Homemade Apple Pie Filling {Fresh Apples}

Learn how to make quick and easy homemade apple pie filling recipe from scratch on the stovetop. Made with simple ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. Perfectly flavored with cinnamon and hint of nutmeg and allspice.

This is my Grandma’s recipe that uses delicious fresh apples and I have even used it in this Apple Pie Cake. This recipe also freezes very well, meaning you can store any leftovers and enjoy it whenever the cravings hit! Homemade pie fillings taste so much better than store bought cans. You need to try my homemade versions for Strawberry Pie Filling and Blueberry Pie Filling and Cherry Pie Filling and Raspberry Pie Filling and obviously this Peach Pie Filling. Trust me, you will never go back to canned fillings again!

Canning apple pie filling/ Canned apple pie filling

This was something my Grandma loved to do with this recipe.

  1. Sterilize the canning jars and lids in boiling water.
  2. Pour the cooked filling in these jars, leaving half inch space on top.
  3. Gently remove air bubbles by tapping the jar gently.
  4. Screw on lids and process in water bath canner for 20 minutes.

How to make apple pie filling on the stove? How do you make a pie filling?

The process is very SIMPLE.

  1. First, toss the apples and lemon together and keep it aside.
  2. Heat up a mixture of water, cornstarch, sugar and spices in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  3. Then, you add those apples and cook for about 15 minutes until thick.
Easy Homemade Apple Pie Filling in Glass Jar on Rustic Gray Background.

What to make with pie filling besides pie?

Freezer apple pie filling- Can you freeze homemade apple pie filling? How to freeze apple pie filling?

Making a large batch of this filling to freeze is a great idea! Yes, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Once your filling has cooled down completely, pour the mixture into freezer Ziploc bags and freeze. When you are ready to use it, just place the freezer bag on your countertop and let it come down to room temperature naturally OR you can leave the bag in the fridge overnight.

Pie Filling in Glass Jar on Rustic Gray Background.

TIPS and variations for making stovetop apple pie filling:

  • DON’T skip the cornstarch because apple pie filling without cornstarch is very thin and does not have the correct consistency.
  • To PREVENT apples from turning brown, mix together lemon juice and apples and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • ADJUST the quantities of spices, based on your preference.
  • DON’T replace granulated sugar for brown sugar or vice versa. Both types of sugars are required for the perfect sweetness.
  • DON’T overcook the apples or else they will become over-cooked, soft and “mushy.”
  • You can REPLACE apples with pears and make a different flavor.
  • I have used this filling to make my Apple Pie very successfully. The process is very simple: Line a pie pan with pie crust. Then, add the filling. Cover the top with another layer or pie crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and enjoy.
  • Don’t use canned apples because they are way too soft and start to break apart while cooking.
  • Cut slices of apples rather than dicing them very small. This allows them to hold their shape better while cooking.
  • Add extracts like vanilla, almond, coconut, maple.
  • Try other spices like pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, ginger, cloves, star anise.
  • Store in fridge for up to 1 week and freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe FAQs

What apples to use for pie filling?

The best apples to use are firm and crisp because this allows them to they keep their shape and texture while cooking and later baking in a crust. I like to use Granny Smith apples since they are firm and also their flavor is slightly tart, which balances all the sugars in the recipe perfectly without making it overly sweet. You can also use a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples.

How to thicken pie filling?

I like to use cornstarch or cornflour to thicken the filling but people have their own preferences. I have seen recipes with tapioca flour, gelatin, instant ClearJel and even pie filling enhancer. Cornstarch is just easily available at our homes and grocery stores too.

How to sweeten pie filling?

A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar is best. However, you can sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, corn syrup and even agave syrup.

Why is my pie filling runny? Why is it dry?

It’s runny because it wasn’t cooked long enough to allow the excess liquid to evaporate. It’s dry because there is not enough water in the recipe.

More apple desserts

Easy Homemade Apple Pie Filling in Glass Jar on Rustic Gray Background.
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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Learn how to make quick and easy homemade apple pie filling recipe from scratch on the stovetop. Made with simple ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 cups



  • In a deep bowl, mix together the apples and lemon juice and keep aside. This prevents them from turning brown.
  • In a saucepan, add water, cornstarch, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. 
  • Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil, while constantly mixing (or else you will end up with lumps).
  • Add the apples and bring to a boil again.
  • Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Your apples should be soft but not “mushy.”
  • Turn off the heat and allow the filling to cool down completely. It will thicken as it cools down.
  • Pour this mixture into jars with sealed tops and refrigerate for up 1 week.
  • If you are freezing this filling, pour it into freezer bags once it fully cools down. Seal it properly and freeze up to 3 months. Enjoy!


  • You can replace apples with pears and make another filling flavor.
  • Adjust the quantities of spices, based on your preference.
  • Don’t overcook the apples or else they will become too soft and lose their shape. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Read additional tips and variations above. 


Calories: 316kcal, Carbohydrates: 81g, Sodium: 161mg, Potassium: 203mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 68g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 8.7mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 316
Author: Abeer Rizvi

20 comments on “Homemade Apple Pie Filling {Fresh Apples}”

  1. Turned out wonderful5 stars

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