Crazy for Crust

Homemade Apple Pie Filling

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.

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!

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.


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!

Every week I have a list of things I’m going to bake or cook. At the beginning of the week, usually on Mondays, I make a list of what I have to bake/photograph/video for the week, do an inventory of my pantry, and make a shopping list. Then, as is also normal, by Wednesday when I’m actually doing the recipes, I change my mind 10 times or add a few new recipes to the mix. Last week was no exception to my rule: I decided I needed apple pie filling for a recipe (coming Sunday!)

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. So of course, on a random Wednesday when I decide to make an apple recipe using pie filling, I don’t have any in my pantry. And because, by Wednesdays, I’ve been to the store usually 3 times already, I don’t want to go again.

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).

I don’t know why it’s taken me 7 years to make my own pie filling, but I’m glad I finally came around to the other side of things. Homemade apple pie filling is better tasting and better for you, I’m sure. Plus, it’s good in so many recipes!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is an easy apple recipe that tastes better than from a can!

Remember back in the day when we’d eat TV dinners? My dessert half the time was cinnamon apples. I never liked them much, but it dawned on me that homemade apple pie filling is really just the same thing as those cinnamon apples. (Also: those TV dinner makers were so cheap, they were giving us apple pie filling but didn’t want to spend a few extra pennies for a crust?)

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!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is an easy recipe that is better than canned and goes so well in so many fall recipes.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Tips for perfect apple pie filling:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Them mixture thickens as it cools so even though it looks loose after it’s done, it’ll thicken up quite a bit.

Want even more? Subscribe to Crazy for Crust to get new recipes and a newsletter delivered to your inbox. And stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

3.84 from 142 votes
Leave a Review »
Servings: 6 cups

Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
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!


  • 4 cups apples — peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour into jars to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, pie

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 serving) — Calories: 133, Sodium: 50mg, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g

If you’re looking for other things to make with Homemade Apple Pie filling be sure to check out more of my recipes below, plus Apple Pie Dumplings, Deep Fried Apple Pie Bars, and Apple Pie Poke Cake from my fellow bloggers!

Easy Apple Strudel

Crockpot Apple Dump Cake

Pumpkin Apple No Bake Dessert

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**



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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Oh YUM. Love this, Dorothy! In a jar like that what a great hostess gift, too. I just want to eat it by the spoonful!

  2. This sounds good to me. Why cant you just can it? As long as your jars and lids/rings are hot then you should be able to can this. We have a short cut technique that works rather well. No putting in fridge or freezer. I actually cooked apples one year and jarred them and they were still good the next year. Have you given that a go? If not and if you want the instructions then please just let me know. I would be happy to share that with everyone. But i am so going to give this a go. But when I did my apples i didnt think to add corn starch to thicken the liquid so it was runny. I have also done pears, and tons of other stuff too. Thankfully my husband doesnt mind getting the hot part of the job. haha tough hands.

  3. I found that i had already saved this recipe and someone has already asked the freezing questoin back in 2013 and come to find out canning with the corn starch is not a good idea. So please disregard my question above. duh my bad. But i am still going to make this as it sounds so yummy and simple. Thanks for cranking out the yummy recipes which by the way I have tried plenty of. 🙂

    • Clear-Jel is cornstarch that is made for canning. I’ve used it for apple pie filling and it works great. I’ve never seen it in stores. I buy it online after googling for the least expensive one.

  4. It has never dawned on me to make my own pie filling since I hardly ever make pies lol.

    But seriously this does look so much better than the store bought kind (and yes the apple pieces in there are way too big! I think they’re trying to prove to us they use real apples or something)!

  5. Yum! I love apple pie but never make it. This just might be the thing that gets me to make one. Love the spatula too 🙂

  6. Yum! I would eat this right from the jar.

  7. This is genius! I’m not a fan of the store bought variety! You can use this in so many ways!

    Also PS all the savemart checkout people know me very well. haha. I’m there like every day because I’m the worst at planning.

  8. Thank you for this! I have not bought canned pie filling in ages since the last time I bought it and it was 3/4 gel. I can’t wait to make this and I am going to make that apple strudel recipe with it!

  9. Hi Dorothy. Sure i would be happy to pass the technique on. We have been doing this for lots of years with thankfully not much fail on it. First cook whatever you are doing and get it good and hot. Be it speghetti sauce, pinto beans (yes with ham hock pieces), soup, jelly, blueberry sauce, pears, apples, beans ( which i hate canned as they turn mushy) whatever. Yes i cook in crock pot or stock pot. Dont burn whatever you are making of course. Just make sure it has cooled long enough to be hot enough. Buy BALL JARS AND LID/RINGS! Trust me on that. The generic ones dont work as well. Wash your jars in dish washer preferably to sterilize before hand. Your jars go in the OVEN for at least 20 minutes or so on 200 degrees. At the same time put your lids/rings in water in a pot and bring it to a boil and let them boil maybe 15 minutes. Ready to can. You have to move fast now and have hot pads at hand and a canning funnel and rubber spatula and long tongs for getting the jar out of oven/ taking the rings out of boiling water. Make sure to have hot pads on the counter to put you hot jars on. Take one jar at a time out of oven, pour your food into the jar thru funnel until you reach the almost to the top of jar but not the mouth of jar as you need that room for it to seal. Take one lid/ring out of hot water with tongs and put it on the top and quickly screw in on and tighten it firmly. Set aside and keep going till all food is jarred. As you work you will hear loud popping sounds. That means your jar just sealed by the way. You will get one pop sound per jar. You can look at the lid and see that it is dimpled down and even. That is the seal. If you dont hear a pop and if you see that the middle part is still up the jar did not seal. Put it in the fridge to eat up soon after it has cooled. The rest of them after cooled you can label them (a label maker works great by the way) with what is in the jar and dont forgot to put the date on it. Generally you want to make sure you have liquid in there too and not just dry food. Yes I watched my Mother and Grandmother do the old fashion ways but fast and dirty and hot works too. Simple. But you need to make sure you can handle getting your hands BLASTED HOT as it is going to happen. Thus the work dang fast comes in hand. Oh dont drop the jar on the floor. Use the tongs to get out of the oven. We put a pan under us for making a mess as it happens. It catches all the dripping and you can put your tools on it too. My husband does the handling of jars and i put the food in the jar. My hands cant handle the heat as his can. If they all dont seal then i recommend dumping the jars out and freezing instead as it may take some practice on getting this down pat! haha. Just kidding. Give it a go. If for some reason down the line if you smell something rank coming from your pantry the first thing to look for you may have an unsealed jar that has gone bad. It has happened maybe two or three times in all the years we have been canning. It happens. Dont ask me how something can become unsealed over time as i have no clue. Good luck. I hope this helps someone. If any one has questions please just let me know. I know that some foods have to be done the old fashioned way but i dont know those ways.

  10. I have always made my own apple pie filling, because I was taught as a child by my mom, a master at pie-baking. I like the idea of freezing or canning for future use, though – I would bake more often for my pie-loving husband! Thanks to Suzanne, too, for the canning tips.

  11. what kind of apples work best for this filling recipe?

  12. Can you use frozen apples to make this recipe? If so, should the apples be thawed first? Thank you!

  13. This was my first time ever making apple pie filling and out of the multitude of recipes available online I chose this one.

    I am very happy with my choice and the results. This recipe was both easy and delicious. Thank you so much.

  14. Yes, yes, yes !!! This was SO much better than anything in a can ever dreamed of being. I always pondered that there had to be a way to make this from scratch but never slowed down long enough to figure it out….thank you so much.

    I made a double batch, half went to the freezer, the other on top of yummy buttermilk Sunday morning pancakes. I see a future home a top waffles, ice cream, oatmeal, stirred in vanilla yogurt and just eaten with a spoon : )

  15. Could you use this in apple cobbler

  16. Was excited to see this option for next years abundance of apples but then saw they only last for one month in the freezer.  Is this is typo?  

  17. What an easy recipe. I made it and put in small pie tins with a little cool whip. Oh my they were delicious!!!
    Thank you for the recipe……

  18. Will this recipe make enough filling for one or two pies?

  19. Crazy good! Made a double batch and the family ate half of it as dessert right of the stove top. Better than fatz spiced apples. Thank you for posting!

  20. This filling was perfect! Can not wait to make it again for a different dessert!!

  21. Wonderful!!  Because I used several kinds of apples: Granny Smith, Pink Ladies, and Honey Crisp.  I had to add a little more sugar, and a pinch more of cinnamon.  I also used a whole lemon, as I had more than 4 cups of apples.   But it turned out scrupulous!!! Thank you!!!

  22. this was delicious, I made it to use in a yogurt parfait, with vanilla yogurt and granola, yummy!

  23. I made it work Thanksgiving and took leftovers to work. It is how being requested at work for our Christmas party! Amazing recipe. 🙂

  24. Great recipe!! How do I keep my filling from congealing when it cools? Maybe less cornstarch? I’m making this for church tonight but after it gets cold, it congeals. Thanks.

  25. Easy peeeezy – great filling for cinnamon roll crust pie. 

  26. Dorothy – this recipe is both amazing and super simple. I had recently made a pie dish – Sugar Cookie Apple Crumble Cheesecake Pie (see it on my blog), which had originally called for a canned apple pie filling. I elected to instead substitute that for your recipe here (wanting to make as much of the dish from scratch), and the results were astounding!

    Your apple pie filling will definitely be getting Incorporated in other pie dishes in the near future, that’s for sure! Thank you!

  27. I’ll never buy a can of apple filling again. My daughter is a huge fan of apple pie! This filling is quick, easy and has my entire house smelling so great! Takes me back to holidays with my grandma!! Thank you so much!!

  28. I just made this but used brown sugar instead… Nommmm
    Making pie!

  29. Cooking this right now and will wait until it is completely done but so far the taste test tells me there is too much sugar and nutmeg.

  30. This is honestly the best apple filling ever! So delicious and classic, i have to use this again! 

  31. I absolutely love how this recipe came out! We needed to get rid of a bunch of apples and I figured a pie would be a good way. This recipe is simple and very easy to make yielding great results. Seriously, a bite of the filling and I’m debating whether it’s actually going to make it to the pie. 

  32. This recipe is on point!. Love it. It was easy to make. My family enjoyed it. Makes for a wonderful pie. Ummm good!

  33. So easy and so good!

  34. After you freeze it how do you cook it in the pie crust? Do you thaw it out first?

  35. I just tried this today, and it’s literally sitting in my fridge now. Didn’t have time to go to the store, so I went into my pantry and improvised! Used cloves instead of nutmeg. That’s what I get for using it all in my most recent pumpkin pie, haha. Flour worked nicely still, as I was also out of cornstarch.
    I tried it while it was warm and it was so divine and delicious. I can’t wait to make a pie with this apple filling. I think my boyfriend is going to LOVE it. Thanks so much Dorothy for this wonderful recipe! I will have to get my nutmeg and cornstarch for next time.

  36. Question, instead of the water and spices, could I get away with using Apple Cider? I have a bag of apples I wanted to use and excuse to make my favorite cider mix… 

  37. Can you can this recipe? I use Macintosh apples for my Apple Pie. But, they are only in AZ for a very short time. I was hoping I might be able to can them. Will you please let me know? Thank you.

  38. I am a bachelor, and love making jams, cobbler, strudel, and pie. I hate using recipes but love the ideas I get from reading them. I have been very successful using my own unconventional ideas. I never have very much to work with so I fly by the seat of my pants. I have got a really nice idea from this apple pie filling. I will be making two home made Dutch apple pies with my favorite Gala apples. The granny smith apple is something I will try sometime at about 10 percent. Thank you for helping me make my weekend baking much more fun. I love the late summer and harvest fall for jams and strudel. Cheers.

  39. What a great recipe!!! I hated making apple pies, (my families favorite) until now. Thank you, Thank you for sharing your ideas!!

  40. Great recipe. Made it with my boys. We added a tsp of nutmeg and 1/2 stick of unsalted butter. We removed 4 tbs of water. Also, we used tapioca instead of cornstarch. The flavor is great and you get a little puckery kick in the jaw area.

  41. Amazing! Best apple pie I’ve mad yet. Added some more apples than the recipe, but kept everything else the same. 5 stars 👍

  42. Do i have to refrigerator to cool before putting in my pie and if so how long before i can put in crust n bake

  43. Taste like grandma used to make

  44. I have never ever made pie filling before so I was a little nervous. But this recipe was so easy and delicious! I will be making this all the time. Thank you so much for allowing me to channel my inner food network star!

  45. Tried this recipe and its by far the best apple filling ever.. sooo tasty. delicious

  46. This recipe works so well! It’s really easy to make your own and is a very easy recipe to flow. I make this every time I have to go see relatives and they all love it! Kudos to the author for making such a great recipe!🥳

Leave a Comment »