Freezing Apple Pie Filling


In 2004, I discovered this wonderful recipe! Made some adjustments, and ever since, I’ve “mega-cooked” my apple pie fillings. The following recipe truly does store in the freezer for up to a year…in fact, just the other day I thawed one that I’d put up last September and the resulting pie was super!

Apple Pie Filling

  • 24 cups sliced peeled baking apples (6-7 lbs)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 ½ cups sugar (I use half brown sugar, half white)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 10 cups water

In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In a Dutch oven (large kettle works) over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 ½ hours. Seal and freeze; store for up to 12 months. Yield: 5 ½ quarts (enough for about five 9-inch pies).

Okay, here are my tips. Instead of quart jars, I use gallon-sized freezer bags. Let the filling cool a bit before filling the bags (one quart per bag) and then flatten the bag to freeze it. This way, you can stack the “boards” of filling in your freezer and slide one out when needed. Less space needed, and the thawing time is shorter. After thawing, I heat mine up on the stove or in the microwave before putting it in my pie crust, and dot it with butter before sealing the top crust.

Along the same lines, you can stack and freeze your pie crusts. Roll them in your 8 or 9″ circles between wax paper, and stack them together in one of those two gallon freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using!

For a whole lot of fascinating information on making pie crust, and several recipes for “the perfect pie crust” go to Simply Recipes.

My pastry recipe is an old family one–tried and true–that uses butter-flavored Crisco. In light of that, here’s something I learned, that I’ll pass on, from the above site:

“The problem with shortening is that until recently, Crisco shortening contained a lot of transfats. Fortunately, they’ve come out with a new version, in a green can, that has 0 grams of trans fats.”

Now go make some pie!



116 thoughts on “Freezing Apple Pie Filling”

  1. Agree with everything but the freezer bags. That’s just wasteful. Plastic is bad for the environment unless recycled, best stick with glass jars. Most of people don’t care about what happens to the future, but please be the bit of change we need in a wasteful world by being zero waste with just little changes like this.

  2. This message is to Joan For her apples turning to mush. It does depend on the apples used. Some apples don’t cook or bake well. If your not sure which ones to use, just ask the people where you buy your apples from if they are good for cooking and baking. Most of the early apples are soft and will turn to mush. Where your later apples are better keepers and retain themselves much better. Happy baking everyone.

  3. Our Kiwanis Club sells apples every year and I always get at least one case. This year I got Red Delicious, Galas and Granny Smith apples. Last weekend I made the crock pot apple butter and used a combination of all three apples. The apple butter is wonderful. Today I’m making the this recipe for freezer apple pie. My family loves all different types of apple pie and this recipe is definitely a keeper.

  4. I just made this last night and had watery results so i transfered cooked apples to a tupperware container to cool with some of the sauce and did another batch of apples cooking in the remainder. Im making your apple crisp right now. I think with every recipe, you tweak it to suit your ideas. Thank you for a base to start with my house smells so good mu husband sniffed and said , ” I love canning season”. I love freezing season, much easier, especially with an apple peeler/corer/slicer from Bed Bath and Beyond, best 20 bucks ive spent in a while.

  5. Due to urban expansion here in our little town, a beautiful apple tree was cut down but fortunately for me – it is apple season. I picked up 10 gallons of apples off the ground and made a batch of this with part of them. This recipe is perfect. Thank you for posting it.

  6. In reply to those of you who have had excess liquid, it may be the type of apples you’ve used. I have had great success mainly with baking apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn. There’s definitely more juice produced by other favorite non-baking varieties, so if you have excess visible liquid upon thawing your filling, simply tip the bag upside down–being careful to just have a tiny opening in the bag so they don’t accidentally all fall out–and let the watery excess drain out. I’ve done this, too, it’s okay and should still work out. In the past years, I’ve gotten away from making mega batches of pie filling to freeze, and have tweaked apple pie to perfection sometimes only available when making individual pies. However, when you have an abundance of apples to put up, or if you want the ease of homemade apple pie filling ready to go–this method is the way to go!

  7. I agree! I have changed my ways in the last few years. Butter in my pie crusts EVERY time and no Crisco in the house! ; )

  8. Any clue what I can use in lieu of cornstarch?? I have a non-corn eater in my house.

  9. Ashleigh, try Gluccomannan! I haven’t tried it for pie filling, but it makes a great substitute for cornstarch in gravy. A little goes a long way so just try sprinkling a little bit onto your bubbling sugar mixture and wait for it to thicken, adding a teensy bit more if necessary. Hope this helps!

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