Canning apple pie filling at home means you’re just minutes away from having a pie in the oven. The apples are already peeled, chopped, seasoned and thickened. That allows you to just pour the pre-made apple pie filling into your favorite crust and bake. Next time you need something quick for a potluck, you can still bring a homemade apple pie.
It’s a beautiful fall day in Vermont and I spent the day at a pick your own orchard with my kids gathering the apples for canning apple pie filling. We normally have plenty of homegrown apples, but our trees took the year off this year which offered the perfect excuse to take in the scenery at one of Vermont’s loveliest fall attractions.
As we’re checking out, I glance over to see that I’m not the only one that had the same idea. The orchard was selling their own canned apple pie filling.
I know canning apple pie filling takes a lot of work, but $13 a jar seemed like quite a bit for one pie. Thinking on it though, a grocery store or farmer’s market apple pie costs about $20 to buy. In the end, canning my own did save quite a bit of money, assuming my labor is free. Each quart jar took about 3 pounds of apples (at $1 per pound) plus a tiny bit of sugar and spices, and I got paid for my labor canning in the savings. Good thing I love canning, so I get paid to do what I love!
While many people bemoan canning as “a lot of work” really it just prepares food to make homecooked meals simpler later on. Instead of peeling apples for a pie that needed to be in the oven an hour ago, you’ve already done the work and canned up all that effort for home-cooked delicious when you need it.
Personally, I think it’s easier to peel a bushel of apples all at once when I have the time than to try clearing counter space on a busy weeknight. I get in a groove that way, and it’s just one mess to clean up. Still, it only took me about 20 to 30 minutes to peel, core and slice the 12 cups of apples I needed for this canner batch of apple pie filling.
Blanching Apples for Pie Filling
After peeling and chopping, the next step is blanching the apples. It seems a bit strange to pre-cook apples that are going to be canned and then baked into a pie, but bear with me here. It’s a quick one minute blanch that mostly serves to pre-heat the apples and drive off the air within the fruit.
When you raw pack for canning, the fruit always floats because it contains a surprising amount of air in its tissues. Toss the sliced apples into boiling water and you’ll see just what I mean. The water will stop boiling when the cool apples go in, but the apples themselves will bubble.
All that air would have been taking up space in your canning jars, but now you’ll have extra apple flavor instead.
Once the apple slices are blanched, they’ll have lost a substantial portion of their total volume. Starting with 12 cups of sliced apples blanched in two batches of 6 cups each, I would guess that I ended up with roughly 9 cups of blanched apple slices. They were only about 2/3 the way up the sides of a bowl they’d previously filled, though they retained their shape and color beautifully.
After they’re removed from the boiling water, the apple slices need to stay warm. I placed them into a thick-sided bowl and covered it with a kitchen plate while making the rest of the filling.
Making Apple Pie Filling for Canning
The apple slices can’t go into the canning jars alone, but canning them in water or syrup would needlessly draw out their flavor. They’re canned in a pre-thickened gel made with sugar, spices and clear jel. While you can use flour to thicken regular pie filling, it won’t do for canned pie filling. Clear gel is a special type of cornstarch that flows while it’s hot, but sets up nicely once it’s cooled.
Clear gel can be heated and cooled multiple times, meaning that it can be put up in canning jars and then baked into a beautiful homemade apple pie later. There are two types of clear gel, so be sure you get the cooking type clear gel for canning apple pie filling.
The filling liquid consists of clear jel, sugar, spices, apple juice, lemon juice, and water. All of those ingredients (except the lemon juice) are added into a pot and simmered until it begins to thicken. Then the lemon juice is added, and the mixture is returned to a boil for 1 more minute. After that, the hot blanched apples are mixed back into the pie filling liquid.
Working quickly, pack the apple pie filling into canning jars (pints or quarts) leaving 1 inch of headspace. It’s important to remove air bubbles at this step before applying two-part canning lids.
Once the jars are filled and lids attached, the apple pie filling is canned in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. At that point, turn off the stove and allow the jars to sit for an additional 5 minutes. This extra 5 minutes is really important!
I know, it seems silly, but if the jars are still boiling hot when they’re removed, the apple pie filling is at a high risk of siphoning.
Leaking Apple Pie Filling Jars (Siphoning)
What is siphoning? It’s a loss of liquid in canning, and in this case, it’s a loss of hot gelled pie filling liquid. The rapid temperature change when the hot jars hit the air can cause hot pie filling to erupt out of the top and it makes a huge hot sticky mess. The jars will likely still seal, and if they do they’re still fine to store at room temperature.
Just wait for them to cool completely, check the seals and clean off any sticky pie filling on the outside.
I’ve never had anything else siphon on me during canning, except apple pie filling. Even other canned pie fillings, like my homemade peach pie filling, never have issues. Look up articles about siphoning during canning and they almost always mention apple pie filling. It’s notorious for this problem.
To prevent siphoning, really work to remove the air bubbles within the jar, and make sure you leave an ample 1-inch headspace. Then, once the canning time is up, allow the jars to sit for at least 5 minutes (maybe 10 to be safe) before removing them from the water bath canner.
If you’re extra careful, siphoning doesn’t have to be a problem when canning apple pie filling. Once your jars are cooled to room temperature and you’ve checked seals, they’re ready for storage at room temperature. It takes roughly one quart plus one pint of canned apple pie filling to fill a standard-sized apple pie, or two full quarts for a heaping or deep-dish pie.
For small batches, you can put up pint jars as well, and they work wonderfully for apple turnovers or as a pancake topping. I like to use it as part of my apple pie shortbread bars.
A note on choosing apples for pie filling…the apple needs to be a firm apple that doesn’t break down during cooking. Any apple that’s “good for applesauce” is not as good as a pie apple. My favorite apple for pies is Honeycrisp, and that’s what I’m using here. They have plenty of acid, which balances the sweetness and they hold together really well during cooking.
For more ideas, check out this list of the best apples for apple pie.
This recipe for home-canned apple pie filling comes from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which is my go-to resource for safe canning recipes. I reduced the cinnamon from 1 1/2 teaspoons per batch to 1/2 a teaspoon because I like a less cinnamon heavy pie, but feel free to use the full amount if you’re a big fan of cinnamon.
If you have a serious bumper crop of apples, I wrote another article that covers more than 30 ways to preserve apples, both historical and modern. This apple pie filling canning recipe is just one tasty option, but there are more ways to put up apples!
Canning Apple Pie Filling
This simple recipe for home canned apple pie filling lets you put up everything you need to fill a pie in a hurry. Apple pie filling is also great on pancakes, over cheesecake or in cookie bars.
- 12 cups apple slices, peeled, cored and splashed with lemon juice to prevent browning
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup ClearJel , Cook Type
- 1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cups lemon juice, plus more for treating raw apple slices
- Prepare a water bath canner, canning jars and lids.
- Peel, core and slice apples. Splash lemon juice on the slices as you go to prevent browning (you'll still need a full 1/2 cup of lemon juice to add to the filling at the end, even though some is used here).
- In two batches of 6 cups each, blanch apple slices in a small amount (roughly 1 quart) of boiling water for 1 minute. Strain apple slices and keep them covered and warm while you prepare the filling.
- Mix all remaining ingredients EXCEPT LEMON JUICE in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then add the lemon juice. Return to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the hot blanched apple slices and stir to incorporate them.
- Fill canning jars (quarts or pints), leaving 1 full inch of headspace. Be careful to remove air bubbles and adjust headspace before capping with 2 part canning lids.
- Adjust lids to finger tight and process in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. Turn off the canner and allow the jars to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them.
- Allow the jars to cool to room temperature before checking seals. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks. Sealed jars will keep in the pantry for up to 18 months (possibly longer).
Recipe yields 7 pints (or 3 quarts and one pint).
Apple Canning Recipes
Looking for more tasty canning recipes? There are so many ways to jar up apples this fall…
How long does this last on the shelf?
In theory, ball canning lids are now guaranteed for 18 months. I’ve had it on the shelf for a full year and didn’t notice a difference in quality, so I’d guess it’d keep for quite a long time.
Trish Lefner Stone
Hi there, Is there enough lemon juice in this recipe to be sure to prevent botulism? Will it get the ph high enough? Thanks!
This canning recipe is a tested recipe approved by the national center for food preservation. I have not personally tested it for safety, but this is the recipe that they put out as having the right acid levels and process time.
I love this recipe. Works great for me!
It is a bit sweetie than I’d like, could I reduce the sugar and it still work?
Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes. Will be trying the blueberry one next!
Yes, this one is quite sweet. The USDA says you can reduce sugar in pie filling recipes as much as you’d like and not impact safety. The only thing you really can’t touch is the lemon juice quantity, but you can cut the sugar all you want.
Is lemon necessary? I dont have lemon on hand and live out of town. Will it just make my apples change colors?
Pre-treating the apple slices to prevent browning is not necessary, that’s just cosmetic. However, the 1/2 cup of lemon juice in the recipe is required and cannot be skipped. That helps acidify the mix to make it safe for canning, and from experience, I can say that it also helps to activate the clear jel. That stuff really jels quick as soon as the lemon goes in.
Thank you for this!! I just canned 5 Litres (Quarts) of crabapple pie filling and each jar had leakage while cooling. This was my first attempt at canning pie filling, so the sight of leakage caused a lot of worry and second guessing myself. Absolutely no warnings about siphoning in the recipe used or instructions about leaving the jars to sit in the water bath for time before removing. Your post and photos have given me plenty of reassurance…..most grateful to you!!! I now look forward to canning another batch and perfecting the process.
Wonderful, so glad I could help!
Can this recipe be doubled?
I honestly wouldn’t suggest it. While I do double a lot of recipes in my canning kitchen, this one was tricky to get everything into the jars before things got too thick to work with. The clear gel sets up pretty quick, and it’s really hard to de-bubble the last few jars. If you double it, I imagine you’d either end up burning it on the stove try to keep it warm while you worked or have an impossible time with bubbles on the last few jars. That’s just a guess.
If you do end up trying it for whatever reason, I’d love to hear how it goes for you, but personally I’d just do a second batch while the first batch is in the canner.
Thank you for this recipe, I took the chance and tripled this recipe . I had numerous pots cooking away, It came out actually really nice.
I’m glad you liked it!
I was able to double it no problem!
Good to know!
Does this also work for pears? Can’t wait to try this out. Your recipe looks very thorough.
I imagine it would work for pears, since they’re very similar to apples and can be canned as slices without issue. Don’t use asian pears, the canning instructions on those are different. More info on that here: https://practicalselfreliance.com/canning-asian-pears/
I found this recipe a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since in fact made 13 quarts today never had a siphoning problem thank goodness great recipe
Would it make much of a difference if I used a mixture of brown sugar and white sugar?
As far as I know, you can use brown sugar in place of the white sugar (or some portion of it) in this recipe and it’s still an approved recipe. Similarly, maple or honey should work too. I haven’t tried those, but they theoretically shouldn’t have any effect on whether or not it’s a safe canning recipe, and they should only impact flavor (as I said though, this is just as far as I know).
My son hates sliced apples… Autism is a funny thing sometimes. My last 2 batches went untouched by him, which made him sad because he helped pick the apples…. So… If I use a good pie apple, do you think dicing them would make them disintegrate?
They really hold together surprisingly well and the Honeycrisp apples I used came out quite firm, even after canning AND baking into a pie. If you use a good apple that’s not a pie apple and has a firm texture, dicing would work perfectly well. Good luck!
I was wondering if I could use xanthan gum as a replacement for the Clear Jel… Would that work?
Honestly, I have no idea if it’d work. It’s not something that’s been tested for canning safety, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re canning. I do use arrowroot to make apple pie fillings (when not canning) and I’d imagine that’d work well, but like I said for xantham gum, it’s not tested for canning safety.
I found a recipe for canning apple pie filling, but not sure about it. You don’t cook the apples, it says to prepare them and fill canning jars with the raw apples and push them down as much as you can, then pour the syrup on top of them, and process. I’ve done this but my pie filling has about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the jars. Are they still good, and what causes the liquid at the bottom?
The next time I make apple pie filling I’m using your recipe, sounds so much better than the one I just used.
So the recipe you describe is canning apple slices in syrup rather than an apple pie filling (even though the author may call it apple pie filling). It’d still need thickening when it goes into the pie, and often they provide instructions that have you strain the liquid into a pan when you open them and thicken it with cornstarch. Then pour the apple slices in, toss to coat in the thickened sugar/apple syrup and then put that into the pie. It’s less ready to use canned good, and not so great for spooning on top of pancakes and such. I like the ready to use type, which is why I do it the way I do.
Can I use fruit pectin in place of sure-gel?
I am wondering this as well!
Can I use apple cider instead of apple juice?
Yes, you sure can.
I’ve seen many recipes that call for water instead of apple juice Would this switch up the taste if we substituted the apple juice for the water?
I use a bit of each, and I’ve found that using all apple juice resulted in a pretty intense taste. Using all water, was as you might expect, watery.
I’ve trued adding the clear gel to cold liquid and hot, but am experiencing clumping on both. I don’t notice in the final stage after adding the apples but am I doing something wrong.
Figured out my problem. Wrong clear gel used. Will have to wait for mail order to get the correct one this time.. Apples will hopefully last the two weeks it is going to take. Love the recipe.
New to canning. Used this recipe but I think I did something wrong. I followed the measurement on everything but ended up with 3 at. And 8 1/2 pints. I put the 1/2 in the frige and it was not thick. They look pretty. But just worried that having more means it won’t be quite right.
Apples are tricky, and depending on the variety some shrink during blanching more than others, and measuring sliced apples is tricky too since there’s air in the measuring cup. Having slightly more (or slightly less) than the yield I mention is totally fine. Enjoy!
Fantastic step by step guidance, advice and recipe! My biggest hurdle was getting the clear jel powder delivered in time before the apples went bad. Cannot wait to explore the rest of your site. Thank you again for taking the time to share.
Sharon. E. Newsome
As long as it’s sealed, it is good. The syrup is heavier than the apples. I use a recipe similar to what you’re describing.
If I wanted one jar of filling per 10″ pie, what sized jar would I need?
For a 10” pie, I’d actually suggest two one-quart jars of filling. It can’t be canned in jars bigger than quart, so you’re not going to make it with just one jar. For a 9” pie, I use a quart and a pint.
Hi Ms. Ashley, I’m in a discussion with my husband, we’re going to try your peach pie recipe with the Clear Gel for the first time. We decided to do some apple pie filling later this fall, too. My husband is calculating how many additional jars we’ll need and is wondering how are you able to fit a quart and a pint of apple pie filling into a 9” pie plate? Does the Clear Gel thicken the apple pie filling so you can mound it up? My Lodge cast iron pie plate holds 3 cups of water and is about 1/4” left from the top. He doesn’t think it will be possible to put 6 cups of filling. Help me before I strangle him. :o)
Yes, the pie filling will mound up in the pie plate but you can certainly just use a quart if you wish.
Recipe please for pie with canned apple filling. Temp and time.
I don’t know what I did wrong but I did not get nearly 7 qts I got just over four qts… I measured out over 12 cups of apples so I’m not sure what I did wrong is this going to be a problem with too much fell when I pour them in to my pie?? First time doing this and just spent over two hours peeling dicing and all the prep for four qts…..
I am wondering if it has to do with the kinds of apples you used. Maybe they cooked down too much.
The recipes says it makes 7 pints, not 7 quarts. Sounds like you got just about what it said. Maybe a little over.
Awesome instructions! My apple tree isn’t old enough to bear fruit yet, do you have to do anything special to store bought apples prior to the recipe, considering everything that’s done to them for preservation?
Other than washing them to remove any wax/pesticide, they should be the same as homegrown. Even that may not be entirely necessary if you’re peeling the apples, but it never hurts to wash them anyway. So to answer your question simply, there’s nothing different between storebought and homegrown for this recipe.
Can you use sure jell liquid fruit pectin in this recipe?
Possibly, but it’d be a very different thing (more of a chunky apple jam rather than a pie filling) and it likely wouldn’t stay thick after baking. The clear gel is designed to be reheated multiple times so you can can it and then bake it into a pie without issue.
Just found this response, thank you!
I’m having trouble finding clear gel anywhere. They don’t have any on Amazon any suggestions?
You can buy it direct from Hoosier hill farm (the maker of it), try their website.
Can I use erythritol in place of sugar to make the filling?
Yes, that should still work.
Hi, just made this and I’m so exited. Do you have any recommendations on how long to have it sit or can you use right away? Thank you!
You can use it right away or store it long-term for up to 18 months.
How many pounds of apples does it take to get the 12 cups of apples?
One pound should equal about three cups of chopped or sliced apples.
I am unable to copy your recipe for apple pie filling you can. Can you send to my e-mail please.
If you click the “print” button within the recipe, you’ll have the option to save it to your computer or print it.
I found clear jell at my natural food store. They have two kinds. I stand and non instant. Which one do I used for this recipe?
You would want the non-instant kind which is the kind that you have to cook. Instant clear jel will thicken as soon as it hits liquid and you definitely don’t want that.
While this does not apply to this recipe.
Instant gels are for freezer jams & fresh fruit pie that is not generally cooked (like strawberry pie).
Instant ClearJel will thicken fruit without baking. To make a delicious fresh berry pie, cut up the berries, and sprinkle it with sugar. Let sit for about 20 minutes, until the juices start to collect in the bottom of the bowl. Mix the instant ClearJel with more sugar, and stir it with the fruit. Pour thickened filling into a cooled pre-baked pie shell
I made apple pie filling and the lids did not seal can I redo and the ones I did and can them again ?I put in fridge. .
You can reprocess jars that don’t seal. It’s probably a little late for that now but you will at least know for the future.
Hi — Guessing I’ve made a mistake. I couldn’t find Clear Jel in our local Hannaford, so I bought liquid Sure Jel. Mistake?
Thank you for all of your great recipes — I enjoy following you so much, and just put up my first batch of blueberry jam today!
Hoping you and your family are safe and well,
Clear Jel and Sure Jel are not the same thing and Sure Jel is a pectin and is not suitable for pie fillings. Here is a link that I found from the Iowa State Extension Office that explains in more detail. https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2020/08/25/clear-jel-vs-sure-jel/#:~:text=Clear%20Jel%20and%20Sure%20Jell%20are%20trade%20names%20of%20two,found%20among%20the%20canning%20supplies.
Any idea how many pounds of whole apples will give you 12 cups peeled , cored and sliced?l
I’ve never weighed them, so I’m not sure. A cup of sliced, cored, and peeled apples is roughly one apple per cup, but apple sizes can vary.
I have an Apple corer/cutter that I use for apple sauce, would that size work for the pie filling or would they be too thin and get mushy?? I really hate to core and peel each one by hand 😂
That may well work, if you use a good crisp apple that holds up to cooking.
Can’t find Clearjel & no time to order it. Can I use cornstarch or Chia seeds? Thanks
Cornstarch and chia seeds are both no good for canning. They change how heat flows through the jar and it won’t can safely that way. Without clear jel, I’d suggest just canning them as apple slices and then thickening the liquid once you open the jar and are going to make pie.
Is it possible to substitute Clear jell powder with something elseIf not, what are other brands that are otter brands that are suitable for this recipe?
Hi Maryna. The Clear Jell is the only thing that I am aware of that is approved for safe canning procedures.
Larry D Houdek
Made my first batch of apple pie filling. I followed the recipe for the sauce, but used about 15 cups of Honeycrisp apples. I ended up with 3 quarts and a small dish full. I thought that there would be plenty for 4 quarts. Any ideas why?
Hmm…maybe they packed much tighter since you used a peeler/corer? That makes much thinner slices. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure…
Larry D Houdek
Oh, as a side note I used an apple peeler and corer. The slices held up well.
Wonderful, good to know!
Larry D Houdek
Just finished my second batch of apple pie filling. did 18 cups of apples but only the amount of sauce suggested in the recipe. Ended up with 8 pints and a small dish left over. Is it permissible to increase the sauce to accommodate more apples?
The only problem that you might have with that is that it may be difficult to get it all in the jars before it starts to thicken up.
Larry D Houdek
Just wondering if using the clear jell for lemon pies will it prevent the “bleeding” of the filling? Every lemon pie I have made bleeds water after a day or so.
Are you canning the lemon pie filling?
I would like to know if we can use less ClearJel in the recipe ? Will that be changing the pH ou just the texture of the filling ? Thank you for your answer! Can’t wait to try the recipe!!!
Hi Roxanne, in order to practice safe canning procedures, you really need to follow the recipe as written.
Could you substitute corn starch if you don’t have Clear Jel?
Unfortunately, no. According to the USDA: “There is no substitution for ClearJel that can be made in these recipes. This means do not use other corn starch, flour, tapioca, or other thickener in our recipes. You also must use ClearJel and not Instant ClearJel, ClearJel A, any other form of ClearJel, or any other modified corn starch.”
When it is time to make the pie, how long and at what temperature is best for baking it?
Try preheating your oven to 425 and baking for about 40 to 50 minutes.
I peel and core my apples and then vaccum seal them and freeze. Can I use these apples once they are thawed out.
You could try it and see how it works. It’s possible that it might affect the texture though.
Could I use my pressure canner instead of water bath method?
I don’t believe there is a tested time for pressure canners and apple pie filling. If you want to use a pressure canner, you can always can the apples as slices and then make it into filling right before baking your pie.
I followed your recipe and while the filling tastes great once baked into a pie, it’s not as firm as I expected. The filling ‘escapes’ from the crust. Have you ever had this issue?
What kind of apples did you use?
How hot does the water bath canner need to be? Boiling the whole time? Med-high? Low?. Start warm put the cans in and let it heat up?. This recipe looks like the best one and is easy to read. Thanks
You want your canner to be boiling vigorously during the entire processing time. Your apple pie filling will be very hot when it goes into the jars so there is no need to let the water heat up after you add the jars. You can add the jars to the boiling water.
Can I use apple cider in place of apple juice? If so, would the amount be the same?
You can absolutely use the cider in place of the juice. I think the flavor would be great. You can just use the same amount.
I didn’t use lemon juice! Can I freeze the filling?
As I was filling my jars I noticed my mixture cooled down quite a bit. It was still warm when I filled the last jar. Should I empty all my jars heat it back up and reprocess?
As long as you were able to get it all in the jars and get the bubbles out without it thickening up on you too much, you should be fine.
Janis L Shillington
Just made six quarts today! I followed your directions exactly and opted for the 10 minutes standing time. Perfect!!! I had a few bites leftover, and it was phenomenal! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and instructions!
You’re very welcome. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
This recipe is perfect! I made my first pie with it today. I wanted to try it out before canning more apple pie filling in case I didn’t like it. No worries on that front. It is a 2 YUMS up recipe! I used Gravenstein apples for my filling. Make sure you don’t overfill the jars. I know….I know….you warned us and I am an experienced canner so I should have known better, but for the first batch I had sticky filling leaking all over the place. That was my mistake. I made a second batch and it was perfect. I got 3 one litre jars from the recipe. A one litre jar is the perfect amount for one pie. This was my first time using cooked clear jel and it worked great!
That’s great! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
WARNING: LONG, GEEKY POST AHEAD!
First, THANK YOU for using the Ball approved recipe! Cooking is an art; preserving is a science, and nobody wants a shiny jar of botulism for Christmas. Clearjel is weird and fun; i look forward to playing with it more!
Now, on to siphoning, which i’ve never had to deal with before. THANK YOU for the heads-up about headspace. I gave mine plenty, 1″ each for 2 qts and a pt (coulda maybe made a 3rd qt, but i didn’t want to screw around repacking). I babysat them like a basket of sticky new puppies. Offed the heat, forgot ’em for almost 20 mins (poor puppies), pulled the lid, still saw a bubble or 2 rising from the jars, left ’em submerged for another 5 mins; they sealed as soon as i lifted ’em. This morning when i removed the bands, no siphoning, but check out this physics: 1 qt had a wide mouth; it kept 1/4″ headspace. The pint had a reg mouth, but since it’s a pint, and half the overall volume of expanding goo, and the mouth is _relatively_ large, a nice 1/4″ of room there. 2nd qt had a reg mouth (hey, have you tried to find lids lately?! it’s what i had) and there’s ZERO space. Sealed, but it squeezed right to the top (and may have wept a drop or 2 into the canner, but i couldn’t tell). Less air-volume in a reg mouth is going to give you less food-expansion room. If you must use a reg mouth qt, maybe give an extra 1/4″ space (dicey prospect), or allow a bit more more cooling time in the bath, like maybe 15-20 mins instead of 5-10.
Final observation: no need to acidify the apples before blanching. My mix of wild apples browned even in acidulated water during prep, but the blanching chelated them right back to white. Thanks again!
Awesome, good to know about the regular mouth jars. I only have a handful of those, almost all Widemouth so I probably never would have known without the heads up!
I can a lot and this recipe is wonderful. The directions, especially blanching the apples, really helped the end product to be wonderful. I made three batches and every one turned out perfect. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.
I’m so glad you liked this recipe, Wendy!
I made a batch of just the sauce and canned it since one of my family members has issues with texture. One of the jars didn’t seal so I let it cool overnight in the garage and put it in the fridge. Is it still okay to eat? It probably sat out for 10 hrs or so before going into the fridge.
If it were me, I would probably eat it.
I made this and it is delicious – and your tutorial really helped.
Question: With your peach and cherry pie fillings, you use juice or cooking liquid/juice to make the gel Is there a reason you don’t use apple juice or cider in place of the water here?
I took this recipe from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It does have 2 1/2 cups of apple juice in it already but you could certainly add more if you wish.
Hi there I made this a couple months ago. All my jars sealed just fine. I just went to use one and noticed that they were no longer jelled. The filling is all liquid and there is mold in the top. Any idea as to what I did wrong?
I’ve had them lose their gel too…but only when I forgot them in the pantry for several years (like literally 3-4 years). It sounds like it was only a couple months ago, and the mold thing…that’s a tricky one. I imagine there was something faulty about that seal given the mold. I did a bit of research, and mold in canned goods can be caused by a number of things.
“Mold growth can indicate a poor vacuum, a weak seal, contamination along the jar rim, too little headspace, or under-processing.” https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5592
I’ve also read that too much headspace can result in mold issues.
My best guess is there was some problem that caused the jar to mold, and then the mold changed the pH in the jar and caused it to lose gel. Either way, definitely throw it out, and try to troubleshoot what could have possibly been the cause of the mold.
I used this recipe to make 3 batches this year and they all came out phenomenal. I would highly recommend using sweet cider instead of standard apple juice as it makes the apple taste that much stronger. Added some vanilla too and 1/8 tsp cloves instead of the nutmeg but not everyone likes cloves in their apple pie. 😉
Thank you for the amazing recipe and thorough instructions which haven’t failed me for all 3 batches!
Wonderful, so glad you enjoyed it!
Oh my goodness, this was delicious! What an amazing recipe. I used fresh ground nutmeg and fuji apples since they were $.75 versus honeycrisp that were $2.25. I wish I had weighed the apples though. I sliced way too many of them and then didn’t put enough into the pot for a full pint. I ended up with 3 quarts and 1/2 pint. Now we’re suffering by eating it plain. 😉 I will definitely be making this many times again. Thank you for sharing!
Too funny! I bet you really suffered through that. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
I found this recipe many years ago when I started to can my apples instead of freezing. This is the best recipe
to use for I had tried others but waiting on apples to come in so can finish up my canning season. My shelves
are all loaded down with lots of canned goods for family and all to enjoy. Been baking pies since before going
to school. Faster to bake then cook a full meal. My husband and family, friends always want me to bake pies!!
I made a batch of this canned pie filling and it looks fantastic! I am eager to use it when the holidays roll around. I do have one concern however. I noticed when I removed my jars from the hot water bath that there weren’t little bubbles rising to the top inside the jars, like I usually see. They seem to have sealed well. Should I reprocess them?
As long as you followed the recipe and processed them for the correct amount of time and they are sealed they should be just fine.
My 2nd batch: packed quart jars only 3/4 full; all emerged from canner nicely full and safely sealed.
My 1st batch: packed quart jars to usual max fill line (“oh, I’m sure this will be fine, and I want a jar to fill a small pie…”) ; all jars siphoned or poorly sealed.
DO! what Ashley says and then some: leave LOTS MUCHO TONS of head room in the jars. This filling expands a lot more than most in the bath (in my perspective from bath/pressure canning two decades). Better to use and open more jars per pie than lose your work or see it rot.
Thank you so much for sharing that!
Loved the taste, but my pie did not hold together. I used empire apples that were crunchy and firm. When I cut into pie the filling just spilled out. Could not get a clean slice. Any suggestions for the next batch?
You may want to let it cool a bit before slicing. The clear gel is designed to flow when hot and thicken as it cools.
Mine was cooled and refrigerated until the next day!?
Did you use the cooking kind of clear gel and not the instant?
I made this recipe a couple of days ago, and made a pie the next day, because we were all anxious to try it. It thickened up fine, canned fine, looks beautiful, tastes wonderful. My question is…after baking, it’s runny. What happened? What should I do to fix it?
Clear Gel is designed to flow when hot and thicken as it cools.
We didn’t eat it until 20 hours later.
Ok so it was definitely cooled then. And you bought the type of clear jel that is made for cooking and not the instant type?
Correct. Label reads : Clear Jel Powder, Non-GMO Cooktype
Can I just pour it into a pan and thicken it and them pour in the pie shell?
Yes I would give that a try and see how it works.
Can you use Sure jell instead of the Clearjel? I can’t find it in my grocery store. We only have one where I live,
Clear Jel and Sure Jel are not the same thing and Sure Jel is a pectin and is not suitable for pie fillings. Here is a link that I found from the Iowa State Extension Office that explains in more detail. https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2020/08/25/clear-jel-vs-sure-jel/#:~:text=Clear%20Jel%20and%20Sure%20Jell%20are%20trade%20names%20of%20two,found%20among%20the%20canning%20supplies.
Just got into canning and excited to try! Trader Joes has a yummy sparkling apple juice. I wonder if I could use that instead of regular apple juice?
I’m not sure about that. I haven’t heard of anyone using a sparkling juice before. If something like that hasn’t been tested for safety, I wouldn’t recommend it. Also there’s a good chance that the flavor and certainly the carbonation wouldn’t come through in your final product.
I am so excited to try this canning recipe. I had to look up if the processing times for pints and quarts were the same or different. I do not know if anyone else has asked this question before. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation it is the same.
I have read the comments and questions posted by other canners, and jotted down their questions, your tips, & any tips they found to help onto my print out. I am hoping to work on slicing up the bushel of Liberty apples I have in the next day or two. Just canned the last my applesauce apples today from remaining 1/3 of bushel of apples. I agree with you on peeling, slicing and coring 1 or 1/2 bushel of apples at a time is easier than prepping X pounds needed for 1 batch. I think if I soak the slices in the lemon water, drain slices then store in an air tight container, I can prep the apple slices for each batch a day or part of the day ahead of needing to blanch and prep the filling part. I did purchased the ClearJel from the link on this webpage. Fingers crossed everything turns out ok, because I still have pumpkins and winter squash to can next and running low on jars! The family requested more canned green beans, tomatoes and applesauce than I planned out!
I am a frequent pie baker, for those who commented about runny pies after the pie have cooled and had been cut, they might want to add 1 tablespoon of flour, tapioca or cornstarch to help with the thickening post baking, cooling and cutting into the pie from their home canned pie filling. I add a minimum of 1 tablespoon of tapioca to store bought pie filling, even the apple filling. I hate having to clean up bubbled over pie filling off my oven spill catch mat. I found using a pie/quiche standing sealer after cutting any pie and removing a slice of two, helps keep the filling from spilling out into the empty space. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X9A756/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This was a wonderful tutorial and recipe. I made two batches, one after the other. All sealed and no siphoning. I had to lick the ladle when finished filling the jars. So delicious! Thanks for the very detailed instruction!!!
You’re very welcome. We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Just a tip… If you fill your jar to the top of where the jar starts to curve inwards towards the neck, there will be a much less chance of siphoning. One homesteader I know calls it “the sweet spot” and she’d be right! ❤️
I have read all the comments. Sounds like following the recipe works perfectly. I am questioning the directions on the Clear Jel container versus the directions in the recipe. The container says to add the jel to boiling liquid. This recipe states to mix everything together (except for lemon) and then bring to a boil. Just double checking!
Did you double-check to make sure that you have the cook type of Clear Jel?
Yes. “NONGMO Cooktype”. Just found it concerning g to have two different sets of directions.
I did make it the way you state, and had no problems with it. Baking a pie right now to see how it tastes!
That’s great. Thanks for sharing. It’s possible that both methods will work just fine. Hope you enjoy your pie.
Apple juice is very near the ph of 5% vinegar so it is safe to use in this recipe. So by adding 1/2 cup of lemon juice makes this a very safe recipe.
thanks for the helpful information. I canned 2 double batches using half brown sugar and half white. The consistency and taste were perfect. couple things I found helpful I put the lemon juice in a spray bottle and ever so often as I added to my bowl of peeled, sliced apples I just gave it a couple misting squirts lot easier than trying to sprinkle them with lemon juice. the one thing I had problem with was I had a couple jars were the lids popped off in the canner one I got back on and reprocessed the other I made apple cobbler out of. what I found out was all my name brand kerr or ball jars did not have any problem but the non-name brand that I got and used during covid-19 when jars were hard to get would not hold the rings even new ones. So my warning is if you have any non-name brand jars check the rings to make sure they sinch down tight before using them mine are just a little bit off.
Thanks for sharing. We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Hello, I just canned my first apple pie filling. I am very new to canning. I used a different recipe, sad to say, and I canned them in my pressure canner, not a water bath. When I pulled them out, the filling and apples separated. The filling is on bottom and apples are on top. How did that happen?
It’s hard to say without seeing the recipe that you used but it could be the recipe or the pressure canning that caused the separation. Water bath processing is the only tested and approved method for preserving apple pie filling.
I made this this morning, and it is delicious. I doubled the recipe, and everything worked out great. Thanks for the great recipes. Since I have discovered your website, I have spent a small fortune. My new bread machine arrived yesterday (thanks for those recipes). I had no idea I needed a bread machine but apparently, I do and to be honest I can’t wait to use it. My 57 books I ordered based on your recommendations have been arriving steadily all week. The Foxfire collection arrived today, if my husband figures out what that cost, he’s going to have a stroke. I’m scared to start reading about making my own wine. As much as I want to, I afraid that is a rabbit hole I’m not ready for yet. I will be the next drunk bread maker if I get into that too. Anyway, you are amazing, and I hope you are staying warm up there in the cold country. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks again for being you and sharing all of your knowledge with us.
Your comment made me chuckle. You’re very welcome and thanks for sharing.
I doubled this and got 7 quarts and one pint. This thickened up a lot!
At first I read this as twelve pounds, not 12 cups. I had nine pounds prepared before I realized. So because I doubled it, I used 24 cups which worked out to just over six pounds.
I used the maximum amount of cinnamon. I didn’t have apple juice, so I used some of the water I boiled the apples in.
Hoping this turns out.
Sounds great! I hope you enjoy it. Let us know how it turns out.
ALRIGHT!! I doubled this recipe. I used the water from boiling the apples as I do not have apple juice. The flavor is spot on, and amazing.
I used granny smith apples from my yard. I ended up getting 7 quarts and one pint. Used the pint this morning to make apple pastry and holy cow, delicious!
That’s wonderful. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
I made this but unfortunately my apples all floated. Perhaps I didn’t blanch them for long enough. Now the apples on top are out of the canning liquid. Will it be okay?
Did you make the apple pie filling or did you do a raw pack? The issue with apples floating usually happens with a raw pack. The clear gel in this recipe typically thickens them up enough that floating isn’t a problem.
now that you mentioned it the jars where my apples floated were the ones I made with out clear jel since I didn’t have any and I thickened it with corn starch after opening the jar when makeing the pie still turned out good.
OK, you should be fine. I would use those up first since the ones that are above the liquid might discolor a bit but as long as you followed proper canning procedures, it should still be safe to eat.
I had that also but when I opened and used it still worked out great and tasted great. so I wouldn’t be concerned about it