pie crust optional

by @according2kelly on October 4, 2010

i don’t even like apple pie & yet, i find myself sneaking downstairs at night & eating straight from the jar – it’s that good. just be careful, once you’ve started, i can guarantee you won’t stop… & then you’ll have to find a new use for the pie crust you spent all afternoon baking.

homemade apple pie filling

2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tb. lemon juice
5 cups of apple juice
5 cups of waters
6-8 pounds of peeled, sliced fresh apples

BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling. (or you could wash the jars in the dishwasher & turn on the “warmer” until needed.)

WASH, PEEL, CUT & CORE apples using one of those-dancy apple-cutter-corer-do-hickeys & place fruit into a large bowl with a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to about 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration. (be sure to drain the fruit well before packing in jars.)

MIX sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon & nutmeg. add salt, water & apple juice and mix well.

BOIL mixture & cook until thick & bubbly. remove from heat & add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

PACK the already sliced (well-drained) apples into the HOT canning jars, leaving a 1/2 – 3/4 headspace. (& don’t be shy, fill ’em up good!)

LADLE the hot syrup mixture immediately into prepared, apple-filled jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of tops. gently remove air bubbles with a PLASTIC knife, wipe jar rims and threads. cover with two-piece lids. screw bands tightly. place jars on elevated rack in canner. lower rack into canner. (water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. add boiling water, if necessary.) cover; bring water to gentle boil. process 20 min. remove jars and place upside down on towel to cool completely for 24 hours. after jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (if lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

* store unopened & properly sealed applesauce in a cool dry, dark place up to 1 year. refrigerate opened applesauce up to 3 weeks.

here are a few tips & tricks i’ve discovered to be super useful:

* the smaller the jam jar, the better. smaller jar sizes are better for some many reasons – less water needed in your stock pot when “processing” the jam, which means it takes less time for boiling. smaller jars are perfect for gift giving. plus, once opened, the applesauce is only good for 3 weeks – a smaller jam jar prevents less spoilage.
* after “processing” the jars, i like to let the jams cool upside down, as an additional means of ensuring the jars seal… you definitely don’t want to slave over a hot stove all afternoon, only to realize the next day that your jars didn’t seal properly!
* for perfectly sized, mason jar labels go HERE.
* for a great, hands-on, step-by-step guide to canning (plus a slew of recipes & tips) go HERE.


it could be that i'm blind and not seeing it, but how much nutmeg does the recipe call for?


I made this yesterday and it's SO good, and not too hard either! I did 6 quarts and they all sealed, then I had enough to make a 9-inch pie, and a little left to put in a pint jar for midnight snack later! I also used the cute apple pie labels for the lids...I'm seriously feeling like Martha Stewart, thanks to you!!


This is awesome! I will so be making this soon. Is there a period of time that you have to let it set, or could I make some of this now, and use it for Thanksgiving next month? My family loves apple pie, and I would love SO MUCH to make some using home made pie filling. :-)


Kelly! YUMMY! I think I need to make this. Also, Amanda was totally talking all about your handsome boy and how she still wants to marry him, even though he didn't move with us to LA. Miss you guys!


I don't like apple pie either, so if you promise we'll love this, I am in! I loved your Disney 1/2 recap below. I totally agree- the courses are always longer, so you totally ran under 2 hours. They have to measure the course from the shortest possible points, so if you run outside of that, you can add anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4 mile on!

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