Homemade apple pie filling is perfect for all your fall baking this year! Great for pies, crisps, cakes and more. This delicious recipe is one of my favorite holiday staples!
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Cinnamon Sugar Apple Filling
This flavorful filling can be used for many different apple desserts. It has amazing flavor and tastes so much better than the jarred stuff. I even love to serve it over pancakes, vanilla ice cream, or as a filling for crepes and apple fritters.
There’s nothing I love more than a warm slice of apple pie with homemade pie crust this time of year. Especially when it’s made with homemade apple pie filling. It tastes 100x better than the store-bought canned pie filling in my opinion.
I have to admit, I do use the canned stuff occasionally because sometimes convenience is needed. But if you have a little extra time, I promise the homemade version is worth the extra effort to make!
Just a few of the best ingredients to create an apple pie filling you can keep on hand! It doesn’t take long to prepare the ingredients and add them together. These ingredients combined make a delicious sweet and savory homemade apple pie filling!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Apples: Choose your favorite apple and away you go. Slice it into thick slices or chunks. You don’t want to make them too thin or the consistency may turn mushy rather than have a thicker texture.
- Lemon: The acidity helps brighten the fruit and keeps the color from turning the apples brown after preparing them.
- Sugar: Brown and granulated sugars are used to balance the tartness of the apples.
- Cornstarch: This helps thicken the filling and give it a bit of richness.
- Spice: Cinnamon and nutmeg add depth to the tart and sweetness of the filling.
- Salt: Just a pinch elevates the apple flavor.
Favorite Ways to Use It
Making apple pie filling from scratch gives it the best flavor! It is the perfect combination for so many desserts, pastries, and even breakfast recipes. Add it in, spoon it on top, or enjoy the apple pie filling by the spoonful! It is a delicious dessert!
- Pies: Use as a filling in my easy brown bag apple pie, Dutch apple pie recipe, or apple cheesecake pie. This is also the perfect filling for a classic apple pie recipe or hand pies.
- Crisps + Cobblers: Craving pie but don’t want to do all the work? Try making an apple crisp, apple cobbler, or easy apple dump cake instead.
- Bars: One of my family’s favorite desserts is these apple pie bars drizzled with caramel sauce.
- Cupcakes: This is the perfect filling for cupcakes, especially these delicious apple pie cupcakes.
- Bread and pastries: This apple pull-apart bread topped with a caramel glaze is full of fall flavors as well as apple pie turnovers!
- Breakfast: It makes a delicious topping for apple crepes, waffles, or apple cinnamon pancakes.
Best Apples for Pie Filling
I used a variation of apples we picked at the orchard, but below are my favorites to use when making this recipe. I’m usually too lazy to peel off the apple skins (ha) but feel free to peel them if you’d like before cooking them. I also like to dice my apples pretty small but feel free to cut them into bigger chunks or slices.
- Granny Smith: These apples are a bright green color with a tart and sour flavoring. Very juicy and crunchy texture.
- Honeycrisp: A crisp juicy texture. They are red in color and are known to be slightly more expensive compared to other apples.
- Jonathans: These apples are medium in size and have a bright red coloring to them. Jonathans are very sweet and juicy on the inside.
- Melrose: These apples are yellow-green in color with a softer type skin texture. They have a sweet-tart flavor.
- Fuji: This apple is always easy to find and less expensive than most apples. They are red in color and have a very sweet flavor.
How to Make Apple Pie Filling
It doesn’t take long to create a great-tasting easy apple pie filling! With just a few ingredients to prepare and combine over heat, this filling is complete in less than 45 minutes. Get ready to enjoy this in all your favorite recipes!
- Slice. Cut the apples and then drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
- Mix. Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in the water until everything has dissolved.
- Boil. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Reduce the heat slightly to medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the apples and increase the heat to medium-high heat to bring the mixture to a full boil again.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes.
- Cool. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator to thicken.
Here are a few cooking tips to help make this apple pie filling even better! Make the perfect filling with just a few extra tips to create the best version you love. This is the best apple pie filling!
- Slice apples. Feel free to cut the apples into slices if preferred. It is best to use a sharp knife for smoother cuts.
- Thicker consistency. Don’t skip out on the cornstarch. It gives it that thick and gooey consistency.
- Extra cinnamon. You can adjust the spices to your preference. I always add a little extra cinnamon for good measure.
- Refrigerate. The longer you refrigerate the filling, the thicker it will be. I’d recommend refrigerating it overnight before using it.
This apple pie filling is made with crisp apples, lemon, sugar, and cornstarch. It is simmered together for a thick consistency. Perfect for any desserts or pastries.
You can thicken the pie filling using flour or cornstarch. Both these ingredients can help with creating the consistency that you are looking for.
Some of my favorite apples to use are Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Jonathans, Braeburn, and Melrose.
This is why I love this recipe. You can make it up to 2 weeks ahead of time if stored in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year if freezing. I like to pick apples in the fall and freeze the filling for a special treat the following February.
This makes about 4 cups, but there’s no reason you can’t double it if you want to gift some or freeze a bunch for later.
5 star review
“I don’t think I will ever buy canned apple filling again! This was so delicious and much easier to make than I had previously thought. Great recipe!”– Wilhelmina
Storing + Freezing
I love to freeze this, along with my peach pie filling. Pour the filling into an airtight jar or container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 12 months.
More Apple Desserts to Try
Apple Pie Filling
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 ½ to 6 cups diced apples (any variety, peeled if desired)
- ½ cup light brown sugar , packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- In a large bowl, drizzle the lemon juice over the apples and toss to coat. Set the apples aside.
- In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk in the water until everything has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the apples and increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a full boil again. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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