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Years ago, I shared a family recipe for my great aunt’s apple pie filling. It was my go-to recipe for as long as I can remember. I think I clung to it out of nostalgia. That pie filling was the only one my mom and grandma ever made. I just kept using the recipe every fall even though it didn’t always work, like last year’s clumpy cornstarch apple-mush.
After doing some reading about why old canning recipes fail or aren’t up to current safety standards, I decided to step out of my box and try some new apple pie filling recipes this year. Good glory, you guys! I am so glad!
The results were delicious and oh, so pretty!
Here’s what happened:
I started with an apple pie filling recipe I found on the Ball website. The process was so much simpler than what I’ve always done! I love the idea of blanching the apples for a minute and cooking the sauce separately. Totally keeps the apples firm instead of turning to saucy mush. I also like that instead of all water you use mostly apple juice to add flavor. However, there isn’t enough spice in this recipe for my liking. 1/2 tsp cinnamon? Skimpy.
Also, their recipe only makes about 3 quarts. A half-empty canner does not fly with me. If I’m going to that much effort, I want a full 7 quarts.
The second recipe I made was from the back of the yellow Cornaby’s Thick Gel bag. Clear gel powder is used in place of the cornstarch from the old fashioned recipes. For in-depth details, check out THIS post from Ashley over at Practical Self Reliance. She breaks it all down wonderfully. I learned a ton from her post!
Anyway, Cornaby’s recipe made a full canner of apple pie filling and had plenty of spice, which made my taste buds much happier. But, I have an aversion to the microwave and who wants to sit and microwave bowls of apples anyway? No thanks.
So, after making both recipes, I decided to combine them. I took the cooking process from the Ball recipe but used it with the ingredients from the Cornaby’s bag and, holy smokes, we have a winner! The result was a full 7 quarts of the prettiest apple pie filling I’ve ever made in my life. Thick, sweet, and delicious with no mush!
- apple peeler corer
- lemon juice or Fruit Fresh to prevent browning
- canning funnel and jar lifter
- canning jars
- lids and rings
- water bath canner or steam canner
Give it a try and let me know what you think!