Canned Apple Pie Filling

Here is a recipe to preserve your apples and indulge your sweet tooth during the winter. Preserve some apple pie filling in a mason jar. The following recipe calls for ClearJel® starch, which is used as a thickening for the filling. With ClearJel the pie filling remains clear with no added taste and will hold its consistency.

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Quantities needed for 1 quart:
3-1/2 cups apples, blanched and sliced
3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/4 cup ClearJel
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. bottled lemon juice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)

Quantities needed for 7 quarts:
6 quarts apples, blanched and sliced
5-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cup ClearJel
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2-1/2 cups cold water
5 cups apple juice
3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Because the variety of fruit used may affect the flavor of the finished pie, we recommend that you first make a single quart of filling and make a pie with it. Then adjust the sugar and spices in the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Do not change the amount of lemon juice, as it helps control the acidity; and, therefore the safety and storage stability of the canned fillings.

Quality: Use firm, crisp apples. If apples lack tartness, use an additional 1/4 cup of lemon juice for each 6 quart slices.

Procedure: Wash, peel and core apples. Slice 1/2 inch thick into cold water containing 3 Tbsp. Fresh Fruit Preserver per gallon of water to prevent browning while you prepare the apples. (One tsp. of ascorbic acid crystals or six 500 mg crushed vitamin C tablets per gallon of water also can be used to prevent browning.) Remove apples from anti-browning solution and blanch 2 quarts at a time in 1 gallon of boiling water. Boil one minute after the water returns to a boil. Remove apple slices from water and keep them in a covered pot so they stay warm while other batches of apples are being blanched. Combine sugar, ClearJel and, if desired, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large kettle, mixing well. Add water, apple juice and food color. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Drain blanched apple slices. Add lemon juice to mixture and boil one minute stirring constantly. Fold in apple slices immediately and quickly fill jars with hot mixture leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process without delay.

Processing: Wash jars. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Fill fruit mixtures into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe sealing surface of jars with a clean, damp paper towel. Apply lids, tighten screw bands. and process. To process in a boiling water canner, preheat canner half filled with water to 180˚ F. Load sealed jars into canner rack; place canner rack in canner. Add water if needed to a level of 1 inch above jars and cover. When water boils vigorously, lower heat to maintain a gentle boil and process for recommended time.

Quart jars: 35 minutes        Pint jars: 30 minutes

After processing is completed, remove jars from canner with lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not tighten screw bands. Air-cool jars 12-24 hours. Remove screwbands and check lid seals. A jar is sealed if the center of its lid is indented or concave. Wash, dry, label and store sealed jars in a clean, cool, dark place. If a jar is unsealed, use a new lid, and reprocess as before. Wash screw bands; store separately. Fillings are best if used within 1 year.