Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Apple Pie Filling for Canning

Preserve the taste of autumn, and enjoy homemade apple pie any time of the year.

Be sure to place your hot jars on a towel, or a rack when you first remove them from the boiling water. That way you avoid thermal shock, which could crack your jars.

Canning apple pie filling in the fall, when apples are fresh and plentiful, makes your winter and summertime pie making a breeze. Kendra Brewer, Education Coordinator at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard offers a walk-through of all the steps in her Food Day demonstration.

She modified the recipe by omitting the Clear Jel. Clear Jel is the only thickener that is recommended for canning. Other types of thickener will not hold up to the canning process. You can skip it, and just add your thickener at the time you bake the pie, and use whichever type you prefer (cornstarch, flour, tapioca, etc.).  Check out this discussion on Clear Jel and where to find it.

This recipe comes from So Easy to Preserve from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. If you are not familiar with boiling water bath canning, we advise that you read this primer. If it is your first time canning, you can find everything you need to know in this document, Principles of Home Canning.

Apple Pie Filling for Canning

Yield: 7 Quarts


  • 6 quarts blanched, sliced fresh apples
  • 5-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup Clear Jel®
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 cups cold water
  • 5 cups apple juice
  • 3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)


  1. Wash, peel, and core apples.
  2. Prepare slices 1/2-inch wide and place in water containing lemon juice or ascorbic acid to prevent browning.
  3. Place 6 cups at a time in 1 gallon of boiling water.
  4. Boil each batch 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain, but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot.
  5. Combine sugar, Clear Jel®, and cinnamon in a large kettle with water and apple juice. If desired, nutmeg may be added. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  6. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Fold in drained apple slices immediately and fill jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 inch headspace.
  8. Adjust lids and process immediately for 25 min.

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media