Apple Pie Filling Recipe – Love and Lemons

Learn how to make your own apple pie filling! Sweet, tart, juicy and hot seasoned, it’s delicious in pies and on ice cream, pancakes and more.


Apple pie filling


Once I started making this apple pie filling recipe, I knew I would never fill an apple pie any other way. The apples have the perfect texture—soft, but not mushy—and they’re oozing with syrupy, cinnamon-spiced juices. If you’re making an apple pie this fall, I can’t recommend this filling highly enough.

But even if you not I still hope you will try this recipe. This homemade apple pie filling doesn’t have to hide in a flaky, buttery crust to be a delicious treat. The soft, sweet and sour apples are fantastic on ice cream or yogurt, stirred into oatmeal, or for dessert on their own. Let’s face it, this filling is just fresh apples cooked with brown sugar, warm spices, and vanilla. What’s not to love about that?


Ingredients for apple pie filling


Apple Pie Filling Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this homemade apple pie filling:

  • apples, naturally! In my opinion, Granny Smith apples are the best apples for filling apple pies. They hold their shape well when cooked, and their pungency brings out the sweet, spicy flavors in this recipe. If you want to use a type of apple with a less sour taste, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious are two good alternatives.
  • Brown sugar and cane sugar – For sweets. I love the molasses flavor of the brown sugar in addition to the warm spices in this recipe.
  • Apple Pie Seasoning – I like to make my own with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, but feel free to use a store-bought blend if you prefer.
  • Fresh lemon juice and zest – They add delicious brightness to this apple pie filling.
  • Vanilla extract – It enhances the warm, cozy taste of the herbs.
  • Cornstarch and water – They create a slurry that thickens the apple juice into a glossy sauce.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the full recipe with measurements below.


Sliced ​​apples covered with cinnamon and sugar in large jar


How to make apple pie filling

This apple pie filling recipe is very easy to make! Here’s how it goes:

Prepare the apples first. Peel them, pit them and cut them into thin slices.

Then whisk together the sugars, spices and salt at the bottom of a large pot. Add the apples and lemon juice and stir until the apples are well coated with the sugar and spices.

Let the apples stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to get some of their juices out. I like to stir them well after 15 minutes to make sure they stay evenly coated with the sugars, spices, and juices. While the apples are sitting, mix the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.


Apple pie filling in large pan


Then place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Tip: You only need the apples to soften a bit if you are going to use this apple pie filling in a pie; they should still have a little bite. If you are going to eat the filling alone or as an ice cream topping, etc., you can cook the apples to the desired tenderness.

Increase the heat to medium and pour in the cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring, until the apple juice bubbles and thickens. This doesn’t take long, just 30 seconds or so!

Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and vanilla extract. That is it!

Using Apple Pie Filling

You can immediately enjoy this easy apple pie filling

If you’re making a pie, let the filling cool completely before adding it to the crust. Cooling the filling completely will keep the butter in the pie crust cold until you bake the pie, resulting in a lighter, flaky crust. To let the filling cool down faster, spread it over a few baking sheets or in a large baking dish.

To streamline the pie process, you can prepare the filling up to 2 days in advance. It keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Apple pie filling recipe


More favorite apple recipes

If you like this recipe, try one of these delicious apple recipes:

Apple Pie Filling

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Serves 8

In this easy apple pie filling recipe, I cook sweet and sour apples with warm spices until they are tender and juicy. It makes enough for a 9.5 or 9 inch cake. If you are using a 9 inch pie pan, you may have some filling left over. Use it as a topping for ice cream or pancakes, or try one of the other serving suggestions in the post above.

  • cup packed brown sugar
  • cup cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Pie Herbs
  • teaspoon sea ​​salt
  • 4 pounds good baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • teaspoon lemon peel
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, cane sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Add the apple slices and lemon juice and stir until the apples are evenly coated with the sugar and spices. Set aside for 30 minutes to extract some of the juice from the apples.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth.

  • Place the pan with the apples on medium heat. Cook, stirring, until apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes*. Increase the heat to medium and pour the cornstarch mixture over the apples. Cook, stirring, until apple juice bubbles and thickens, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and vanilla.

  • Let the filling cool completely before using in a pie, or serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

*If you do not plan to use the apple pie filling in a pie, continue cooking until the apples have reached the desired tenderness. Use as a topping for vanilla ice cream or yogurt, or try one of the other serving suggestions in the post above.

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