Sometimes between blog makeovers, a few posts disappear and my Apple Pie Filling to Can post is one that went missing. This is a post from 2010 bot now that folks are getting lots of apples, I’ve had a few requests for it lately so here it is again. I like putting it in smaller jars and then make half recipes for pie crusts and use the smaller pie pans and then . . we have pies that are just right for the two of us.
The recipe I use is a pretty basic, “been around forever” recipe for canning apple pie filling. You can use any recipe for canning apple pie filling and just put it into smaller jars.
Start with a firm, cooking type apple. I used Granny Smith from a friend’s tree. They haven’t been well cared for which means they’re kinda ugly but also means they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.
The recipe I use makes 7 quarts of pie filling, which will be about 28 half pints. You know how I think . . 28 half pints means apple pie about twice a month for us. I did the same thing with blueberry, cherry and peach pie filling. If we need pie for four, I can simply use 2 half pint jars and make two different flavored pies or I can make a larger crust and make one medium pie that will serve 4.
For canning pie fillings, you need Clear Jel®. Do not use flour or cornstarch for canning pie filling! I get mine from the Amish store. I’m not sure if grocery stores have it but farm supply stores that carry canning supplies might have it.
You will need 6 quarts of peeled, sliced apples. Fix a bowl of water/Fruit Fresh combination and as you peel and slice the apples, place them in the Fruit Fresh liquid to keep them from turning brown. Once they’re all peeled and sliced, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them from the boiling water but keep them warm.
In addition to the 6 quarts of peeled, sliced apples, you need:
5 cups granulated sugar (see note below)
1-1/2 cups Clear Jel®
1 T. ground cinnamon
3 cups cold water
4 cups unsweetened apple juice
3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
Note: If your apples are really sweet, you can use less sugar. If you want really sweet pie, use a little more sugar. We like our apple pie to be tart so the 5 cups of sugar usually works fine for us. For the apples I canned last week, I did bump it up to 6 cups of sugar because the apples are pretty sour.
Combine Clear Jel®, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and apple juice in a large pot. Stir constantly while heating til mixture thickens. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Stir in drained apples and keep on heat only until apples are hot, stirring the entire time to keep mixture from scorching.
Fill hot jars, leaving 1″ head space. Run something non-metallic (I use a wooden shish kabob skewer), around inside the jar to release the air bubbles. Wipe rims til they are completely clean. This mixture, of course, is really sticky and not the easiest to get clean but the rims have to be completely clean! Add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 25 minutes.