My journey with this Canned Apple Pie Filling began years ago in my grandmother’s kitchen, where the aroma of simmering apples and spices first captured my heart. This recipe is more than just a method of preservation; it’s a passage through time, bringing the warmth of autumn harvests into our homes any day of the year. As I share this recipe with you, I’m not just passing along a list of ingredients and steps, but a piece of my family’s legacy and the joy of creating something truly timeless.
With carefully selected ingredients and a tried-and-true method, this recipe is your gateway to enjoying the perfect apple pie any day of the year.
How to make Canned Apple Pie Filling
Creating this delightful Amish Canned Apple Pie Filling involves peeling, coring, and slicing fresh apples, then cooking them with a mixture of cornstarch, sugar, spices, and lemon juice. The thickened filling is then packed into sterilized jars and processed using a water bath method, ensuring a delicious, shelf-stable treat that captures the essence of autumn.
Apple Peeler and Corer: To efficiently peel, core, and slice the apples.
Large Cooking Pot: For cooking the apple pie filling mixture.
Quart or Pint-Sized Canning Jars: To store the apple pie filling. The number of jars needed will depend on the total volume of the filling prepared.
Canning Jar Lids and Bands: To securely seal the jars for preservation.
Jar Funnel: To easily transfer the filling into the jars without spilling.
Jar Lifter: For safely placing and removing jars from the boiling water bath.
Magnetic Lid Lifter: To remove lids from the hot water and place them on the jars.
Large Canner with Rack or Large Pot: For the water bath canning process. The pot should be large enough to fully submerge the jars and have space for water to boil.
Ladle or Large Spoon: For scooping the filling into the jars.
Bubble Remover/Head Space Tool: To remove air bubbles from the jars and measure the correct headspace.
Clean Cloths or Paper Towels: For wiping the rims of the jars before sealing.
Timer: To accurately time the cooking and canning process.
- Fresh Apples: The star of the show. Apples provide the base flavor and texture. Choose fresh, tart varieties like Granny Smith or a mix for a balanced sweetness.
- Cornstarch: This is the thickening agent. It gives the filling its signature gooey, rich texture.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the tartness of the apples.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These spices are key for that classic, warm apple pie flavor.
- Kosher Salt: A pinch enhances the overall flavor profile, making the sweet and spicy notes more pronounced.
- Water: It’s necessary to create the right consistency for the filling and helps in evenly distributing the flavors.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Crucial for maintaining acidity, which is important for both flavor and safe canning practices.
- Prepare the Apples: Start by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples. This ensures they are ready to absorb the flavors and soften to the perfect texture during the canning process.
- Sterilize Your Jars: Sterilization is key for safe canning. Clean your jars, lids, and bands thoroughly to prevent contamination.
- Make the Filling: Combine cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with water. Cook until thickened, then add lemon juice. This mixture will envelop the apples in a rich, flavorful sauce.
- Fill the Jars: Pack the apple slices tightly into jars, then pour the hot filling over them. This step is where your pie filling starts to take shape.
- Process the Jars: Seal the jars and process them in a water bath or pressure canner. This step is crucial for preserving the filling and ensuring it’s safe to eat later.
- Cool and Store: Once processed, let the jars cool and then store them in a cool, dark place. They’re now ready to be the base of a delicious apple pie whenever you desire!
- Preparation Time: This includes peeling, coring, and slicing the apples, as well as preparing the jars and lids for canning. This process might take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on your proficiency and the tools available.
- Cooking Time: This involves cooking the filling mixture and processing the jars in a water bath. The cooking of the filling might take about 15 to 20 minutes, and the water bath processing typically takes around 20 minutes. However, the time for the water to reach a boil and for the jars to cool down afterward should also be considered, which might add an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Total Time: Combining preparation and cooking, the total time could range from approximately 2 to 3.5 hours.
Tips & Tricks
- Choose the Right Apples: Select fresh, tart apples for a balanced flavor. Mixing different varieties like Granny Smith and Fuji can enhance the overall taste and texture of your pie filling.
- Thick Apple Slices: Aim for 1/2 – 3/4 inch thickness in your apple slices. Thicker slices ensure that the apples maintain their structure and don’t turn mushy during the canning process.
- Maximize Apple Quantity in Jars: Pack as many apple slices as you can into each jar. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to press them down. A higher apple-to-filling ratio makes for a more substantial and satisfying pie filling.
- Ensure Proper Jar Sealing: After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. A properly sealed lid won’t pop up and will have a tight, high-pitched sound when tapped.
- Sterilization is Key: Sterilize everything – jars, lids, bands, and canning tools. Proper sterilization is crucial for food safety and to prevent contamination. This step is as important as the recipe itself.
How Long Does Canned Apple Pie Filling Last?
Properly canned and stored in a cool, dark place, the apple pie filling maintains its best quality for up to 12 months. It remains safe and tasty to consume for up to 24 months.
Can I Use Different Types of Apples?
Yes, you can use any type of apples you have on hand. For a balanced flavor, consider using a mix of tart and sweet apples. Fresh, unbruised apples are ideal for the best texture and taste.
Do I Need a Pressure Canner?
No, a pressure canner is not necessary. This recipe can be successfully completed using a water bath canning method with your largest pot.
What If I Don’t Have an Apple Peeler and Corer?
While an apple peeler and corer significantly speed up the process, you can peel, core, and slice the apples manually. It will take more time but will yield the same delicious result.
Can I Adjust the Sugar or Spices in the Recipe?
Yes, you can tweak the sugar and spices according to your taste preferences. However, maintain the amount of lemon juice as it is crucial for the necessary acidity levels for safe canning.
Other Apple Recipes
As we close the lid on our Amish Canned Apple Pie Filling adventure, remember that canning is more than just a recipe; it’s a journey into tradition and taste. With these tips in your apron pocket, you’re all set to turn those bushels of apples into jars of cozy, homemade goodness. So, grab your canning gear, and let’s make your kitchen smell like autumn all year round. Here’s to delicious pies and even sweeter memories!