Delicious freezer apple pie filling features sweet, tart, juicy apples. Cook it for 5 minutes on stovetop. Freezing apple pie filling is a great way to prep for the holidays. When you need a dessert, just add it to a pie crust and bake.
Stovetop apple pie filling helps prevent a soupy situation – a runny apple pie with a soggy crust. Seasoned bakers know that precooking apple pie filling on stovetop before spooning it into the crust is an important step to reduce excess liquid inside the pie shell as it bakes.
We’ll cook the mixture on stovetop just until slightly tender. Under heat, the fruit will begin releasing juices and the cornstarch will start thickening things up. Later, the filling (in the pie crust) will continue baking in the oven.
The best time to make stovetop apple pie filling is during prime apple season – September and October. We want to preserve that crisp delicious flavor right now, then freeze the filling to lock in freshness for later.
I recommend doubling or tripling this recipe. Just divide it among several freezer bags so you’ll have plenty on hand for the holidays and for the upcoming months when apples are no longer in season.
WHAT TO MAKE WITH FREEZER APPLE PIE FILLING: Try an apple galette, caramel apple tartlets, apple pop tarts, or apple strudel. Enjoy it as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes or apple cinnamon waffles.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- Easy Make-Ahead Recipe: Just peel, core and slice the fruit. Cook the apple pie filling on stovetop until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
- Simple Ingredients: Just apples and some basic pantry staples.
- Super Convenient: It saves time when making holiday pies. See the Recipe FAQ section on this page for a fabulous kitchen hack.
- Freezing Preserves Fresh Flavor: Made with freshly-picked apples, this recipe preserves their bright clean flavor and natural sweetness.
- Prevents Food Waste: When you have an abundance of apples on hand, this stovetop-to-freezer recipe helps use up that fruit, saving money and preventing food waste.
- Butter: Enriches the apple pie filling with a delicious buttery flavor.
- Lemon Juice: The citrus acid helps balance the flavors.
- Water: Provides an initial touch of moisture in the pan (before the apples start releasing their juices) for easy mixing.
- Granulated Sugar: Provides the ideal amount of sweetness. If desired, you can use half granulated sugar and half brown sugar.
- Cornstarch: Thickens up the fruit filling so it’s not watery thin.
- Ground Cinnamon: Adds delicious fall flavor and aroma.
- Kosher Salt: This seasoning enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. Add salt to taste.
- Apples: This crunchy fruit is the of the show for this freezer recipe. Use whatever type you have on hand, or see “Recommended apples for apple pie filling” in the Recipe FAQ section below.
- Vanilla Extract (optional): Enhances the flavor of the apple pie filling while adding a yummy bakery aroma.
RECIPE PREP: Peel and core the apples. Slice them into 1/4 inch pieces or 1/2-inch cubes. While slices are perfect for pies, cubes are more versatile. They can be used as a topping and to assemble smaller desserts.
- STEP 1: Melt butter on stovetop over medium heat.
- STEP 2: Stir in sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt.
- STEP 3: Add apples to the pan and fold them in. With a wooden spoon, stir frequently for 4 to 6 minutes or until the apples are slightly softened (with just a bit of firmness remaining), and the filling has thickened. Remove pan from heat. If desired, add a splash of vanilla extract.
- STEP 4: Let the mixture cool completely. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST freezer apple pie filling, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.
Absolutely. Apple-picking season is September and October. For apples, these are the prime months for taste and texture. During the rest of the year, apples sold at supermarkets come straight from cold storage. Their cell structure has been broken down during this process. They’re no longer at their peak state for making the best fruit pies and desserts.
Golden Delicious have a balanced sweet/tart taste. Braeburn (a descendant of Granny Smith) is lightly sweet with a pear-like taste. Jonagold (a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious) are sweet, tart and crunchy. Granny Smith apples keep their shape but are on the bland side. It’s best to pair them with sweeter, more flavorful apples.
Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Jonagold are some of the best varieties for apple pie. Their texture holds up well when cooked and frozen.
Four medium apples will yield about the same amount of apple pie filling as 1 store-bought can. But when making it from scratch I use 5 apples instead of 4. That way we’re sure to have an ample amount.
You can bake an apple pie with frozen apple pie filling. But in many cases, partial defrosting is recommended so you can manipulate the apple pieces when assembling pies and other desserts.
Fill a zip-top freezer bag with the amount of apple pie filling needed to make a pie. Arrange it inside a metal pie pan, shaping the contents to fit the pan. Squeeze out excess air from the bag and seal it well. Put the pan with filling in the freezer. Once the apples are frozen solid, remove the pan. The freezer apple pie filling is now perfectly shaped for a pie.
Stored in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze it in a zip-top freezer bag with any excess air pressed out. It’ll stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Taste testers rated this the BEST apple pie filling recipe. It’s simple to make and super delicious. The stovetop mixture boasts a lightly-firm texture with delicious flavors that are perfectly balanced. And it smells so good.
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Apple Pie Filling
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
This super-delicious apple pie filling is thick, buttery and sweet with the ideal amount of tart. Assemble it on stovetop, then freeze it for later. Make multiple batches for the holiday season.
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
RECIPE PREP: Peel and core the apples. Slice into 1/4 inch pieces or 1/2-inch cubes. While slices are perfect for pies, cubes are more versatile for smaller desserts.
- Melt butter on stovetop over medium heat.
- Stir in sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt.
- Add apples to the pan and fold them in. With a wooden spoon, stir frequently for 4 to 6 minutes or until the apples are slightly softened (with just a bit of firmness remaining), and the filling has thickened. Remove pan from heat. If desired, add a splash of vanilla extract.
- Let the filling cool completely.
- Transfer it to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
For more apple flavor: Use fresh apple cider (not apple cider vinegar) instead of water.
If more thickening is needed: Create a cornstarch slurry. In a ramekin, stir together 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Add it to the filling, just a little bit at time. Stir to incorporate. You may need just some of the slurry, not all of it.
If the filling is too thick: Stir in melted butter to thin it out.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: apple pie filling, stovetop apple pie filling, freezer apple pie filling, apple pie filling recipe
Apple Pie filling > join the conversation
Do you enjoy baking farm-fresh apple pies? What do you think about this quick and easy stovetop apple pie filling? Will you be freezing yours or using it right away? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
40 thoughts on “Apple Pie Filling”
Best apple pie filling ever! The perfect amount of sweet. I used Golden Delicious apples and doubled the recipe. My pies came out great. I also used your pie crust recipe. So buttery and flaky.
Hello, I followed this recipe, it did need a bit more water and lemon juice for a hint of tartness. It is yummy. I freeze the filling and then pop it into a crust and instant pie for a last minute desert. perfect.
Will this apple pie filling recipe stand up to a cream cheese layered pie?
I just followed your recipe…. and omg the best apple pie I ever had and made !! This is my second time making a pie ever!!! And the difference in recipes and apples made such a huge difference for me. Thank you so much
Wow! This looks really great. Definitely gonna try to make it this weekend.
I love this apple pie! I’ll try this recipe soon. Thansk for sharing.
Oh my gosh! I don’t eat apple pie but I could see people eating this right out of the jar.
I’m glad you use real apples. I always thought it was hard to make this…. But this is real & easy
This looks delicious. Perfect timing since I’m going apple picking this weekend :D
This looks so good! I’ve actually been thinking about making Apple Pie soon…
This looks amazing and so sophisticated. I am not sure my version would look as good as yours! But fall and winter is nice to try out new recipes :)
This could be used in so much more than just pie. so many possibilities!
This looks like it tastes amazing. I have never made my own filling before but I should definitely start.
I think I really need to start baking some pies and hopefully they don’t backfire on me. Looks really good.
This is such a delicious one ! These pictures look amazing. I would love to try this out
I do a lot of apple canning during the fall season because I have my own apple trees. Your recipe looks like one I’d enjoy so I’ll give it a try this year.
It looks so yummy and quite easy to do. I love things made from apple and this recipe really attract me. I will try this for my weeken.
Thanks for sharing!
How do You store it and for how long?
Hello Zane. When stored in an air-tight glass or plastic container, your yummy apple pie filling will last for up to one week in the refrigerator.
What a yummy pie filling recipe! I definitely want to try! Pinning!
Mmmmm this is definitely one of my favorite things! I never thought of just making it by itself tho without the crust etc. I’ll definitely have to try it out!! :)
How easy is this!! I love that there aren’t any weird ingredients included (who knows what comes in the cans)! My mouth is watering thinking of putting these on weekend pancakes :)
i havent made apple pie in such a long time! this makes me want to bake one! we are going apple picking, so we will certainly have all the apples! :)
apple pie is not big in asia but now that i have moved to north america, i now realize how yummy and addicting they are! i think it is now time for me to start making my own especially when it is this easy!
Yum!! Will be subbing the butter for vegan EarthBalance butter to try this out! :)
I love homemade apple pie filling. Sometimes the filling doesn’t even make it to the pie shell before it’s all gobbled up! Your’s looks delicious.
I can thing of so many tasty things to do with these! Canned pie filling is loaded with so many questionable ingredients – I can’t wait to try making my own!
This looks amazing and it’s awesome that it is so versatile!
Looks so delicious! I will definitely be making lots of pies this season!
Yum this apple recipe looks delicious!! Perfect for fall, I need to attempt to make this! Thanks for sharing
Perfect timing for this recipe! We are doing mini pies for Halloween and this pie filling will be used! Thanks so much!
I love when you can make something once and use it in so many different applications. This looks really yummy.
There are so many options that you can use with this. I love it! I love it when you can make something like this so multi-purpose.
Oh yummy. This looks really quite delicious. I love that you can eat it with so many different things!
Your recipe sounds really easy and yummy. My son loves apple pies and I am sure I will try your recipe now.
I had never heard of apple pie filling before. You must patent this!! It looks so amazing & I’m sure must taste delicious! And you can eat it with so many things!
Now this sounds like some delicious apple pie filling I have to admit I am all for a good apple pie, perhaps with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.
This filling looks fantastic! I admit, I usually get mine from a can. This looks so much better!
Mmmmmm! I’m going to have to make this too. :)
Lori, you and your family are going to love this scrumptious apple pie filling! Thanks so much for stopping by for this sweet recipe. I appreciate the comment!