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. Oh, this is great! I admit, I don’t make pies from scratch very often, but apple pie is my husband’s favorite…so this is good info for me! Guess I’m going to have to make it now! 🙂

    And thank you for your sweet comment on my “how we met” post…and I wanted to add that since you commented, I had to go back and edit where I had left out something important…WHY he was late for our blind date! He was actually waiting at the other entrance all that time! 😉


  2. Mmmm…apple pie!

    Just wanted to let you know I saw your message over at Writers…Interrupted. We love the leather scent!!

    (The site is just getting going so if you have problems let me know!)

    I think Blogger’s having problems with the beta and non-beta adjustments.

  3. Great! I was just thinking about this the other day. I picked up a can of cherry and apple filling and wondered how it could be ready made from scratch.

  4. Thank you so much for the pie filling recipe and tips.
    I really appreciate finding this information and site.
    Thank you

  5. Just want to thank you for keeping at this and say how much I appreciate your clear and comprehensive comments. I missed the Richmond connection in the original Nation article. Really do hope and expect that someday soon we’ll be reading your work, or something comperable, in the RTD. In the meantime, I’m glad we can read it here.

  6. Ohhh scrumptious!! I’ve never tried an apple pie before where you cook the filling first! And I hate on mine when I go to bite in and the apples are still crunchy…so the cooking before probably eliminates that! I will be making these soon for sure!

  7. I just love having instant access to an apple pie without having to peel a bunch of apples first…doing it all in one fell swoop, especially after a visit to the orchard when we have a bushel or more of apples that need processed…well, it makes pie-making not seem so time-consuming. Pie crust from scratch+peeling/slicing apples and cooking them down…sometimes seems like too much work for a brainstormed-last-minute dessert idea!

    Before I found this recipe, I was using one in which the apples never completely cooked, like you said, they were still crunchy, so I started cooking them in a kettle on the stove till just barely tender before putting them in my crusts…and that was just what they needed. Yum!

  8. That is amazing! I always hated the crunchy apples in pies and still it never struck me to cook them…silly me! Now that I find it out how did I never think of that? lol. I was wondering-you said you use a large kettle-do you know of anywhere online that sells them or do you have a picture of one on here? I haven’t ever seen a large one. I have a small one for boiling water for tea and such but as silly as it sounds I haven’t heard of a large one for cooking with before. And I agree with you about instant access to a ready-made home-made pie filling! Some days I feel like doing all that work and some days I would love a pie but without all the prep-work involved!

  9. I suppose I called it the wrong thing, yes, I can see how a tea kettle comes to mind! It’s a stock pot, I guess, the kind you make a large batch of soup in, here’s a picture:
    Hope this helps! I don’t know what I’d do without mine. I have two. One really large one, that I rarely use, and a 6 quart one that gets used frequently for spaghetti, chili or other soups…Mine is Revere ware, it’s wonderful!

  10. Ooops! I left a question under the wrong apple pie recipe. Sorry! I’ll cut and paste my question here:
    I have to make pies for a church dinner, so this sounds great! I was wondering, though, how long to bake the pie. If the filling is warm going in, does the bottom crust have enough time to bake before the filling is bubbling? Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Now I can’t wait to visit the rest of your site!

  11. No problem, Virginia, I get email notifications for every comment made here at the site, so I would have answered you at the other post first chance I got anyway!

    I bake my apple pies with bottom and top crusts, and even with the filling bubbling, I still give the pie a good thirty minutes (sometimes more) in the oven. At least till the top crust is lightly browned. I make sure to lightly “wrap” foil strips around the crust edges so they don’t get too brown.

    Glad you found this site and I hope you come back often! Good luck with all your pies–what a big job, but so satisfying!

  12. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try this pie. Being nearly computer illiterate I thought the URI was for a user name, so I put Ginny, which everyone calls me. So… that’s not my website. Once again, so sorry. 🙁
    What a blessing this site is!

  13. You are a blessing to me, just for taking time to browse the site. Thank you!

    No problem about the URL, filling it in is optional! In fact, if you had a website or blog, that’s the address you’d put in the “URL” space, and your name would be the link that took me to your site. And don’t feel computer illiterate, before blogging I hardly knew the ins and outs either!

    So glad to welcome you to Home-steeped Hope. I looked at the calendar tonight and got all excited–December 1st! Merry Christmas a few days early… 😉

  14. Oh, God bless you for giving me a reason to use my 16 qt. stock pot! I used to use it once a year for mashed potatoes for our company Thanksgiving potluck, but have not used it for a while. I hated the thought of getting rid of it, but now you’ve given me a reason to dig it out of the cupboard and dust it off! Thanks and I’m off to check out the rest of your site!

  15. Lol, Alicia, I have to dust mine off every year at this time! I do love having one that size but just like you, rarely have the need to fill it full…

    Hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s such a quick way to be “set” for apple pies!

  16. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We have so many apples from apple picking, I need to make something like this. I’ll let you know how it comes out, but I’m intimidated to peel & slice all the apples by myself.

    Colleen’s last blog post..Snow?!?!?!

  17. Colleen, I understand “intimidated”! This year we had three rounds of apples filling my back porch and staring me in the face till they got processed! Thankfully my mom came over and helped me two days, and then I had a whole family of homeschooler friends come spend the afternoon…we got a LOT of apples peeled and the kitchen was evidence! ;O) That’s my recommendation…get some friends and declare a workday. Everyone can bring apples and split the products, or just help you with yours and you can send them home with some of the fruits of their labors. It’s so much fun to do this with friends, time flies.

    Also, if you are facing a mountain of apples…consider juicing them! It’s AMAZING how fast that process goes and it really uses up the apples. Plus, fresh apple juice is the best thing you’ll ever taste! All you have to do is core the apples first and slice them if necessary for your juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, I’d get one. Especially if you have apple trees. It will help you make the most of your harvest in the least amount of time. I borrowed my moms and we made 4 gallons of juice from several bushels of apples. Of course, I had to let those 4 gallons sit in my fridge for a day or two, to let the sediment drift to the bottom, and then I had to separate the sediment from the juice by straining it with a cheesecloth…and then I canned it all in quarts. There are a ton of instructions on how to do this on the net if you want to know more, or I’d be happy to explain further…just another idea. I was so glad to find an easy way to use up my remaining apples.

    Also fun is to slice your unpeeled apples horizontally in thin full slices and dry them in your oven till they’re dried out completely…then cool them and spray both sides with a clear acrylic sealant and use them for apple crafts. Apple slice wreaths, or apple slice swags (with a few cinnamon sticks and cranberries thrown in)…

    But good luck with the apple pie filling! It’s really easy and worth the time it will save you later making individual pies!

  18. I have a suggestion for the frozen apple pie filling…when you have vanilla ice cream, heat some pie filling in the microwave and put over the ice cream…apple pie ala mode, without the crust!

  19. Um, YUM! Thanks for sharing, Bill! Today we had Swedish pancakes and I fried some sliced apples for a topping…it was so delicious. We might try apple pie filling on top next time! Heated, of course!

  20. This is an awesome recipe. My wife is learning to cook and she fixed this for our family last night. She drizzled some agave nectar on the pie filling to make it a little sweeter. It was out of this world!

  21. I canned apple pie filling for the first time last fall with my sister and a friend. A real good thing to do with the apple pie filling is add it into your pancake batter and have apple pancakes. We like to top with a little bit of coolwhip or redi whip in the can.

  22. Bruce, that sounds great! For a beginning cook, I’m impressed that she’s trying agave nectar! I bet you’re welcoming all her culinary experimenting! Thanks so much for letting me know you liked this recipe.

    And yum on the apple-pancakes! That sounds really delicious, Laura! Thanks for the tip, what a decadent breakfast!

  23. I used half the sugar, but it still turned out amazing. This recipe WORKS! I put the filling into a crust recipe from my trusty Joy of Cooking. I’m so happy to have found it. Thanks so much for keeping it up here.

  24. Thanks for the great receipe ! I have never made apple pie like this befor.Delicious !! Great idea, my family and I went apple picking and went overboard !!! Searching the internet I found this site, love the freezer bag idea !!!!

  25. Melis, apples apples everywhere! I dried some last summer, and can you believe they’ve kept wonderfully in a ziplock in my cupboard all this time? So glad you liked the pie filling!

  26. I have an abundance of apples from our gleaner group pick and wanted to freeze a lot of the harvest. This apple pie filling looks like a winner. I am going to find a flat spot in my freezer ??? and place the ziplock bags in pie tins so that when they are frozen they take on the shape of the tin. I can remove the tin for the next batch. They will stack well but can be thawed in the pie shell when ready to use. Don’t know if it will make the bottom crust soggy, so I’ll prebake the shell for ten minutes before I place the filling in and then add a crumble top. I also love the dried apple slices and sharing the recipe with my friends.

  27. It is a winner…I still have some in the freezer from our abundant apple harvest last year and it looks and tastes fine! Amazing after a whole year in there. I need to use it up ASAP! ;O) Glad you shared this here, thanks! Homemade applesauce is another thing that freezes well, and is easy to make. We like it chunky, with lots of cinnamon! The girls like it when I throw in some cinnamon red hots to melt once the apples are mostly cooked. Mmm!

  28. Thank you for your amazing recipe. Like in the others responses I too wondered why wasnt I boiling my apples first. it’s that time a year again and I needed a new recipe to try Thank you Mary for taking your time to post this.

  29. I just made your apple pie receipe, instead of using 10 cups of water,, I used 5 cups of water and 5 cups of diet v8 splash, tropical blend. It was great.

  30. Oh wow, Charlie! That sounds de-lish! I used up some holiday wassail in apple pie filling once, and it was to-die-for, so I am sitting here with my mouth watering at the thought of the V8 splash add-in! Yummo! Thanks for sharing that!

  31. i have been baking 10lb. apple pies for years now. this is the first year i have picked fresh apples off the tree to bake them. dont know what kind they are but they bake a mean pie! question though: after you cook them and freeze them then thaw to bake a pie, how long do you bake the pie for? If I bake it the normal amount of time as a fresh apple then the apples will be too mooshy wont they? Please help
    for I am peeling them as we speak! I was going to freeze just the apples then when thawed mix my cinnamon etc. together and bake them as usual/found one recipe for freezing where you just dip the fresh apples in salt water then lay them on a tray to freeze, once frozen you package them in freezer bags. any input on that method? thanks for your time. and happy baking!

  32. my name is sharon and i was wondering if you could mail my friend laura this page as she is interested in some frozen apple pie filliing recipes, thank you…

  33. Hi Dierdre,
    I apologize…I just now saw your comment, too late to help you “in the moment”! I’ve never frozen my apples separately on trays, so can’t help you there. I can tell you that I’ve used this apple pie filling recipe many times, and it’s still good up to one year after freezing! I usually heat it up a little before putting it in the pie crusts, so adjusting the cook time is dependent upon whether you do this or not. Trial and error, to determine what your family prefers best, might be the way to go!

    Happy Baking to you too!

    Hi Sharon,
    It looks like you might have used Laura’s email in your comment, so she will get a notification of this reply in her email inbox! Then she can follow the link provided directly to this page! Hope this helps!


  34. Wonderful. I had just the right amount of freshly picked apples left, and didn’t know what to do with them, until I stumbled upon your post. Thanks for a great recipe. The apple filling is cooling, and will be frozen in freezer bags this afternoon. Very excited.

  35. Mmm, I’m envious. It wasn’t a great apple year in my area, or I’d be doing the same thing. October ritual–putting up apples. So glad you will enjoy in my stead! ;O)

    Blessings, Aga!

  36. How many pies does this recipe make? Do u thaw before putting on the stove? And do u just reheat enough to get the apples warm?

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