The Only Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe You Will Ever Need

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homemade apple pie filling in lattice work pie with slice out of it next to red and green apples

Apples just seem to overflow here at our homestead. And thankfully so! One of my favorite memories of growing apples is the day those little red beauties are fully ripe and ready to pick. That’s the day I know my busy canning and baking season begins and my home will smell gloriously of all things apple, including homemade apple pie filling. An excellent staple to have on the pantry shelf, apples are easy to can and put up, and best of all…delicious!

In a crisis, the type that all Survival Moms prep and plan for, comfort foods will be so appreciated by everyone in the family. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of your family when you pull a hot apple pie or apple cobbler out of the oven while you’re hunkered down weathering a particularly bad storm or some other crisis?

Comfort foods are more important than we realize.

Canning Apples for Food Storage

Each year, we can huge quantities of applesauce, make apple butter for the grandparents, and dehydrate apple chips. However, far and away our favorite way to preserve all the beautiful apples we get in the fall is homemade apple pie filling! No matter how much we make, there can never be enough for our family and friends.

I can seasonally and in bulk to keep my pantry shelves stocked. This also gives me a chance to teach my children the art of canning and have shelf-stable (delicious) foods on hand, at the ready. This helps me use sales and in-season foods at the best price and quality while keeping the pantry stocked.

Apples are so versatile that we came up with 27 Things You Can Do With Apples.

Now, it’s prime time to finish canning those apples and stock your pantry from scratch!

Homemade Apple Pie Filling!

I love to have this super simple, yet very delicious, pie filling on my pantry shelf. It’s easy to can and makes for effortless desserts all year long. What’s not to love?

Here’s my recipe for apple pie filling.


  • 18 cups of your favorite canning apples, peeled & sliced (about 6 lbs.)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 8 cups water


In a large bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

Set aside. In a large pot, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. It will start to thicken up.

Add your apples and return to a boil. (You may want to drain off some of the lemon juice, but some folks think it adds a nice flavor.) Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Remember to stir OFTEN. You don’t want this to burn!

Have your canner, quart jars, and lids hot and ready. Pack each jar with filling, leaving headspace, one inch from the top.

Process in your water bath canner for 20 minutes. This makes about 5 – 6 quarts. Carefully remove your jars from the canner. Set your jars on a towel, counter, or table for 24 hours, then line your pantry shelf!

Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor

You’ve just made it so simple for yourself to have a homemade dessert ready in minutes for your family, to take to a family in need, or that last-minute congregation or family gathering. We use this as a base ingredient to make apple pies, crisps, ice cream topping, dump cakes, etc., etc.–in minutes. Apple pie filling always makes a welcome gift, too.

What are your favorite ways to use homemade apple pie filling?

10 thoughts on “The Only Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe You Will Ever Need”

  1. Lisa – does your filling ever separate using regular cornstarch? I have always used Clear Jel, cook type to prevent separating of the solidified liquids.

  2. Hi Linda,

    I’ve never had a problem with separation at all. I’ve always used cornstarch– but have heard good things about Clear Jel too. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Dixie,

    You surely can use Clear-Gel, which is cornstarch based..(albeit GMO, modified, etc) …I choose not to. I’ve canned with non GMO organic cornstarch for years and it works wonderfully. There are a lot of choices for thickening our jams, pie fillings, etc., out there….it’s a matter of choice. I am OVERLY safety cautious when it comes to my canning processes….and I always use organic, non GMO vs GMO–every time.

    The FDA likes to push a lot of regulations, tell us what they think we should do, and lead us to believe the sky is falling if we don’t. I don’t buy into it. Such a blessing to live in American and have that choice. 🙂

    Happy Canning!

  4. I have been looking for a homemade apple (well, fruit) pie filling for a few years, but we have a family member with corn allergies. Have you ever used something else besides cornstarch or ClearJel? The alternatives I can think of: arrowroot, tapioca starch and the like.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Honestly, it’s so good–I’ve never had it last long enough to tell you– I know it’s lasted a year– but my family clears it off the shelf so quick, I’m not SURE on how far past that 😉


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