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Apple Pie Filling for Canning

Quart canning jars with apple pie filling on a table.

You'll hear a distinctive 'pop' when the jars seal. Then it is safe to remove the outer rings. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

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
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
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