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Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Apple Pie Filling

Quality: Use firm, crisp apples. Stayman, Golden Delicious, Rome, and other varieties of similar quality are suitable. If apples lack tartness, use an additional 1/4 cup of lemon juice for each 6 quarts of slices.

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Yield: 1 quart or 7 quarts

Procedure: See Table 1 for suggested quantities. Wash, peel, and core apples. Prepare slices 1/2-inch wide and place in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning.

For fresh fruit, place 6 cups at a time in 1 gallon of boiling water. Boil each batch 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain, but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot. Combine sugar, Clear Jel®, and cinnamon in a large kettle with water and apple juice. If desired, food coloring and nutmeg may be added. Stir and cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Fold in drained apple slices immediately and fill jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process immediately according to the recommendations in Table 2.

Table 1. Apple Pie Filling.
  Quantities of Ingredients Needed For
  1 Quart 7 Quarts
Blanched, sliced fresh apples 3-1/2 cups 6 quarts
Granulated sugar 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp 5-1/2 cups
Clear Jel® 1/4 cup 1-1/2 cup
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp 1 tbsp
Cold Water 1/2 cup 2-1/2 cups
Apple juice 3/4 cup 5 cups
Bottled lemon juice 2 tbsp 3/4 cup
Nutmeg (optional) 1/8 tsp 1 tsp
Yellow food coloring (optional) 1 drop 7 drops

Table 2. Recommended process time for Apple Pie Filling in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or Quarts 25 min 30 35 40


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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