General: The following fruit fillings are excellent and safe products. Each canned quart makes one 8-inch to 9-inch pie. The filling may be used as toppings on dessert or pastries. Clear Jel® is a chemically modified corn starch that produces excellent sauce consistency even after fillings are canned and baked. Other available starches break down when used in these pie fillings, causing a runny sauce consistency. Clear Jel® is available only through a few supply outlets and it is not widely available in grocery stores. Find out about its availability prior to gathering other ingredients to make these pie fillings. If you cannot find it, check Internet stores, or ask your county Extension family and consumer sciences educator about sources for Clear Jel®.
Because the variety of fruit may alter the flavor of the fruit pie, it is suggested that you first make a single quart, make a pie with it, and serve. Then adjust the sugar and spices in the recipe to suit your personal preferences. The amount of lemon juice should not be altered, as it aids in controlling the safety and storage stability of the fillings.When using frozen cherries and blueberries, select unsweetened fruit. If sugar has been added, rinse it off while fruit is frozen. Thaw fruit, then collect, measure, and use juice from fruit to partially replace the water specified in the recipe. Use only 1/4 cup Clear Jel® per quart, or 1-3/4 cups for 7 quarts. Use fresh fruit in the apple and peach pie filling recipes.
This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture
Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.
Reviewed August 2015.