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Canning apple pie filling will let you be able to make and enjoy apple pies year round, even when apples are not in season. If you have an apple tree orchard, learning how to can apple pie filling will help you make sure not a single apple goes to waste!

Like most fruits, apples are acidic in nature which means you can safely prepare the filling in a water bath canner and they do not require to be cooked in a pressure canner.
The secret to a fantastic apple pie is using a variety of apples. The best apples for pie filling are naturally sweeter varieties, typically Jonathan, McIntosh, and Fuji, though others will work. Typically I will use equal amounts of any of those apples in addition to Red Delicious apples.

Some people will add in their flavorings such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other ingredients, but I like to simply just can the apples in a light syrup as it is more likely to give you consistently good results and also allows you more freedom to experiment with more recipes and seasonings later on. A lot of recipes ask for cornstarch also, which does not work well for canning, and modified cornstarch such as Clear-Jel just doesn’t seem like it belongs in something as good and natural as pie! Also, with so many people having food allergies anymore, it’s best to not add any type o f corn or wheat products if they are not really necessary. (If you need a good recipe for allergy friendly pie crust, check out this gluten free pie crust recipe)

Here is what you will need to make 7 quart sized jars:

19 pounds of Apples (use sweet varieties for best)
Ascorbic Acid for Soaking
Water for soaking
10-1/2 cups of water
1-1/4 cups of sugar
Canning Supplies

Step 1: Gather Materials: It is always a good idea to have all of your materials ready before you get started. You should sterilize your jars and lids and keep lids hot. You will also want to peel, core, and slice your apples. (There are a number of nifty gadgets for peeling and coring apples, check out these apple peeler corer slicers.) Make sure you soak your apples in a solution of ascorbic acid to prevent discoloration.

Step 2: Prepare the Apples: You will first want to make a syrup solution using the 10 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/4 cups of sugar. To do this, dissolve the sugar in the water while bringing to a boil and stirring frequently. Once it is boiling, add your apples to the mixture and bring back to a boil. Once your apples are boiled, you are ready to use a funnel and pack them into jars. This is called hot packing and it is recommended for the best results. Make sure that you leave a 1/2 inch of headspace in the jar and seal with lids.

Step 3: Process: Apples can be processed in a water bath canner, which is convenient and easier for many people who do not own a pressure canner. However, if you do have a pressure canner and like using it, you may, and it will actually save you about 10 minutes of cooking time. This helpful reference chart below will give you an idea of how long to process your apple pie filling while canning to make sure the jars will properly seal.

 

Altitude Chart for Processing With Pressure Canner
Type of Gauge Processing Time Under 1000 ft 1000-2000 ft 2000-4000ft 4000-6000 ft Above 6000 feet
Weighted 8 min 5 10 10 10 10
Dial 8 min 6 6 7 8 9

Step 4: Allow to Cool: It is very important that you allow your jars to cool in a place where they will not be interrupted for at least 24 hours so they can finish sealing. Do not be tempted to tighten rings as this could potentially cause the seal to break.

Now that you know the basics of canning apple pie filling, you’ll be ready to have your favorite apple pie recipe any time! Plan for about 2 quarts per pie, depending of course on size.

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