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Making and Canning Apple Pie Filling

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This apple pie filling recipe is easy to make and can at home. If not canning or to test the recipe, use one quart recipe instructions to make one apple pie and substitute the ClearJel® with flour. See note below for alternative to using ClearJel®.

Always select blemish free apples. We always prefer organic fruit without pesticides.

Note: There are four cups in a quart. Measurements are made before apples are boiled and softened, which will reduce the volume of the apples before canning. Quantites will vary depending on the size of the apples and their water content. For 7 quart canners, we recommend using the 8 quart recipe and then using any leftovers to make a pie or tart.

ClearJel® is recommended by the USDA as a thickener for canned pie filling. ClearJel® is a modified cornstarch, which does not break down in acid food mixtures and does not thicken enough during heat processing to interfere with the intended effect of the heat on killing bacteria during canning. It is preferred for thickening canned pie fillings as well as other foods over other corn starches because it has less or no aftertaste and leaves the thickened juices smooth and clear.

As an alternative to using ClearJel®, you may can the pie filling without the thickener and add flour in after opening using one of two methods;

  1. Bring the pie filling and flour to a simmer, stirring constantly until it has simmered five minutes and then bake pie as instructed on the following page.
  2. Or, heat equal parts of butter and flour in the microwave until the butter is melted. Mix well and then stir it into the pie filling before baking.
 
Ingredients for Quart Jars

Per Quart

(32 oz.) Jar

6 Quarts

8 Quarts 10 Quarts 12 Quarts
Large Apples (about 1 apple per cup) 5 cups 30 cups 40 cups 50 cups 60 cups
Granulated Sugar (may be reduced to 1/2 cup per quart) 3/4 cup 4-1/2 cups 6 cups 7-1/2 cups 9 cups
Nutmeg (Optional) 1/4 tsp. 1-1/2 tsp. 2 tsp. 2-1/2 tsp. 1 Tbsp.
Cinnamon (Optional) 1/4 tsp. 1-1/2 tsp. 2 tsp. 2-1/2 tsp. 1 Tbsp.
Water 1/4 cup 1-1/2 cups 2 cups 2-1/2 cups 3 cups
Apple Juice 3/4 cup 4-1/2 cups 6 cups 7-1/2 cups 9 cups
ClearJel® 1/4 cup 1-1/2 cups 2 cups 2-1/2 cups 3 cups
Lemon Juice (Optional for tartness) 2 Tbsp. 3/4 cup 1 cup 1-1/4 cups 1-1/2 cups
  1. Peel and core apples.
  1. Cut apples into 8 to 10 wedges, measuring into cups and then placing fruit in bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or an ascorbic acid solution (1 Teaspoon ascorbic acid or 3000 mg well-crushed Vitamin C Tables per gallon of water) to avoid browning until ready to boil.
  2. Combine water, spices, sugar, apple juice and ClearJel® in a large, heavy pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring continuously until it begins to thicken.
  3. If adding lemon juice for tartness, add and simmer for one minute.
  4. Drain lemon water from apples.
  5. Fold in fruit to boiling water and bring up to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until fruit begins to soften.
  6. Canning using hot pack method with 1" of headspace.
  7. Processing with a Water Bath for 30 minutes for quart jars, at 212 degrees.
  8. For elevations above 1,000 foot level see Altitude Time Adjustments.
  9. After processing, place the jars on a towel, separated by 1" to cool.
  10. Labeling and Storing

We recommend including baking instructions on canning jar labels.

  1. After opening, bake a covered or uncovered pie, using a 9" pie crust. For uncovered, place dabs of butter on top of the fruit. Optionally, you may mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream to the pie filling after opening and before baking.
  2. Bake at 425° F for 1/2 hour and then reduce temperature to 350° and bake 1/2 hour longer.

This recipe is adapted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

Equipment Needed:

Making Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Video 2: Home Canning Fruit, Home Canning Pie Filling

The second step in learning to can at home continues with the use of a waterbath canner.

You will learn to home can fruit in syrup or to can fruit pie filling.


Peel, quarter and remove the seeds.Combine water, spices, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a large, heavy pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring continuously to avoid lumping of cornstarch.Add fruit and bring up to simmer, cooking for about five minutes, stirring continuously.
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