it in your freezer for when you want pie filling ASAP!

You never need to buy the can of pie filling again – just whip up this easy recipe to use for your pies or an easy side dish.

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jar of apple pie filling with spoon

Best Apple Pie Filling Recipe

I never buy apple pie filling unless it’s for a recipe, because in all honesty, I don’t really like canned pie filling very much. Sure, I use it, because it’s easy and makes things like dump cake or slab pie even easier than normal, and you all love easy recipes. But then I realized something: I can make my own apple pie filling. It will taste better, be fresher, and I can use it in so many recipes (like the best apple strudel recipe or crockpot apple dump).

Why you’ll love this recipe

Homemade apple pie filling is better tasting and better for you, I’m sure. Plus, it’s good in so many recipes!

This easy recipe is a cooked apple pie filling, made on the stovetop, and is perfect to use immediately, eat over the week, or freeze for later. Normally we make crockpot applesauce after we go apple picking, but this year we’re also going to make more apple pie filling too!

ingredients in apple pie filling with words on photo

Apple Pie Filling Ingredients

  • Apples: I used Granny Smith apples because the tart/sweet combination is great, plus they’re more sturdy and can hold up to cooking.
  • Cornstarch: This is what thickens the pie filling
  • Sugar: Granulated, for sweetness
  • Water: Gives the liquid to the filling – you could substitute apple juice or apple cider, but you’d want to reduce the sugar.
  • Lemon: Adds a brightness to the flavor
  • Spices: Cinnamon and Nutmeg are perfect for apple pie
6 photos showing how to make apple pie filling

How to make Apple Pie Filling

  • Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  • Place sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
  • Add water and stir, then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
  • I like to cover the pot to help this process along.
  • Once the mixture boils, boil it for two minutes.
  • Add the apples, turn to a simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring often, until the apples soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Pour into jars to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.
jar of apple pie filling with spoon

Expert Tips

  • I like to slice my apples in chunks. I don’t know about you, but the canned filling you get at the store has apples that are too big to eat! Chop them how you like to eat them.
  • The good thing about making this homemade is that you can add or reduce spices as you like. Love cinnamon? Add a touch more, or reduce it if you prefer it plainer.
  • You can also use your favorite kind of apples. I used a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji because it was what I had in my fridge.
  • I know some people prefer making apple pie filling without cornstarch, but find it’s the easiest way to make it and you probably have everything already on hand.
  • The mixture thickens as it cools so even though it looks loose after it’s done, it’ll thicken up quite a bit.
jar of apple pie filling with spoon

Best Crust to use with this recipe:

This recipe is perfect when baked into my All Butter Pie Crust. Or make a completely no-bake pie using my graham cracker crust!

FAQs

Is it better to cook apple pie filling first?

This apple pie filling recipe is designed to cook and cool, then use in a pie or in anything else, or eat alone as a side dish.

Is pie filling gluten free?

This recipe uses corn starch so it is gluten-free.

Can you can this apple pie filling recipe?

I do not recommend canning this recipe because it uses cornstarch. You should never can anything thickened with cornstarch. This recipe can be frozen for later thawing and use.

How to freeze apple pie filling?

Freeze in airtight containers – I prefer using plastic – for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator.

jar of apple pie filling with spoon

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

4.12 from 228 votes
Homemade Apple Pie Filling – this easy recipe takes just a few minutes and tastes so much better than canned pie filling! Keep it in your freezer for when you want pie filling ASAP!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 cups
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 3 cups (711ml) water
  • 1 ⅓ cups (267g) granulated sugar
  • cup (42g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  • Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  • Place water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once the mixture boils, boil it for two minutes. Add the apples, turn to a simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring often, until the apples soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Pour into jars to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

4 cups of apples is approximately 4 large Granny Smith apples (3-5 medium).

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Sodium: 50mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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195 Comments

  1. This was a great recipe. It came in handy for a recipe I’m making and calls for canned apple pie filling. No way am I using canned. This is so good. Will definitely make again.