Canned Apple Pie Filling Recipe with Printable Labels

5 / 5 (1 review) 2 Comments

homemade canned apple pie filling recipe with free printable labels

Apple Pie Filling Recipe for Canning or Freezing!

A lovely teacher friend of mine recently told me that one of her favorite teacher gifts from a student included a jar of homemade apple pie filling and a package of pre-made pie crusts. Such a delicious and unique homemade gift to give to neighbors, teachers, family, and more!

Now, I am not a canning expert. In fact, this is my first experience actually doing the canning myself. I did, however, try a few different canned apple pie filling recipes before I decided to post this one, so I have learned a lot already. 😉

canned apple pie filling recipe ingredients


Ultra Gel is the recommended thickener now. Many older recipes call for cornstarch though. In Utah, I know you can find Ultra Gel at Associated Foods stores. You can also find it at canning stores or online.

Note: The ingredients in the photo above are for a full 7-quart batch, but the remaining photos are for 3 quarts. I ended up not having enough apples!

victorio apple peeler slicer corer in action

Apple Tips

Use firm, crisp apples for this recipe. Stayman, Golden Delicious, Rome, and other varieties of similar quality will work well. I like to use an apple peeler/corer/slicer to speed up the process.

blanching sliced apples in large pasta pot

Blanching Your Apples

Another handy tool that I love for this recipe is a large pot with a strainer insert (I have a 12-quart size). A pot like this makes blanching apples super easy and fast.

I feel like blanching the apples really makes a difference in the apple-to-syrup ratio and yields a better quality filling. I also found that with my particular apples and blanching, about 6 cups of the fresh sliced apples came out to about 3.5 cups blanched. Your results may vary, but using blanched apple slices really does make a difference.

This recipe calls for 6 quarts of blanched apples (to make 7 quarts of filling), and there are about 24 cups in 6 quarts. You don’t have to make a full batch though – see the NCHFP chart.

apple pie filling canning

Apple Pie Filling Serving Tips

I did use nutmeg in my filling, but I did not use the optional food coloring in this batch. It turned out great!

Dump your apple pie filling into a pie crust, serve it over pancakes or ice cream, or make apple crisp with it! Yum!

Canned apple pie filling recipe

Canning Tips

As of August 2014, Jarden (Ball Canning) says that you do not have to heat the canning lids in hot water before canning. Just wash the lids with soapy water and use them at room temperature. The lids will heat adequately while processing to seal.

So you can choose to gently heat the lids, as you may have done in the past, or not. Just don’t overheat the lids before using or the sealing material will thin out. I didn’t preheat the lids for any of my batches and I had no seal failures!

Canning supplies for canned apple pie filling recipe

Granite Ware 9-Piece Canning Kit

Free Apple Pie Filling Printable Labels

I created some apple pie filling labels for you all to use if you would like to! If you want to share them please refer your friends back to this post and refrain from copying them. Thank you!

free printable apple pie filling label designs

The images are large squares, so you can re-size and customize them in a lot of ways. I use these cute Avery Scallop Round Tags, upload the image as is to Avery Design & Print Online, and then just print them out! Use twine, ribbon, or jute for additional cuteness.

To Download Printable Apple Pie Labels:

  1. Click here 
  2. Click on your favorite apple pie label
  3. Click the download button at the top.

There are 10 designs to choose from: patriotic, chalkboard, red polka dots, colorful plaid, and more!

More Canning Recipes

Canned Apple Pie Filling Recipe with Printable Labels

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 25-40 mins
Yield: 7 quarts | Serves: 7


  • 6 quarts blanched, sliced fresh apples
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Ultra Gel
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 5 cups apple juice
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)


  1. Clean the jars, rings, and lids.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Wash, peel, and core apples.
  4. Cut into slices about 1/2-inch wide.
  5. Place slices in cold water with ascorbic acid to prevent browning.
  6. Place 6 cups at a time of fresh sliced apples in about 1 gallon of boiling water.
  7. Boil for 1 minute after the water returns to a boil.
  8. Drain.
  9. Keep warm apple slices in a covered bowl or pot.
  10. Repeat for remaining apples.
  11. Combine sugar, Ultra Gel, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple juice, and water in a large pot.
  12. If desired, food coloring may also be added.
  13. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  14. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  15. Fold in drained apple slices and immediately fill jars, leaving 1 inch headspace.
  16. Fit jars with lids and hand-tighten the ring bands.
  17. Cover jars with at least 1 inch of boiling water in canner and process for recommended time according to altitude: 0-1000 ft - 25 min, 1001-3000 ft - 30 min, 3001-6000 ft - 35 min, above 6000 ft - 40 min.
  18. Turn off heat.
  19. Remove jars carefully and place them onto a towel or cooling rack.
  20. Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool, 12 to 24 hours.
  21. Remove ring bands from sealed jars. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
  22. Use within a year.


To Freeze: Let apple mixture cool. Spoon mixture into large resealable freezer bags, seal removing as much air as possible, and freeze. About 4 cups of apple mixture will fill one standard size pie.

Recipe Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation

Ingredients: Apple, Apple Juice, Cinnamon, Food Coloring, Granulated Sugar, Lemon Juice, Nutmeg, Water
Meal Type: Desserts, Fall, Egg Free, Meatless
Categories: Fruits, Pie, Canning & Preserving

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