By canning apple pie filling you will have a dessert already half prepared.
Do you love pie but never take the time to prepare it? I'll bet if you start canning it, and have it all ready and waiting on your pantry shelf, you'll have it more than just at Thanksgiving.
This filling can also be used as is. Simply pour into a casserole dish and heat. Serve with ice cream for a quick easy treat.
You will need to use a water bath canner.
Gather your canning supplies
Peel, core and slice your apples. This is where the apple, peeler, corer, slicer may come in handy. It will cut your prep time in half. However keep in mind that it does slice your apples very thin. I like thicker slices when I am canning apple pie filling.
If you will raw pack your jars (see below) keep your peeled sliced apples in a light syrup or water with some ascorbic acid.
This will keep your apples from browning while you make your syrup. In this image the apples in the foreground are in a sugar syrup. Except the top I had more apples than syrup but it is ok because I'll get them in the clear jel asap.
Ascorbic acid can be purchased at most any grocery store or where canning supplies are sold. Follow directions on the box.
To make a light syrup simply heat water and sugar in a sauce pan until sugar dissolves - 2 cups sugar to 1-quart water
Make your thickener or syrup.
Combine sugar, clear jel, cinnamon, lemon juice and nutmeg.
Stir into 10 cups water in a large stock pot. Heat and stir until thickened and bubbly.
If you use Clear Jel be sure you purchase the non-instant or regular type. Click here for more information. Click here for more information on Cear Jel
If you have not used clear jel.... I HIGHLY recommend it. Really.... check it out.
I used to list the directions for flour and or cornstarch as your thickener... but it is not recommended and Clear jel is soo much better.
There are two ways to fill your jars. Raw or Cold Pack and Hot Pack. I recommend a hot pack. Read through both methods below and decide what you think will work best for you.
Peel and slice enough apples for one jar at a time. Fill the jars with the apples and then pour hot syrup over the apples.
This can be tricky if your syrup thickened a lot. You will need to be sure and use a thin spatula to remove air bubbles and be sure the syrup fills the jar. If it has thickened a lot it will not want to flow down between the apples very well.
Leave a 1 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.
combine apples and clear jel
fill jars and top off with extra syrup if needed
When I am canning apple pie filling I prefer to hot pack. A hot pack seems easier and less messy, sticky.
Peel core and slice apples into a large pot with hot water. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Drain.
Gently combine apples and thickened syrup.
Have you ever been canning apple pie filling and ended up short on fruit with lots of syrup left over? In order to avoid this, add most of your syrup to the apples, but don't just dump it all in. Reserve some and gently stir, adding more as needed. This way you will use only as much as needed to cover the apples.
You will have a
nice filling with mostly apples and not too much thickened syrup. If
needed you can always top off your jars with the extra syrup.
Fill jars with filling, remove air bubbles. Leave a 1 inch head space.
Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids. For more details on processing follow water bath canning instructions.
Processing time for canning apple pie filling
process quarts for 25 minutes.
After canning apple pie filling the work of making your apple pie is super easy. You can buy a pre made crust and simply fill it with your filling. Instructions for baking should be on the package.
If you are making a homemade crust preheat your oven to 425. Fill your crust and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and crust is lightly browned.
One quart makes a barely filled 9 inch pie. I usually will use one quart apple pie filling and then often add a pint of plain canned apples. This makes for a very fruit filled pie. Love it! OR I'll use a quart and a half of pie filling, saving the other half of the pie filling to top ice-cream or some such desert.
I also like to dab on about 2 T of butter on top of the pie filling and just below the top crust.