Make this easy Apple Pie Filling for homemade pies or embellishing pancakes, waffles, ice cream or oatmeal. You can also use it as a topping for french toast for a taste of apple season all year long.
Easy Apple Pie Filling Recipe
This pie filling recipe is super simple to make. The apple of choice for this recipe is classic Granny Smith apples. They not only hold up to the cooking and baking process but they’re tart allowing for a balance of tartness with the sweet. To make this recipe peel and core apples and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Add to a saucepan along with butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar and salt. Simmer on the stovetop just until fork tender not mushy, then thicken the juices with a cornstarch slurry. Allow the apples to cool, then you can assemble a fresh apple pie in no time.
How to Make the BEST Apple Pie Filling
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Apple Pie Filling: Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, butter, water, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie spice, salt, cornstarch and vanilla extract.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: Medium bowl, medium saucepan or pot, apple corer, sharp knife and chopping board, measuring cups and spoons, small bowl and whisk.
- Granny Smith apples are more tart and hold up to the cooking process best. You can use your favorite variety but please note each will cook differently and vary in sweetness so you will need to make adjustments accordingly.
- Always choose apples that are firm with fresh stems and free of bruising or dark spots.
- You can cube or slice the apples for this apple pie filling. When cubing as demonstrated in this recipe, think around 1/2 inch cubes. When slicing, around 1/4 inch thick apple slices. Slices are thinner and will cook more quickly than chunks.
- Using a combination of light brown sugar and granulated sugar will give the apples a more caramel color and flavor. You can omit the light brown sugar and use 1/2 cup total of granulated sugar, if preferred.
- Apple Pie Spice is a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger. You could adapt using common Baking Ingredient Substitutions to make your own.
- You can use this apple pie filling to make mini pies, as a topping for waffles and pancakes or enjoy it over ice cream and oatmeal for breakfast. You can also use it to make mini apple pies in a muffin pan or as a filling for turnovers.
- To turn this into an easy apple crumb pie or Dutch Apple pie. To do so, make the pie filling per the recipe and cool completely. This can be done one day in advance for a timesaver. Fit a 9 inch deep dish pie dish with a homemade or refrigerated pie crust and dock the bottom with a fork. Cover with parchment and fill with pie weights. Bake in a 375 °F oven for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and fill with apple pie filling and top with a crumb topping. Lower oven to 350°F then bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden.
- To make a double crust apple pie: When I make an apple pie from scratch and when time allows, I usually don’t precook the filling. This pie filling recipe is for make ahead preparation. To make the pie in one fell swoop see my Homemade Apple Pie Recipe here for reference.
- You can store Apple Pie Filling chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can cool and freeze for up to 6 months.
More Apple Dessert Recipes to Make
- Warm Apple Cobbler with vanilla ice cream is so comforting.
- Apple Cider Doughnut Cake is coated in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls will take you from breakfast for dessert.
- Scrumptious Apple Pie Bars drizzled with caramel are amazing!
- Apple Baked Oatmeal is a tasty start to the day.
- Make this Cinnamon Spice Apple Butter in your slow cooker and the house smells wonderful, too.
- Caramel Apple Kabobs from Food Network.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Apple Pie Filling
- 6 large Granny Smith apples (or 8 medium) peeled and cored, 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar *See Cook's Note
- 3 Tbsp apple juice or water
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water for slurry additional as needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, toss cubed apples with lemon juice.
- In a large pot or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. To the pan add apples, granulated sugar, water, cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt. Mix well.
- Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes just until the apples are fork tender but still firm.
- To Thicken: In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water. Whisk into the apples along with the vanilla extract.
- Continue to cook over medium, until thickened. Repeat 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water at a time to thicken further.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or cool and freeze for up to 6 months.
- Make the pie filling per the recipe and cool completely. (Prepare a day ahead for a timesaver.)
- Fit a 9 inch deep dish pie dish with a homemade or refrigerated pie crust and dock the bottom with a fork.
- Cover with parchment and fill with pie weights. Bake in a 375 °F oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the parchment paper and pie weights and fill with apple pie filling and top with a crumb topping.
- Lower oven to 350°F then bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden.
- See my Apple Crumb Pie Recipe for reference here.