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Instead of starting with store-bought pie filling, discover how easy it is to make Apple Pie Filling from scratch. Invest about 10 minutes of prep time, let the spiced-up fruit simmer, and prepare to assemble your homemade pie (or a wide variety of apple desserts).

Apple pie filling in a white bowl.

True, pie filling is available by the can in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. But the store-bought version simply can’t compare to my just-sweet-enough, warmly-spiced homemade Apple Pie Filling, if you ask me!

But don’t think this apple dessert recipe is only good for pie, though. In fact, I designed my Best Apple Pie recipe to utilize fresh apples (that bake inside the crust) to trim down on prep time. Feel free to use this Apple Pie Filling inside your favorite purchased or DIY pastry crust or graham cracker crust. Then after learning how to make Apple Pie Filling from scratch, read on to discover several more ways to put it to scrumptious use.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for apple pie filling.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Tart apples: I recommend tart apples in particular since these varieties naturally tend to have a crisp texture that holds up well even after cooking. Plus, the tart flavor balances out the sugar in the filling as well as the sweet vessel you pair this mixture with. (See serving ideas below in “Recipe FAQs.”) Stock up on one or a mix of any of the following varieties: Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathon, Honeycrisp, or Fuji.
  • Sugar and brown sugar: Based on our testing, a one-to-one ratio of granulated sugar and brown sugar yields the best texture and flavor.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: These powdered baking spices team up to make this Apple Pie Filling taste quintessentially fall. (As they simmer, this trio also acts as an all-natural air-freshener; infusing your whole home with tempting aromas).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter until foaming. Add apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine.
Ingredients for apple pie filling in a silver pot.
  1. Cook over medium until the apples are softened and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Apple pie filling in a silver pot.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of Apple Pie Filling.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The apples can be peeled, sliced, and submerged in water one day in advance.
  • Freezer: Apple Pie Filling can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Leave 1/2-inch headspace for expansion. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Two jars filled with apple pie filling.

Recipe FAQs

How can I keep the apples from browning as I finish slicing all 8 cups?

To keep sliced apples fresh before baking, add the slices to a bowl of cold water with the juice of half a lemon; add to this bowl as you continue slicing. The acidity will prevent the apples from oxidizing and turning brown.

Beyond pie, how can I use this apple dessert recipe?

Serve Apple Pie Filling by the bowl, topped with a scoop of ice cream and handful of granola for a deconstructed riff on Apple Pie a la Mode. This filling is also stellar stuffed inside Crepes, spooned atop pancakes, waffles, or French toast, stirred into yogurt or oatmeal, or as the filling for hand pies.

The Best Apple Pie

The best Apple Pie can be on your table in just one hour. No one will guess this classic apple pie starts with store-bought pie crust; the filling is just like your favorite bakery’s desserts!…

1 hour 5 minutes
View Recipe

More ways with apples

Apple pie filling in a white bowl.

Apple Pie Filling

Instead of starting with store-bought pie filling, discover how easy it is to make Apple Pie Filling from scratch. Invest about 10 minutes of prep time, let the spiced-up fruit simmer, and prepare to assemble your homemade pie (or a wide variety of apple desserts).
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 servings (½ cup each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 226

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter until foaming. Add apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Cook over medium until the apples are softened and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Notes

  1. Tart apples: I recommend tart apples in particular since these varieties naturally tend to have a crisp texture that holds up well even after cooking. Plus, the tart flavor balances out the sugar in the filling as well as the sweet vessel you pair this mixture with. (See serving ideas below in “Recipe FAQs.”) Stock up on one or a mix of any of the following varieties: Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathon, Honeycrisp, or Fuji.
  2. Sugar and brown sugar: Based on our testing, a one-to-one ratio of granulated sugar and brown sugar yields the best texture and flavor.
  3. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: These powdered baking spices team up to make this Apple Pie Filling taste quintessentially fall. (As they simmer, this trio also acts as an all-natural air-freshener; infusing your whole home with tempting aromas).
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of Apple Pie Filling.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: The apples can be peeled, sliced, and submerged in water one day in advance.
  7. Freezer: Apple Pie Filling can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Leave 1/2-inch headspace for expansion. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 102mgPotassium: 208mgFiber: 4gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 180IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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