Homemade Stovetop Apple Pie Filling

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Apple picking from a local orchard or from the apple trees on your own homestead can leave you with an abundance of apples. Don’t let them go to waste! Instead, make this easy stovetop apple pie filling recipe! You can also preserve fresh apple slices and turn them into homemade pie filling later!

This homemade version of apple pie filling is soooo much better than the canned stuff from your local grocery store!

Choosing Apples for Apple Pie Filling

The kind of apples that you choose for this recipe can make a difference in the final product.

I like to use a combination of honey crisp apples and granny smith apples for a mix of sweet and tart flavor with a bit of crunch.

Honeycrisp apples and granny smith apples on a cutting board

This article lays out the best apple varieties for apple pie so you can make the right choice for your homemade apple pie filling.

The Best Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

This homemade version of apple pie filling is soooo much better than the canned stuff from your local grocery store!

Ingredients for Apple Filling:

  • 8 apples (cored, peeled, and sliced) 
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 3/4 cup honey OR brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch


STEP 1: Core peel, and slice the apples.

This can be accomplished using a knife, a produce peeler or this handy dandy apple peeler / corer / slicer contraption!

apple being peeled, cored, and sliced

You can leave the peel on but this could hinder the apples from melding together during the baking process. I like to leave the peels on ¼-½ of my apples and I remove the peeling on the rest.

You also have the choice of leaving your apples in slices or cutting them down into small chunks. I chose smaller chunks just to make it easier for the kiddos to eat.

STEP 2: Toss with Lemon Juice

Place the apple slices or chunks in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

Apple chunks in a bowl tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning

STEP 3: Add Spices Sugar and Water

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, water, cornstarch, honey (or brown sugar), and water to a large saucepan (large enough to fit all the apples). 

Be sure to mix all the dry ingredients well before adding the water. Then stir well to avoid large clumps.

STEP 4: Boil the Apple Pie Filling Mixture

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat while stirring.

STEP 5: Add Apples to Hot Mixture

Add apple slices or chunks to the saucepan. Stir well until they are coated with the spice mix and then reduce to a simmer.

Cooked apple slices in a homemade apple pie filling mixture on the stove

STEP 6: Simmer the Apples

Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10-20 minutes until the apples are fork tender.

STEP 7: Store or Use

You can put the apple pie filling in airtight containers (like mason jars) and store them in the fridge or water bath can for longer-term storage.

Homemade apple pie filling in a mason jar will apple pie in the background

If you plan to use the homemade apple pie filling right away, pour it into a prepared pie crust (check out my all butter pie crust recipe) and bake! When it is ready, pop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and enjoy!

Homemade Stovetop Apple Pie Filling in a homemade all butter pie crust

You could also make an easy apple crisp or my apple pie bread pudding!

Apple Pie bread pudding in a red ramekin

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