Apple Pie Filling — For Canning

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This Apple Pie Filling — For Canning recipe is adapted from recipes contributed to us by Geneva Mock and Ashley Baugh. 

Yield: two pint jars, which is enough for one 9″ pie. To make more than that, multiply all ingredients by the number of jars you intend to make. If you are making more than two pints, be sure you use a sauce pan large enough to hold all the apple slices and bring them to a boil.

Apple Pie Filling — For Canning — Ingredients

5 cups apple slices
½ cup up to ¾ cup sugar (could be a combination of white and brown sugars) or ¼ cup up to ½ cup honey (I used ¼ cup honey with Gravenstein apples, which gave a perfect sweetness.)
1 teaspoon Pomona’s Pectin powder
3 Tablespoons water (up to 1/2 cup if apples aren’t very juicy)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon calcium water
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Apple Pie Filling — For Canning — Directions

1. Prepare 5 cups of apple slices. Set aside.

2. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.

3. Measure apple slices, water, lemon juice, calcium water, and spices into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently for several minutes until apple slices are thoroughly heated.

4. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring gently for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the mixture comes back up to a boil. Once the mixture returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

5. Funnel into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1” of headspace. Wipe the rims, put on hot lids, tighten the rings to finger-tip tight, place in boiling water-bath canner, and boil for 15 minutes at sea level. Add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Remove jars from canner and set on counter to cool. When completely cool, check seals; lids should be sucked down. Use within 1 year.

Important Note About Processing Time: The USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation have not yet established a safe processing time for quart jars of pie filling made with pectin. That is why we say to can this pie filling in pint jars.

You may also like: Blueberry Pie Filling or Cardamom Peach Pie Filling.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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22 thoughts on “Apple Pie Filling — For Canning

  1. May be a strange question but do you peel you apples for the pie filling? My mom didn’t and it was good. Just not sur in this recipe. I love Pomona and have been canning with it for about 7 years. Glad I found it when I wanted a low sugar alternative for our canning.

    • Hello Janet,

      Great question! We have done it both ways…just be sure that if you leave the peels on, that you wash them really well before-hand. Cheers!

    • Hello Terria,

      Thanks so much for choosing Pomona’s Pectin!

      Calcium water is the second part of our two part product. Instead of our pectin being activated by sugar, it is activated by calcium. Each of our order contains pectin (larger envelope) and monocalcium phosphate (smaller envelope). In the bottom left corner of our directions sheet are instructions for how to mix the calcium water (1/2 tsp calcium powder to 1/2 cup of water). You can find a copy of our directions here.

      The calcium water CANNOT be omitted from any of our recipes.


  2. I just started canning this year – am learning a lot, and am loving everything Pomona’s, as I follow a low sugar diet. Would I be able to adapt this recipe to other fruit pie fillings – I’m specifically thinking of peach and raspberry….?

    • Hi Isabel,
      For peach pie filling, see the Cardamom Peach Pie Filling Recipe on our website. You can leave out all the spices if you don’t want them.

      For raspberry pie filling, start with the Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe on our website. It would help you to read through all the comments at the bottom of the recipe as people have substituted many fruits. With raspberries, because they are acid enough, you don’t need to add the lemon juice and you may want to up the sugar amount a little since they aren’t as sweet as blueberries.

      I hope this helps. Glad you discovered Pomona’s!

    • Dear Roni,
      The differences between applesauce and the apple pie filling in our recipe are that there is pectin in the apple pie filling and no pectin in applesauce; also the pie filling is slices of apple versus mashed apple.

      The two issues we are aware of are:

      1. Overheating the pectin can de-activate it so processing for longer than 15 minutes is likely to cause that problem.

      2. The thickness of the fruit in the jar matters for heat penetration all the way through the fruit. Apparently this is different for mashed apples than for slices of apple.

      The Ball Blue Book recipes that we referred to use pint jars for canning pie filling, not quart jars.

      I hope this answers your question.

  3. Hi, I love Pomona’s. I use hard sweet apple cider for my pies.

    When I use fresh apples for a pie in season, I cook the apples slightly with the hard cider (2/3 c.) plus sugar and spices, and then add a little cornstarch mixed in a little more apple cider (1/3 c.) to thicken.

    For canning apple pie filling, I still cook the apples in a little hard cider instead of adding a bit of water, and then I follow the above recipe for adding lemon juice, calcium water and then the pectin mixed with sweetener. I used to freeze the apple slices/cider/sugar mix ready made for pies. Last year I did both canning the filling with Pomona’s and freezing. Canning the recipe was work but made a far superior pie. Better flavour! This year all my pie filling is going Pomona’s!

    • Dear Jolaine,
      Thank you so much for sharing your method and your experience with making apple pie filling with Pomona’s Pectin. We love to hear about the creative things that cooks do with Pomona’s.

      Your pie filling sounds quite delicious — I hope to try it one of these days now that apple season is here. Neither my sister nor I are big pie makers, but your way of doing it is enticing.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy pie filling making!

  4. What a great idea! I have access to free apples this time of year,and do baking once a month to raise funds for our S.P.C.A..This is a bonus .Thanks again for a great product.

  5. Such bummer!!!! We were so excited to put filling in jars instead of just freezing sliced apples. If we’re going to have to freeze it anyway, this isn’t worth bothering with! Just slice apples, freeze in ziploc bags, and toss them in a pie crust with a little sugar & cinnamon as if fresh, cover with the top crust, and you’re good to bake. They don’t have to thaw first! No need for the pectin (why would I put pectin in a pie?? That’s sort of weird anyway since apple pie sets up just fine as it cools!). Guess I’ll save the Pomona’s for more jam & jelly. I have been loving it for that — this is my first year using it and it’s been very satisfactory.

    • Hi JJ,
      We now know the proper processing time for pint jars of pie filling without ClearJel and have changed the recipe to reflect our new knowledge. It’s no longer necessary to freeze our pie fillings! But they do need to be canned in pint jars, not quart jars.

      • Yay! (I actually went ahead and canned mine anyway, assuming if i could can just apples and apple jelly it couldn’t be THAT dangerous!) I’m so glad it’s ‘official’.

        • Hello Michelle,

          Pints are just the suggestion, you could use quarts if you prefer. Some preservers like to use their “pie filling” for other things such as ice cream toppings, danishes, etc. so it is much easier to use up a pint in the appropriate time than it is to use up a quart.


  6. Just starting using Pomona’s Pectin for Jams and it! I also ordered the book Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin and can’t wait to try the recipes! Just finished making the Apple Pie Filling from the news letter, it’s wonderful!
    I’m a very satisfied customer..thank you so much for a great product!

  7. This is a fantastic idea. The apple orchards in my area are open for u-pick. One idea I’d like to try out is to use this recipe to freeze my apple pie filling. I’ll let you all know how that one works out. We have been canning with Pomona Pectin for 8 years now. Get great results every time.

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