Canning Apple Pie Filling

adapted from National Center for Home Food Preservation

Makes 7 quarts


6 quarts peeled, cored and sliced fresh apples – blanched
5 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ½ cups cold water
5 cups apple cider
¾ cups bottled lemon juice, plus more for the apple slices


1. We used a mix of Fiji and Cortland apples. MacIntosh also taste delicious. Use whatever apples you prefer for your apple pie fillings.

2. Place a very large stock-pot on the stovetop and fill with 1 gallon of water. Turn on the heat to medium high to begin to bring it to a boil.

3. In a separate large pot mix the sugar, spices, cornstarch, water and apple cider and set aside.

4. Wash, peel and core the apples. Slice them into pieces ¼ to ½-inch thick and place them in a bowl containing a solutaion of ¼ cup lemon juice mixed with 1 quart water. Once all of the apples have been peeled and sliced, drain the lemon juice solution and place 6 cups of the slices at a time into the stockpot with the boiling water. Boil for 1 minute once the water has returned to a boil. Use a handheld strainer to scoop out the slices and place them in heatproof bowls and cover them with clean cotton kitchen towels. Repeat this process with all of the slices.

5. When the apple slices are finished blanching turn the heat on under the pot with the apple cider mixture to bring it to a boil, stirring frequently. Also, at this time it is a good idea to fill up the pot you plan to use for processing the jars and begin to bring that water to a boil as well since it will take a while.

6. As the cider solution begins to warm up stir it frequently until it begins to bubble. Add the lemon juice and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Carefully add in the warm apple slices and fold them into the thickened cider solution with a wide spatula. Remove the pot from the heat and set it on a heatproof surface next to the canning rack with the sterilized jars.

7. Carefully ladle the mixture into each jar until full, leaving 1-inch headspace at the top. Wipe the tops of the jars clean with a kitchen towel, place the lids on, followed by the rims and tighten them with your hand. Tighten them only as much as you can do with your own strength, do not try to force it to be super-tight.

8. Lower the canning rack full of the jars into the boiling water to process. See the altitude/processing time chart below to determine the appropriate processing time for your location. Once the jars have processed, remove them from the boiling water and place them in a cool, dry place and cover them with a kitchen towel. Let them rest, undisturbed for at least 12 hours, or until all the seals have formed and the jars are completely cool.

*Processing time for pint or quart jars: 0 – 1000ft: 25 minutes, 1001-3000ft: 30 minutes, 3001 – 6000ft: 30 minutes, Above 6000 feet: 40 minutes

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This pie filling will fill a classic double crust apple pie!

Naptime Stopwatch

2 hours with two people

Naptime Reviews

We’ve already made one pie it was a huge hit. I look forward to making another one at Christmas!

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