Apple Pie Filling Recipe
Processing method: Water Bathing
Processing time: Process for 25 minutes (adjust for altitude)
1,001- 3,000 ft. - add 5 minutes
3,001- 6,000 ft. - add 10 minutes
6,001- 8,000 ft. - add 15 minutes
8,001-10,000 ft. - add 20 minutes
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to make a whole pie so this recipe will allow you to simply pour the pre-made apple pie filling into your favorite crust and bake! Instant dessert! First let's talk apples. The best apples to use are firm ones, you want apples that will be tough enough to hold their shape when cooked. Some good options are HoneyCrisp, Granny Smith, Macintosh, Braeburn, really any firm apples will work fine!
After you get your apples picked out, you want to peel, core, and slice them. Next it's recommended to do a quick one minute blanch that mostly serves to preheat the apples and drive off the air within the fruit. When you raw pack for canning, the fruit always floats because it contains a surprising amount of air in its tissues. All that air would have been taking up space in your canning jars, but now you’ll have extra apple flavor instead. After they’re removed from the boiling water, the apple slices need to stay warm. I placed them into a thick-sided bowl and covered it with a kitchen plate while making the rest of the filling.
For the filling you want to use the cooking type, clear gel. This gel works really well because it can be reheated again and again. The filling liquid usually consists of clear jel, sugar, spices, apple juice, lemon juice, and water. All of those ingredients (except the lemon juice) are added into a pot and simmered until it begins to thicken. Then the lemon juice is added, and the mixture is returned to a boil for 1 more minute. After that, mix the hot blanched apples back into the pie filling liquid. Get your jars and pack them with the mix quickly. Always leave a 1 inch of headspace and make sure you clean the jar rims before sealing them with your lids!
Finally you're ready for water bathing. You want to keep the jars in there for 25 minutes (adjust water bathing time according to altitude). When time is done, turn off heat and let jars remain in the boiling water for 5 minutes before you remove them. The extra 5 minutes is important! This helps prevent the filling from leaking out of the jar. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature before checking seals. Store sealed jars in the pantry for up to 18 months!