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May 26, 2014

The Homestead Kitchen: How To Can Apple Pie Filling (recipe included)

As American as Apple Pie, isn't that how the saying goes? Well, American or not it's hard not to like an apple pie... or cobbler...

I just baked up an apple cobbler using some apple pie filling that I had canned a little while back using our "pick your own" apple haul from a local orchard and it turned out great.  More on that in a later post though, first I'm going to let you in on my pie filling recipe!  This filling is wonderful with a delightful caramel color and the rich smell of apples and spices mingling... yummy! 

Homestead Apple Pie Filling for canning - click to enlarge or
get the printable recipe card here

ClearJel® (NOT instant ClearJel®) is a modified cornstarch that has been recommended by the USDA for foods which will be canned as they do not pose the risk that cornstarch does during the canning process.  It is not readily available, however you can purchase it inexpensively on Amazon and in a quantity (1 lb) that should last a very long time. I've read that some Walmart stores carry this in spring and summer so you may want to check with your local store.  ClearJel® thickens very quickly and very powerfully so it can be used sparingly.  Here's what the USDA has to say about ClearJel®:

"It can be used for canned fruit pie fillings because it does not break down in the 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, the thickened juices are smooth and clear, and foods thickened with ClearJel® may be frozen. There is no substitution for ClearJel® that can be made in these recipes. This means do not use other corn starch, flour, tapioca, or other thickener in our recipes. You also must use ClearJel® and not Instant ClearJel®, ClearJel A®, any other form of ClearJel®, or any other modified corn starch."
While many involved in canning find nothing wrong with using plain ol' cornstarch, I feel that it's better to be safe than sorry when dealing with things like botulism! Just a thought...

If you are afraid of canning, this filling can be used as is (however I must admit that I don't know how to scale it down from the 9 pints or 4.5 quarts/batch quantity shown above).  If you do want to use it straight away, you will need to figure out the scaled down quantity or make up the batch and freeze what you don't use by following steps 1 through 5.  If you do not plan to store/freeze this filling you can use regular cornstarch.

How about you?  Have you made and canned your own pie filling?  How did it turn out?

shared at: Backyard Farming Connection; HomeAcre Hop; Front Porch Friday; Farmgirl Friday


  1. I will be canning a lot of pie fillings this summer and also plan to use the Clear Jel. A quick search on the internet reveals there are several sites that sell it, and of course I always opt for the cheaper purchase! I found a canning book that has recipes for several pie fillings including blueberry (yum), blackberry (double yum) and cherry (gone to heaven yum). Good thing we love pie! Thanks for your recipe! I will add it to the others.

    1. I do love a good pie! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Good luck with the pie fillings! Would love to see how they turn out.

  2. Love apple pie filling.
    Thanks for sharing your post at the HomeAcre Hop!

  3. I found a canning book that has recipes for several pie fillings including blueberry ..

    gclub online


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