canned apple pie filling

So you know all those apples we picked at Wilson’s Orchard? Well the other day I canned about half of them into apple filling. And it was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a while.

The thing about canned apple filling is that you can use it in apple pie and a million other things. Not that you need to though, because apple pie is amazing (it almost trumps pumpkin pie). But c’mon… apple crisp, apple bars, caramel apple cheesecake, apple tarts, apple cupcakes, apple pie ice cream… I could go on.

canned apple pie filling

And if the word “canning” scares you, stop it. Just stop, because that’s ridiculous. I think we’re all a little afraid of canning because we all grew up knowing at least one person in our family who canned and it was always a multi-day task. That consumed the entire kitchen. And required the entire family’s participation (ahem, mom… grandma… ).

Just know that if you’re buying your produce by the bushel, then yes by all means save it for a weekend and trick all your extended relatives into helping – but if you’re buying by the pound? Heck, Thursday after dinner will be plenty of time.

ΔΔ To start,  combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and water into a large stock pot and bring to a boil until it’s thick and syrupy. Stir frequently. Resist the urge to drink it with a straw. ΔΔ

ΔΔ While your syrup simmers: crank up some Alanis Morissette and peel, core, and slice six pounds of apples. Disperse them into your jars (I used wide-mouth pint jars). Pack ’em but leave no less than one inch of space at the top* – trust me, you don’t want these to overflow when they’re trying to seal. ΔΔ

canned apple pie filling

ΔΔ Use a soup ladle or measuring cup to distribute the syrup into each jar. Use a knife or spatula to release air bubbles*. This can be tricky but it’s important. ΔΔ

canned apple pie filling

ΔΔ Then wipe the mason jars down to make sure your lids are being set on a perfectly clean surface*, add the rings, and set them in your water bath. ΔΔ

*I highly recommend reading the Food in Jars blog for some great tips and recipes. And if you’re a first-time canner, read their Canning 101 series.

canned apple pie filling

Now, would you like the recipe??

what you need:

  • 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon concentrate
  • 6 pounds of apples

the how to: 

  • In a large stock pot combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and water. Bring to a boil and stir frequently until it’s thick and syrupy. Once thick enough, remove from heat and add lemon concentrate.
  • Sterilize jars, lids, and rings** (I run my jars and rings through the sterilize cycle on my dishwasher and leave them in there until I’m ready for them – this way they stay hot – and I boil my lids in a small pot of water.).
  • Peel, core, slice, and pack the apples into your prepped jars (leave no less than 1 inch of space at the top).
  • Fill each jar with the hot syrup (leaving no less than 1 inch of space at the top) and use a knife or spatula to release air bubbles.
  • Wipe the jar rims with a clean washcloth, set prepped lids on top, and gently add rings to secure them in place (don’t put them on too tight, the general rule is to only turn them to “finger tight.”).
  • Set jars in the hot water bath and boil pint jars for 15 minutes*** / quart jars for 20 minutes***.

**Tips on sterilizing canning jars, lids, and rings here.

***See additional jar sizes and boil times here.

tell me…

If you’re into canning: what’s your favorite thing to can?

– or –

If you’ve never canned before but want to: what fruit or veggie are you most interested in canning first? 


recipe adapted from Rhonda


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