Learn how to make apple pie filling for home canning. This is the absolute best canned food recipe!
My mother-in-law is the queen of canning. She grows the most amazing garden and has a shed full of homemade preserves. I love visiting her house and wish I could follow her around for a few weeks with a notebook in hand.
This apple pie filling is one of her most sought-after recipes. When she hands you a jar of canned apple pie filling, you feel like you’ve won the lottery! It makes the tastiest apple pie and apple crisp. Once you get this, things from the store taste like nothing.
It’s so good that I finally got her to teach me how to make it, and today I’m sharing everything you need to know to make canned apple pie filling at home too!
First, let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need. Here is a chart based on how many liters you want to bottle.
|INGREDIENT||To make 1 Quart||To make 7 Quarts|
|Fresh sliced apples||3 1/2 cups||6 litres|
|Granulated sugar||3/4 cup + 2 tbsp||5 1/2 cups|
|Klar Jel A||1/4 cup||1 1/2 cups|
|Cinnamon||1/2 tsp||1 tablespoon|
|Cold water||1/2 cup||2 1/2 cups|
|Apple juice||3/4 cup||5 cups|
|Bottled lemon juice||2 tablespoons||3/4 cup|
One quart of canned pie filling makes an 8-9 inch pie. The amounts of sugar and spices can be changed slightly based on the sweetness of the fruit you use and personal preference. NOT vary the amount of lemon juice as it helps control the safety and shelf life of the filling.
You can buy Clear Jel A in the canned goods section of your local grocery store or online. Here is a list for Clear Gel on Amazon.
What types of apples are best for canning?
Whatever type of apples you grow in your garden are the best because they are what you have! But in a perfect world, it’s best to mix at least two varieties for a more complex and well-rounded apple flavor. Granny Smith apples are wonderful mixed with a sweeter, crisp apple like Fuji or Braeburn or Honeycrisp.
Other supplies needed:
- Large mixing bowl
- Quart jars, rings and (NEW) lids (I prefer wide mouth jars)
- Water bath Canner with Rack
- Apple peelers (Optional, but it makes peeling quick!)
- Canning funnel with wide mouth, jar lifter and magnetic lid lifter
Preparatory work before you start with the apples: Wash jars. Prepare lid according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Prepare the apples and make the filling
Step 1: Wash, peel and core apples. I use the peeling tool to peel but not cut because I prefer thicker slices. Cut slices 1/2 wide and place in a very large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Mix sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, water and apple juice in a large saucepan. Stir and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Add lemon juice and cook the sauce for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Step 3: Pour sauce over apples and mix together. Immediately fill the jars with the mixture and process immediately.
Fill fruit mixture into jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a damp cloth. Put on the lid, tighten the screw bands and process.
To Process in a boiling water container: Preheat canning container half-filled with water to 180 degrees F. Place sealed jars into canning rack and lower by handles; or fill one jar at a time with a jar lifter on the rack in the container. If necessary, add water to a level of one inch above the jars and cover. When the water is boiling vigorously, lower the heat to maintain a gentle boil and process for the recommended time based on the height in this chart:
|Altitude 0-1000 feet:||25 minutes|
|Elevation 1001-3000 feet:||30 minutes|
|Elevation 3000-6000 feet:||35 minutes|
After processing is complete, remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter and place them on a towel or rack. DO NOT PULL SCREW TAPES. Air cool the jars for 12-24 hours. Remove the screw bands and check the lid seals. A jar is sealed if the center of the lid is indented and does not move when pressed.
Wash, dry and label jars with contents and date box. Store in a cool, clean, dark place.
If a jar did not seal properly, examine it and replace the lid. Process again as before. Wash screw tape and store separately. Fillings are best if used within 1 year and safe as long as the lid remains vacuum sealed.
If you like this post, check out my post on how to can can green beans.