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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Homemade apple pie filling is rich, full of tender apples, flavored with warm spices, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for so many desserts, skip the canned filling from the store and make it from scratch!

jar of apple pie filling with a cake stand and three apples

Best Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Whether it’s the Fall season or early Spring, I am always in the mood for a fresh baked homemade apple pie.

What about you?

I will admit I am a sucker for a buttery, flaky pie crust, but it’s really the filling that makes me drool.

There are store bought pie crusts and cans of pre-made filling, but homemade really is best!

Even if I feel like using a refrigerated pie crust as a shortcut, I still prefer making the pie filling from scratch.

Trust me on this one, you will thank me for it!

overhead picture of clear jar of pie filling

You might think that making apple pie filling from scratch is hard but the only hard part about it is waiting until it cools to eat it!

Read on to check out this easy recipe.

The ingredients for homemade pie filling are few which is why it’s better to make it from scratch! No weird chemicals, saturated fat, or extra sugar.

label picture of apple pie filling ingredients

Ingredients Needed

The most important thing about apple pie filling is the apples! So which one do you choose when making it?

Best Apples to Use

  • Granny Smith – more tart (and more fiber!)
  • Gala – mild & sweet
  • Honey Crisp – tart with hints of honey
  • Red Delicious – softer & break down easy
  • Fuji – sweet & juicy

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to make Apple Pie Filling from Scratch

First: Peel and thinly slice the apples. Drizzle with lemon juice and toss to coat the apples in a large bowl.

Second: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes together.

Third: Increase the heat to medium/medium high and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until the mixture thickens. Add the apples and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture.

Fourth: Lower the heat to medium and cook until the apples are tender, roughly 10 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and stir until it has melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and cool the apple filling to room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to use it.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

apple pie filling in a clear bowl on a white backdrop

How to Store

Use it or store it within a few hours of cooking it.

Place the apple pie filling in an air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to use mason jars because they don’t take up much room on the shelf.

Can I freeze it?

Sure! You can freeze it for up to 6 months. Be sure to use freezer safe bags or containers. (If using bags, press them flat when freezing for easier storage)

Be sure to cool it completely and leave room in the container for a little expansion.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or place in a saucepan and thaw over low heat. Don’t use the microwave!

If the pie filling is too thin, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch mixture (1 tsp cornstarch/1 tsp water), simmer for a few minutes until it thickens back up.

Want to make a big batch or give it as a gift? Can the pie filling for later use!

two apple turnovers on a stack of grey plates

How to Can it for Longer Storage

  • Prep your water bath canner.
  • Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water. Keep in simmering water while cooking pie filling.
  • Add hot pie filling to jars with a ladle or funnel, leaving around 1 inch space.
  • Gently stir or tap to remove air bubbles and clean the rims of the jars.
  • Place lid on the jar and screw on rings.
  • Process the jars in the canner for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the jars and cool completely. Listen for lids to make the sucking noise when the vacuum forms.
  • Check lids after 12 hours to make sure they don’t pop or move. If they do, move to the fridge and eat within a few days.
  • If they are sealed, store for up to 1 year.
  • When ready to use it just pour into a pie crust, add a top crust, and bake!

Uses for Apple Pie Filling

  • Pies, of course
  • dessert topping
  • ice cream
  • tarts
  • turnovers
  • cakes
  • eating with a spoon, in front of the fridge, after midnight

Tips for No Leftovers

Apples: cut the apples into consistent sizes so they cook evenly.

Sugar: use all brown sugar for a more caramel flavor

Spices: substitute cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg for the pie spice.

Cool: give the filling a chance to cool, it will thicken as it does

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of pie filling with text "homemade apple"

This delicious apple pie filling recipe, is easy to make and will have you serving the most amazing homemade apple pies. It’s the perfect dessert after this chicken pot pie!

square picture of apple pie filling for recipe card

Apple Pie Filling

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade apple pie filling is full of tender & tart apples and warm spices.


  • 4 cups apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Drizzle the lemon juice over the apple slices and toss to coat. Place the water, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and apple pie spice  in a large pan. 
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to bring all the ingredients together. Increase heat to medium/medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute or until just thickened.
  3. Add the apples to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the apples are tender, roughly 10 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and stir until it has melted.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the apple filling. Refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to use it.


*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 16
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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