Homesteading · Preserving · Recipes · Urban Homesteading

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling takes a little planning, as you will need to order the thickening agent in advance. It isn’t easy to find in stores, so online shopping is your friend. You don’t want to use corn starch to thicken when canning, it breaks down during the processing. However, Clear Jel is easy to use (and designed for canning!), I use a version of it called Ultra Gel, which is gluten-free and non-GMO. However, use what version you prefer. Either will work. I made this batch with the Honeycrisp apples we grew…


The recipe I adapted from page 170 in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.


Apple Pie Filling


  • 12 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples*
  • 2¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup Ultra Gel or ClearJel
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1¼ cups cold water
  • 2½ cups unsweetened apple juice
  • ½ cup lemon juice


*Fill a large bowl with cold water and a large splash of lemon juice. As you slice the apples, put them in the water to stop browning.

Fill a canning kettle halfway with water, add in 7 mason jars, filling as needed with water to submerge. Bring to a boil. In a saucepan full of water, heat the bands and lids till simmering, then turn off and let sit.

In a large pot combine the sugar, Ultra Gel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and apple juice, whisking well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, drain apple slices, and fold apples into hot mixture. Return to heat, and make sure apples are warmed before canning (it takes just a minute or two).

Meanwhile, lay out a clean kitchen towel, drain jars and place on it. Sterilize a canning funnel, ladle, and air bubble removal tool.

Pack hot filling onto prepared jars. Run tool around inside edge to remove air bubbles. Add in more filling until you have a 1” inch head space. Wipe down rims with a dampened new paper towel. Put on a new canning lid, screw on a band until finger-tip tight.

Return jars to canning kettle, submerge canning rack, making sure water covers jars. Return to a boil, process covered for 25 minutes. Take off heat, remove lid, and let rest for 5 minutes. Take out, place on a cooling rack covered with a clean kitchen towel. Let cool, check seals for being flat. If any flex, store it in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

Store in a cool and dark spot for up to a year.

Makes 7 pints.