What says comfort and down-home cookin’ like a warm apple pie?! This stovetop apple pie filling is silky and luscious, not too thick, and full of tender apple chunks.
Like many people, I think my mom makes the best pies! 🙂 So of course I learned from her, and make them ‘like mom does’. I have had several requests for my homemade apple pie filling recipe, so today I thought I would share mine with you all.
When I was 12, my parents bought a bakery from our Pastor’s wife. I worked in that bakery every summer from age 12 till I married. (at age 19) I hated it, quite frankly. But it definitely gave me experience in baking. 🙂 I soon realized that I enjoyed making pies more than most other things in the bakery, so I was the pie-maker for the last 3-4 summers that I worked there. We made anywhere from 20-40 pies a week, depending on the market. Which means, I baked hundreds of pies as a teenager! Plus hundreds more as an adult.
Making stovetop apple pie filling
First you peel the apples. Core them, then slice them into bitesized pieces. Put them in a big kettle – with enough room to do some vigorous stirring. This filling can splatter! Add sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, depending on how soft you like your apples.
Meanwhile, mix water and Clear-Jell in a small bowl. It will seem thick at first, just keep stirring, and it will dissolve nicely. Clear-jell does not get lumpy, which is nice.
When the apples are softened, pour the Clear-jell mixture into the apples in a thin stream, stirring the apples quickly. The Clear-jell starts to set very quickly, so keep stirring and stirring as you slowly pour the Clear-jell in.
Turn the heat to low, for as the filling starts to thicken, it will start to bubble up and splatter. These splatters are hot! I recommend using an oven mitt on the hand with which you are stirring.
Keep stirring constantly till the Clear-jell is all mixed in, and the filling is thick. It will set up and thicken a bit more as it cools, but not much.
When the Clear-jell is all mixed in, and the filling has returned to a boil, (bubbling) remove from heat and cool.
Pour into prepared pie crust and bake.
Tips for stovetop pie filling
Can I use cornstarch instead of ClearJell?
Yes! You sure can, but you may need to adjust the amount. I think it should be close to the same amount, though. Just be aware that cornstarch will thicken more as it cools, so you don’t want it too thick right off the stove. (Clear Jell thickens completely when it boils.)
Can I freeze apple pie filling?
Yes! I do it all the time. Place pie filling in freezer bags or containers, label, and freeze up to three months. Or, prepare your pie, then wrap well and freeze for baking later.
Having trouble finding Clear-Jell? I buy mine from Amazon:
Hoosier Hill Farm Clear Jel, 1.5 Lbs. It lasts a long time.
Here is a post on how I make the pie crust: Easy, Flaky Pie Crust
And here are some tips for the perfect homemade pie!
Home-made Apple Pie Filling
- 3 lbs apples peel, core, slice
- Water to nearly cover apples in pan
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 TBL butter
- Juice of one lemon or 3 TBL ReaLemon(can omit if apples are very tart.)
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 3 TBL Clear-Jell
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Peel, core and slice apples.
- Place apples in a large pan and add water till apples are nearly covered.
- Add butter, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.
- Cook 5-10 minutes, or till apples are softened. (not mushy!)
- Mix 1/2 cup cold water and Clear-JEll.
- Pour Clear-Jell slowly into the apples, while stirring apples quickly.
- Bring apple filling mix to a boil, (bubbling slowly) and remove from heat.
- Cool. Pour into prepared pie crusts and bake at 350* for one hour.
Homemade apple pie filling on the stovetop is a delicious way to use up apple for many different desserts.
Sooooooo…..happy you posted this one! I had my mind on an apple pie this week. 🙂
Kay Schrock says
Only about 2 years after I said I would give it to you!! 😀 (sorry!) And hey, you can leave out the butter, no problem. 🙂
Thanks for your recipe! I make something similar to this but in a huge batch to can. It is a little bit of summer in a jar! Love to open this in the winter for pie, cobblers, coffee cake toppings….Yum! Thankfully we have a nice bulk food store nearby for the clear jel. First time I tried canning pie filling I used corn starch…. Uh, no. Never again! Just recently found your blog and am enjoying it!
Kay Schrock says
Yes, I make this to can, also! It is so nice to pull a jar out for a quick dessert. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Your filling sounds and looks amazing! I’ll be making 180 mini pies for thank you gifts for my sons wedding next April. To make the task seem a little less daunting, I’d like to make the filling in advance. Since I have never canned before, would you please be willing to fill me in on your process? Thank you in advance.
Kay Schrock says
Hi Nancy! I make the filling as described in the recipe here, then fill jars with the filling, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the jar, because the apples swell a bit. I wipe of the jar rims, and put on lids. Then I set them in a big kettle of boiling water, and boil; for 20 minutes. Then take the jars out and set them on the counter for 24 hours. They should ‘pop’ as they seal. If any jars do not seal, then I put them in the fridge or use them right away. There is better instructions here: http://www.pickyourown.org/applepiefilling.htm#.VZyWuRtViko
Laura Sischo says
Hello , my name is Laura
I like your recipe and will make a pie and then this year in the fall In am going to make your recipe
for canning apples .I really liked you’re idea about clear jell..can you only use it fruit pies or does it
have another purpose.??….
Really like you ideas on cooking .I like the old ways of cooking.
Kay Schrock says
Hi Laura, I have only used it for fruit pies, I don’t know if there is other uses for it. 🙂