Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

DIY Home Canned Apple Pie Filling in a Jar. These are perfect to have on hand during apple season or when you crave an apple pie, crisp or cobbler.   
A couple weeks back I had mentioned on Facebook that I found a steal of a deal on apples at my local Kroger. Anytime I'm in Kroger, I always make a point to stop by the reduced produce bins just to see what they have. Some days there isn't anything and some days you hit the jackpot like with these apples.

Most folks don't like the reduced section, but I love it!! You can stumble upon some awesome unexpected bargains. I think most people just don't know what to do with all those ripe fruits and veggies. A few may have some bumps and bruises on them, but they're still fine to use. Folks just don't realize how much of it you can freeze or transform into something new. 

I always keep a eye out for oranges, cuties, zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers, bananas and apples. For bananas you can chunk them up and freeze them for smoothies or banana bread. Squash and zucchini can be shredded and frozen for zucchini bread or muffins. Green bell peppers are always so pricey that when I see them in the clearance bin I jump on it so I can make Stuffed Peppers.

And apples well the possibilities are endless you can freeze them or you can take them home and transform them into homemade applesauce, apple butter, apple pie jam or apple pie Filling. I was so excited to snag 2 bags of apple for $1.59 each! The wheels in my head were just spinning on what I could make with them. 

I was going back in forth from applesauce, apple pie to apple butter. It was just so hard to decide. Then it hit me apple pie fillin!!!! I've been wanting to try my hand at canning some Homemade Apple Pie FillingI had asked some of my face book fans what I should make and apple butter seemed to be the the favorite, but I just couldn't get that apple pie filling out of my head. So that was the recipe I settled on. 

I couldn't believe how many recipes there were online for canned apple pie filling. They all looked the same and had similar ingredients, so I just picked one. I have to say the whole process went a lot smoother than I thought and the hardest part was peeling all those apples. 

I've come to realize that I'm investing in one of those nifty apple peelersEspecially since we want to go apple picking this fall. If you have an apple peeler please let me know which you prefer a suction cup base or the ones that clamp onto the counter, because I'm not sure which one to purchase, so any help would be appreciated.

Back to the Apple Pie Filling!!! This recipe was a cinch to make and not time consuming at all. Just imagine being able to bake apple pies in a snap all year long with ready made canned filling!!!! You can also use this apple pie filling to make apple cobbler, apple crisp, apple flautas, or use it as a side dish for breakfast. I have so much fun canning to me its actually relaxing.
Here are the apples. I didn't have the full 6 pounds of apples so I cut the recipe in half and it turned out perfectly.

To start in a large pot, blend together sugar, clear jel, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the water and lemon juice and mix with a wire whisk.

Cook and stir until bubbly and thick; remove from heat

While the filling was cooking I sliced the apples and added them into a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration. Drain the fruit well before packing in jars.

Pack apples into clean, hot canning jars leaving an inch from the top of the jar. Fill with the hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch space from the top of the jar.

Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the insides of each jar. Close the jars with sterile lids and rims. Process quart size jars in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

Place the jars on a dish towel to dry and allow the jars to cool for several hours or overnight. Check the seals to make certain the lids are sealed properly. The pie filling will be dark in color until it has cooled down.

When completely cooled the color of the filling will lighten up. Enjoy!!!

Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

4  1/2 - cups sugar
1/2 cup - Clear Jel Starch
2 - teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 - teaspoon nutmeg
1 - teaspoon salt
3 - tablespoons lemon juice
10 - cups of water or half apple juice 
6 -8 pounds of tart apples, washed, peeled and sliced
(I used a combination of golden delicious and granny smith apples)

In a large pot, blend together sugar, clear gel, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 

Stir in the 10 cups of water or (5 cups water & 5 cups apple juice) and lemon juice with a wire whisk. Cook and stir until bubbly and thick; remove from heat.

While the filling is cooking peel and slice the apples. Add apples to a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration while you peel all the apples.

Drain the fruit well before packing in jars. Pack apples into clean, hot canning jars leaving an inch from the top of the jar.

Fill with the hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch space from the top of the jar. Remove air bubbles by running a knife around the insides of each jar. Close the jars with sterile lids and rims.

Process in a boiling water bath for 20 -30 minutes Use a jar tongs to remove the jars from water Place the jars on a dish towel to dry and allow the jars to cool for several hours.

Check the seals to make certain the lids are sealed properly (the lids should be lowered in the middle and not move up or down)

To prepare and bake the apple pie:
Pour 1 quart jar of home canned apple pie filling into an unbaked 8-9 inch pastry shell and dot with butter. Place top crust, trim and crimp the crust around the edges and then cut slits to vent the steam. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling

Recipe Yields: 3 quart size jars and one pint size.

Cook's Note: Clear Jel  is a modified food starch that is used as a thickening agent in canning recipes. It is most commonly used in home canned apple pie filling, but can also be used in other pie fillings, other preserves, home canned soups, etc. For canning, you want to use regular Clear - Jel (not Instant) each is clearly marked. Instant Clear - Jel thickens food without heat and does not work well with canning, because it breaks down when being heated for long periods of time.  

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Anonymous said... #

Just stumbled across your blog, and I gotta say, your apple pie filling looks just yummy!!! I never would have thought to can homemade pie filling!

I also love the canning process. This past Christmas I made Gingered Pear Preserves as gifts for my family.

Susan said... #

Looks Good! But I made a Peach Dumpling tonight... yummy...

the country cook said... #

YUM. I also love to can. My favorite thing is fresh fruit jam. I've made strawberry-cranberry, strawberry, sweet cherry, peach, blueberry-lime...the possibilities are awesome!

kitchen tables said... #

My kids love apples and they are going to like this. That is for sure! I can't wait to make some.

Heidi said... #

We've doing doing this in my family for a long time. It's great for cobbler too!

Sheila said... #

That looks so good--and easy. Some day I will get over my fear of canning!!

Kylee said... #

Congrats on being on tasty kitchens blog!!!!!!!! SO AWESOME

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Kylee I was so surprised when someone emailed me and told me about Tk. I love Ree and feel so honored that she thought one of my recipes was good enough to feature.

fourkidsmom said... #

I have a pampered chef apple peeler/corer/slicer and I love it. makes the apple job so much easier. Mine does not have the suction cup but does have a wooden stand so I don't have to attach it to my cabinets.

Erin | Bygone Living said... #

What a great idea!!

Leslie said... #

Good call on the apple pie filling..much more exciting than applesauce

Unknown said... #

Looks good! I'm going to try my hand at canning this year, and this is one of the recipes I'll be trying. Thanks for sharing. :)

The Beso Team said... #

Dear Tina,

Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up both your strawberry kool-aid Pie and the strawberry soda pop cake recipe with ease.
Thank You and Good Luck!
The Beso Team

Lynn said... #

Your apple pie filling looks wonderful! I love to can, too, and am also super excited to find a basket of apples, peaches, just about anything that I can play with. Last year a friend of my moms had gobs of extra Concord grapes, so she gave me five large bags full -- about 50 pounds -- and I made lots and lots of grape juice. Yum, we have been enjoying it all year. In fact, I think I'll go pour me some right now :) Thanks for sharing this apple pie filling post; that's something I've never made but I think next fall when the apples around here are ripe, I will.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Tina, what a wonderful recipe. I must admit that I've never canned anything but have always wanted to. I'm a fan of anything apple, especially apple pie so I will be trying this recipe of yours. Thanks.

Anonymous said... #

I have canned some over the years... I have never done Apple Pie Filling..
I canned yours... It looked just like your picture of it whenit was done..
I already made a pie out of it and it was so good... It's a great recipe... Now I am going to try the Peaches... Thanks

Candi said... #

I've canned a lot of things over the years but never apple pie filling. What a wonderful idea, my husbands favorite. Thanks so for sharing:)

Nikki said... #

So glad I found your blog! I have been searching for a good recipe for weeks and yours sounded like it would work best. I just canned 6 quarts of this apple pie filling today and it was super easy!
Thanks so much!

LaurieJeanne said... #

We made your apple pie filling last night. My apples shrunk so much that the bottom 1/3 of the jar is just filling! The jars were really packed before I added the filling liquid. Do you have any suggestions? It looks beautiful, though and I am looking forward to using it. Thanks!

Anonymous said... #

I'm excited to try your recipe. I'm working backwards, I've found recipes for apple jelly using cores and peels that I want to try so now I need to use some apples. :-)

Jake and Trisha Goodman said... #

How long would this stay good for after canned?

Tina Butler said... #

If canned properly they will last in you pantry for one year.

Unknown said... #

Hi - this looks so yummy! I think my favorite apple pie though is made with honey (I hate honey). It's not over sweet because you use 1/2 the honey you do sugar and it kind of has a different taste. It's wonderful.

I sent the recipe to a friend of mine, maybe I'll have her can up a few for me.

Tina "The Book Lady"

Anonymous said... #

Possibly you or one of your readers could help me. I learned to can with an old fashioned metal water bath canner. Unfortunately, my electric stove has an "energy saving feature" that will not get enough heat going to let that large a pot of water get to a rolling boil and keep it there. I have tried boiling separate smaller pots at the same time and then poured them into the canner, but it still won't get hot enough to keep a big pot boiling. Is there such a thing as an electric canner? Anyone have any ideas to help me? Thanks...

Anonymous said... #

Electric canner ?
Apple Pie filling..... ......this may help you... In your canning quart jar: 1/2 quart of water in microwave till boiling...Add all ingredients except apples...stir...repeat a couple of times until you think it is ready to add apples...rid air bubbles with knife around sides...somewhat a slow !

Theresa Palmer said... #

Was wondering how many quart jars this recipe makes... Love canning but hate when recipes never say how many they make because I either sterilize to many jars or not enough.. Thanks....

Tina @ Mommy's Kitchen said... #

This recipe made 3 quart size jars and one pint size. I used the smaller one to make apple dumplings.

Anonymous said... #

Hi there, I have Clear Jel. Can I use that insted of the cornstarch? And, if so, is it the same quantity? Thank you! This looks amazing.

Tina @ Mommys Kitchen said... #

I have never used clear gel so I could not comment on it. Here is a link on clear gel maybe that will help.

Anonymous said... #

I loved this recipe. It was so nice to pull a bottle out of the pantry and throw it into a pie crust. Viola!

I tried something similar with apricots. Its okay . . . but can't rave over it like the apple. Any chance you will experiment with apricot pie filling?

Kelli said... #

Thank you so much for sharing! I found you through Gooseberry after sharing a different recipe. I have been looking for a great pie filling recipe for awhile now! Great pics too :)

Weadock Family said... #

Just a quick comment about apple peelers. I've tried both kinds--the suction cup and the clamp. They both work really well if you have the perfect apple--perfect shape, perfect hardness. However, if the apple is a bit soft or isn't perfectly round, then forget it. The apple gets stuck and falls off and makes a horrible mess. It's much easier to just do it by hand. I currently have the Pampered Chef clamp kind and I'll probably never use it again. Sorry for the discouraging comment, but don't waste your money.

Abby said... #

One word for the apple pie filling: A. MAZE. ING. I was on a very strict diet when I made this, so I didn't get to taste one teeny bit. Now that I'm done with the diet, I made a few turnovers with the filling. I used store bought canned biscuits. We all LOVED it!!!! This is the BEST pie filling I have ever had / made!!!!!
Also, I read in the comments posted here that one lady used the peels from her apples to make jelly. I didn't see that 'til after I had gotten rid of mine, but when I made apple butter later, I used the peels to make jelly. It turned out great, and I was so excited to get TWICE my money's worth out of my apples!! :-)

c chambers said... #

I made this very same recipe, found online before I 'met' your blog! I was home from work, not feeling well, but by 3PM, I was feeling better and needed a 'pick-me-up'.. nothing does it like 'cooking'! LOL The recipe was so easy.. cornstarch, water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves.. EASY!! I used the abundance of 'pears' from our tree out front. I had already peeled and cored and didn't want them to go to waste. This was the perfect solution! I have used one of the jars to make a delicious pear pie! The rest I will give as Christmas Gifts! I hope they like it as much as I did. I WILL do it again. Going to try it with the apples I have now! Can't wait.

Anonymous said... #

just made this with some peaches i got at the farmers market. love it. but after i packed the peaches in the jars i have a lot of filling left. going to save it and hopefully i can find some apples on sale. we are also going to try it tomorrow on buck wheat pancakes as syrup. great recipe.

Marcy Armstrong said... #

How long does the apple pie filling stay good to use??? I have never canned anything and am new at it so was just wondering!

Tina Butler said... #

Properly home canned items are good up to one year after canning.

Anonymous said... #

The Best Apple Peeler A Have Bought (and I Have Had Many) Is The Starfrit Apple Peeler I Bought Mine From Amazon It Is Plastic (read easy to clean)With Suction Cups On The Bottom The Blade Is The Size Of A Razor Blade (read quick) It Does Not Eat Into Soft Apples. I Can Not Say Enough About How Great This Peeler Is

Anonymous said... #

I am so excited that I decided to try this apple pie filling. The recipe is SO amazing! I can't stop canning this. I started around Halloween and today I made 6 more quarts! I am going to give some away for Christmas presents, when the process is complete the jar of filling is so pretty. Whoever gets this present from me will be very, very lucky as I want to keep it all to myself! This is the best!

Anonymous said... #

A quick note to answer your question about apple peelers...I have two but still peel by hand. The first is my grandmother's old Rival Peel-O-Matic that clamps to the table and works ok but not great (I think new blades would help if I could get them). I bought a Pampered Chef Peeler, that also clamps to the table, thinking that it would be better. It's not! If you don't have the perfect shaped apple, or you're using drops, or a softer variety, it skips places and gums up. I end up having to "clean up" the apple with a paring knife anyway so it's just as quick and easy to peel by hand. That's not to say there aren't better ones out there, but I'm 0 for 2, so I'm sticking with a paring knife and apple corer/wedger.

NanaKate36 said... #

I have made this 2 times now and each time I have made a double batch! It is awsome and so easy! I use it for apple pies and apple crisp and upside down apple cake and oh I have to hide it so my husband dosen't just eat a jar of it! the only change I have made is I add a bit more cornstarch to it when I put it into a pie crust before baking! Extra cinnamon also sometimes!LOve it thankyou for sharing this!

Unknown said... #

I have recently found a new love of canning , myself and my husband have made strawberry, raspberry jam and this evening some redcurrant jelly. We really enjoy it. I have just found this via pinterest and was wondering how long do you think this will last in the jar? Was thinking this may make a lovely Xmas gift. (I'm making hampers) thank you

Anonymous said... #

No need to peel the apples if they are organic. The peels have a great texture after processing.

Mar said... #

You should use Clear-jel, not cornstarch for thickening, according to USDA. Use the same amounts as cornstarch.

Home canned goods will last several years, but are best quality if used within one year. I hate seeing people throw out perfectly good food just because somebody told them it is only good for one year. If the lids are still sealed and there is no sign of spoilage, it is still safe to use after 1, 2, or more years. Some things may darken but that is not a sign of spoilage.

Anything processed in either a BWB or pressure canner for more than 5 min. does not need sterilized jars.

The Martini Knitter said... #

I just wanted to say thanks for great post! I made your recipe this weekend and it's fantastic! Cheers, Sarah

Anonymous said... #

Try blackberry-plum...way better than either one alone!

Terina said... #

I thought I'd ask for help--trouble shooting ideas--I made this filling from apples we picked this year apple picking, followed the recipe/instructions to the letter save one substitution--I didn't have corn starch so I substituted tapioca starch, which cooks thesaurus recommended for pie fillings. I used quart jars, and all but one of them overflowed! I left the head space you suggested, but I think something must happen, like tapioca starch must have more expanding capability or something, because I took the lid off the canner to see my beautifully prepared jars spewing filling into the water like a leaky radiator! I was afraid to take them out actually,afraid they might literally explode. So bummed! I guess I'll be making a lot of pies, or freezing this filling. Help!

sue rock said... #

Suction peeler is great. Won't damage counter as clamp might. Doesn't slip.

Unknown said... #

Whats the lifespan on the canned Apple Pie filling?

Tina Butler said... #

I would say about 3-6 months when properly canned.

Unknown said... #

I try to avoid using refined sugar where possible. Do you think this recipe would work and be safe to can using 100% pure maple syrup or honey, instead of sugar?

Anonymous said... #

Just made this tonight. It waws very good. i also used nutmeg and cloves, and bit of extra cinnamon as that's the way I like my apple pies. Thank you so much for posting this. To think I was going to make applesauce! Jeesh! this is to @Anonymous #46 commenter: "I KNOW!! TRY plum & Peaches, plum raspberry, plum & Blueberry, plum strawberry, (plum w/lime & fresh grated ginger root is to die for) and then I made one mixing in of all of the above combos, even the ginger lime! Then do the same thing with peach jam...SO Awesome!! I don't think I can ever eat just plain single fruit jam anymore! In fact, I know I can't!

Unknown said... #

Do the apples darken a lot, should you add Ball's food protector to each quart, or is that what the lemon juice in the recipe is for ? Thanks

Anonymous said... #

I am so glad you have the recipe for canned apple pie, thank you so much. A neighbor of ours gave us a bunch of three different kinds of apples and I was just running out of things to do with them. So once again, thank you.

Anonymous said... #

Great apple crop this year so will try this recipe. Re: peeling apples: push the apple onto a drill bit and hold the peeler while the drill turns the apple. Saw a video of an actual chef peeling his apples in this manner.

Steffane said... #

I made this recipe and mine turned into a gel after sitting for a couple days. Is it supposed to do that? I'm afraid to use them because I'm afraid they've gone bad.

Tina Butler said... #

That is just the filling thickening up. As sugar cools from cooking it thickens up.

kelli said... #

think you can use honey instead of sugar?

Anonymous said... #

Ive tried this recipe and everytime I am done processing my apples turn to mush in the jar. Any suggestions?

Unknown said... #

Can you double this recipe?

Iammrsc said... #

I stumbled across your blog by searching for the baking time for my own home-canned apple pie filling. I only use Clear Gel, which the Ball book recommends. I bought 5# online last summer and will be using it for a couple more years, I'm sure! Your recipe looks similar - an tasty, too! By this time, I'm sure you've already purchased an apple peeler/corer/slicer. I have used both the suction cup type and the clamp, and I prefer the clamp...often, the suction cup loses its grip! I used to clamp my peeler in the dishwasher opening (with the door open), so all the extra juice would drip into the dishwasher and not on the floor. THEN I bought a cute little stand for it from Pampered Chef, and Viola! I wash the entire thing when I'm done and it fits nicely on a shelf, too. Thanks for the info!

Unknown said... #

So I made this and the last batch is processing now. I got twice as much as the recipe yields. Not sure if I ruined it? I am wondering if I didn't cook the sauce long enough. I did double the batch.

Unknown said... #

I am seeing that this recipe calls for clear gel. I could not find it anywhere (Small Town I guess) What would the equivalent cornstarch be?

Tina Butler said... #

Cornstarch is not recommended for canning homemade apple pie filling. If you are unable to find certo or ball pectin than you can use cornstarch or flour, but you will need to freeze the pie filling in gallon size zip lock bags.