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. Hi Paula,
    This recipe is enough to make five 9″ pies. I thaw mine overnight before I bake, and I do reheat it a bit on the stovetop before putting it in my pie crusts.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Good question! I always reheat my filling after it thaws, and then bake it at least 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or till crust is golden and pie filling bubbly. Hope this helps, Kelley!

  3. I just tried to make this pie filling. I ended up with applesauce. I measured everything carefully and followed the recipe carefully. I added more cornstarch and that wouldn’t even thicken it up. I have no idea what went wrong. I’ll never use it again. Sorry to sound mad, but honestly, I’m a tried and true baker from way back, not a newbie. This recipe should be removed from the site. I’d do that anyway. It cost me a whole bunch of apples. It’s too sweet for applesauce because I put honey or just a tad of sugar in mine, not cups. Oh well. The apples were donated by my church for me to make several pies for a function. Now I’ll have to buy them to replace what I lost.

  4. Hi KTN, no, don’t prebake the crust, just add your warmed up filling to the unbaked pie dough lined pie plate and top with crust, as usual! Sorry I didn’t see this sooner!

  5. I’m so sorry Joan! I’ve never had any trouble with this recipe and use it every year. That is strange, and I am so sorry for all the trouble and time you lost trying this recipe. This is a recipe I originally got from Taste of Home, and we all know that they test all their recipes in their test kitchens before putting their name on them. I would chalk it up to a fluke, maybe the type of apples, or some other anomaly. Very sorry it didn’t turn out for you.


  6. Hi Becky, I haven’t made apple pandowdy in SO long! I forgot about it…will have to dig up that recipe, we are inundated with apples right now! Thanks for the comment!

  7. I made this recipe in October, 2012 and just now got around to making a pie with it – it turned out fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  8. i just made this recipe and i think something went terribly wrong! i ended up with too much liquid! when you freeze the filling how much apple/sauce ratio do you put? because i know that apple filling should not be watery , so now am confused! i put half apples half sauce in the freezer bags but do u think when i come to use it in an apple pie i should just pick the apples out of the sauce and just use that? also any suggestions on what to do with the rest of the sauce i have? can it be of any use to me? it would be a waste to throw it out, what should i do with it?

  9. My toddler and I went apple picking this weekend and came home with 90lbs of apples. I was making my list of things to make and a friend linked me to this recipe. My bags are currently cooling. There was a smudge of the filling left so I served it with dinner. It was delicious! I have no idea what the self proclaimed “true baker” did wrong because it most definitely was not the recipe.

  10. I just finished making this recipe. It was the first time I attempted to make pie filling freezer apples. It turned out awesome and made the house smell so good. I will definitely make this again and again. I highly recommend this recipe to all. Thank you to all that made comments about the crust, heating filling and baking instructions. I am excited to have this in the freezer for winter use.

  11. I use this recipe every year and it works great, but I only use 5 cups of water because I use just picked apples and they have more water in them.

  12. loved the outcome of this recipe. I cut it in half, not enough apples and used potato starch instead of corn starch, same exchange amounts. the filling looks and tastes good. thank you

  13. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I just made and apple pie using a different recipe and am not too fond of it. It didn’t use cinnamon or nutmeg in it just sugars butter and flour. The house now smells of burnt sugar (where it boiled over onto the cooking sheet under the pie.). I’ll post again after I make this. I’ll make 1 pie and freeze the rest!!!!

  14. We just moved in to my grandparent-in-laws house in Dec. Come to find out there is a wonderful tree that produces cooking apples. Why they are ready in July I have no idea, but I’m using my few weeks of summer break for focusing myself on what is important….FAMILY! Got the filling cooling on the stove and will be bagging and freezing soon. Thanks so much for posting such great tips!

  15. I have never baked a pie before; however, hubby loves apple pie. What type of cooking apples do you recommend? Also, is it okay use more than one type of apple in the same batch of filling?

  16. I made two batches of the pie filling. The second batch I cut the slices into a bowl of water, since the apples that I used turned brown quite quickly, then I did not use the lemon juice. Since the apple slices were “water logged” from being in the water, I only used about five cups of the water, instead of 10. The end result was the same as the first batch, tasted great! I am anxious to use it in pies! I like the idea of putting the filling in freezer bags and then freezing them flat. Doesn’t take up so much room in the freezer that way!

  17. I loved this recipe the only thing I did diffrent was cut it in half. I only had 12 cups of apples on hand. I will most defenatelly be using this recipe again and again. We all need short cuts, to have this in the freezer is the best..

  18. Hi Linda, definitely use more than one kind of apple, it adds greater flavor variety. Some common combinations I use are granny smith, jonathan, and pink lady or gala. Happy pie baking!

  19. I just made this pie filling tonight. I only had enough apples for half a batch, so I simply cut everything (except the cinnamon – I LOVE cinnamon) in half. It turned out wonderful! I used a little right away to make some apple empanadas and my husband and son were in heaven. I might either cut down the water or increase the cornstarch a little next time. While it wasn’t watery, it still was a bit thinner than I prefer. That’s just personal preference though. Thanks for sharing a terrific recipe!

  20. I made one batch last week and another this week. I used macintosh apples as they were recommended to me as baking apples. Both batches made 7 quarts. To measure I used a quart jar and poured the contents into the quart freezer bags. It worked wonderful. My house smells delicious. Thank you so much for your recipe!

  21. Crisco is nasty , artificial stuff.. use lard , butter or coconut oil instead.. SO much better then liquid plastic.. 🙂

  22. I just made this recipe this afternoon. It is cooling now. The liquid seems a little runny and I am wondering if I should put less liquid in when bagging it. I am concerned about the juice running over!

  23. I use this recipe, thaw in Fridge overnight, I use a pre-made Pie Crust, that I found here on Pinterest. The Pie Dough is made with 5 lbs. of flour, shortening and salt. I mixed it all up and rolled the dough out and cut it to fit a nine-inch Pie Plate, I then rolled it onto a wax paper sheet and froze it. It can make up to twenty shells. They can be stored in a shoe box, to keep them from being crushed. I Cook on a very large Ranch, and do not have the time to mix Pie Dough always. I am not sure how long it will keep, as we use it up very fast! The Apple Pie Filling,I cook up,and freeze in gallon-sized Zip-Loc Bags.

  24. I am about to make this recipe and I too wonder about the quantity of water. When it is time to put the apples in the bags do you use a spoon with holes to eliminate most of the water ??

  25. Hi,
    Your recipe sounds wonderful. I was wondering if you have a sugar free version. Being diabetic, this would be great!

  26. Will this recipe work with Granny Smith apples? I have a Granny Smith apple tree in my new house, and it is producing WAY too many apples for my family of 3 to eat!

  27. Not sure what happened with my batch, but it was very watery. I could have easily gotten away with half the amount of liquid. water. I ended up throwing away about 5 cups of liquid. Still seems runny. I froze these in freezer bags and that part seems to work well. When I am actually going to bake the pies, I will likely add a tsp of Minit Tapioca to thicken the mixture.

  28. I have made this recipe for several years and adore it! Always turns out so yummy. I just bought canning supplies this year, and would love to be able to can this and give it away as gifts. Any idea on how to convert it?

  29. I don’t cook my apples when I make a pie. I just fold in sugar, flour, spices and lemon juice, and spoon it into a crust lined pan, top with top crust, brush water or melted butter on top crust and sprinkle crust with sugar. Makes the best pie.
    I was really looking for how you put the apples in a paper lined pan, and froze it to just slip into a crust lined pan to bake. That looked really interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.