Canning Pie filling, How hard can it be?

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With Sharon Peterson

Sharon’s 5 tips for canning pie filling.

1- if you like lots of fruit in your pies, add a pint of plain fruit to your pie when you make it. It always seems to me that canned pie filling (home made or store purchased) has lots of the thickener filling in it and not enough fruit. My solution is to use a quart of home canned pie filling in my pie crusts, then add a pint of the same fruit as well. Be sure this pint of fruit is drained well. This adds more fruit and less thickener to your pies.

5 Canning Tips to Get the Best Apple Pie

2- don’t try to fill your jars with fruit first and then pour your thickener in. It makes a mess. Inevitably that thickener thickens enough that it doesn’t want to flow down between the fruit in your jars. It is much easier to mix the fruit into the thickener first and then fill your jars.

3- This isn’t really a tip but a warning, Be sure you process those jars! Even if those lids pop down before they have been processed (it has happened). The processing is what makes the jar shelf stable. Occasionally with a hot pack the jars are hot enough and start cooling and that lid snaps down, but it is not sterilized until it is processed.

4- Use Clear jel, I used to use flour or cornstarch as a thickener…. Then I tried Clear Jel. I’m totally sold on the product. I don’t recommend using either flour or cornstarch anymore. At all.

5- If you don’t have clear jel, no problem, Just can the fruit plain and then thicken it and add any spices when you want to make your pie.

So What is Clear Jel?

A jar of pie filling made with cornstarch or flour compared to a jar of pie filling made with Clear Jel.

Clear Jel: Comparison to cornstarch or flour.

Clear jel is a modified corn starch used for home canning pie fillings. The consistency of your sauce in the pie is much nicer than corn starch. See the picture? Can you tell which one is clear jel? Click through to find out more and where to find it. As a specialty item it’s not always at your local grocer.

Canning Pie Filling

Using tongs to place a reusable canning lid on a jar of apple pie filling.

Canning Apple Pie Filling, Tips and tricks to make it ahead make ahead …

Canning apple pie filling and process in a waterbath canner. both hot pack and cold pack.

Pitting cherries with a more traditional cherry pitter.

Canning Cherry Pie Filling

Making Sweet Cherry Pie is a snap if you can this ahead of time. Cherries are an acid food and can be safely water bath canned.

peach pie filling-1
Who doesn’t love peach pie?! Here’s how to make the filling and finished product.

Canning Peach Pie Filling How to can peach pie filling.

Pie Filling Question from my inbox

Food Leakage

by Rebecca

I tried to can peach pie filling, and some of the food leaked out of the jar. The lids all sealed, but there was sticky pie filling on the towel it cooled on and down the jar a little.

From looking at the jar, it doesn’t look like I lost very much at all, but I’m new to canning, so I’d like to not poison my family. Is it still safe? I see conflicting answers on the internet! Thank you!


Yes, that is normal. I often have jars that end up sticky.

Here is a tip to minimize this: After you turn off the heat, leave your jars in the water for 5 minutes. Then raise your rack and let your jars rest on the canning rack for another 5 minutes before you remove them.

This allows the jars to cool a bit slower when they are first really boiling hot and reduced the contents from boiling over.

Home Canning Pie Filling

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1 year ago

I was hoping to find some answers for a blueberry pie filling I canned this summer using regular clear jel. In the jar the filling was beautiful but when I baked my first pie using a jar the filling turned to a very gluey and unappealing texture. (Think blueberry mucus for lack of a better description.). I knew something was off when I went to remove it from the oven and the pie was very jiggly like unset jello. I have never made a pie filling using any form of canned pie filling as I always make my filling from… Read more »

glenn keller
glenn keller
6 months ago
Reply to  H M

I just had the same thing happen to me. very odd stretchy texture. when I boiled the blueberry juice, sugar and clear gel, it took a bit of time to thicken but there wasn’t much resistance when stirring. i let the mixture thicken up a bit but was not sure about why it wasn’t thickening up to become a paste.
wondering if needed to cook it longer or maybe just use less cleargel next time.

glenn keller
glenn keller
6 months ago
Reply to  glenn keller

Aw, shucks. Things happen. Inadvertently, I thought that I had 28 cups of blueberries based on the number of gallon bags full of the blueberries (a double batch for the recipe) so I measured out 2x the amount of clear gel and sugar needed. After the fact, I realized that I only had 16 cups of berries (a single batch calls for 14 cups). At least this explains what happened. I re-boiled the berry mixture and added another 14 cups or so of blueberries and re-canned the pie filling. Everything’s fine now!

2 years ago

Hi there, I just made canned blackberry pie filling for the first time. I was SO excited to finally brave canning. I read several recipes, found Clear Jel, and followed the recipe precisely. The filling looked beautiful as I put it into the jars, but when I took the jars out of their boiling water bath it looked thin. I let them sit overnight, then the next day tried one out by baking a pie. Delicious but did not set at all 🙁 Questions: What might I have done wrong? And is this salvageable? Like would adding a bit more… Read more »

Julie Halliday
Julie Halliday
1 month ago

Hi, thank you! I have the same problem and I’m wondering if I need to re-heat the filling and add the clear gel thickening before pouring it into the unbaked pie crust.