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 so 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.
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.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Apples: Choose your favorite apple and away you go.
- Lemon: The acidity helps brighten the fruit.
- 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
- 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 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 favorites desserts are these apple pie bars drizzled with caramel sauce.
- Cupcakes: This is the perfect filling for cupcakes, especially these delicious apple pie cupcakes.
- Bread: This apple pull apart bread topped with a caramel glaze is what dreams are made of!
- Breakfast: It makes a delicious topping for apple crepes 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
How to Make Apple Pie Filling
It doesn’t take long to create a great tasting filling.
- SLICE. Cut the apples and then drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
- MIX. Stir together the sugar, corn starch, 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. Reduce the heat slightly 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.
- Feel free to cut the apples into slices if preferred.
- Don’t skip out on the cornstarch. It gives it that thick and gooey consistency.
- You can adjust the spices to your preference. I always add a little extra cinnamon for good measure. :)
- The longer you refrigerate the filling, the thicker it will be. I’d recommend refrigerating it overnight before using.
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 storing in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year if freezing. I like to pick apples in the fall and the 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.
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.
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
More Apple Desserts to Try
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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 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, 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.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Approx much filling would fill a 9″ pie? I’m trying to decide what size jars to fill for gifting, so the recipient can at least make one pie. Thanks.
This recipe is for 1 pie. A quart jar should work (you may have a little filling leftover that won’t fit). Would be yummy to save for ice cream :)
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!
No more jarred filing for us! This recipe is brilliant – thank you!
Can you can this apple pie filling?
You should definitely be able to! :)
I have apples ready to make into pie filling!
I made up a batch of this delightful pie filling the other day and was surprised by how easy it was to make. This recipe is perfect for the upcoming holidays and I love that I don’t have to use the canned version anymore.
I’m so glad you tried it and enjoyed it! I’m so excited for holiday recipes. Thank you for your comment and review! :)