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Homemade Apple Pie Filling – Easy Stovetop Recipe

Homemade Apple Pie Filling combines fresh apples in a brown sugar sauce loaded with warm cinnamon. This easy Apple Pie Filling from Scratch can be eaten as is or made into a quick apple dessert.

Top down view of two bowls filled with cooked apples in a brown sugar-cinnamon sauce sitting on a wood board. Fresh apples sit behind the bowls and antique spoons in front of the bowls.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is the first thing that I make when I buy too many apples humanly impossible to eat in a month. This easy apple pie filling makes a great side dish, topping for ice cream and pancakes, or a quick dessert with a delicious comfort meal.

I just love apples, and the truth is I eat one almost every day for lunch.

For that reason, I tend to buy them by the warehouse full (not quite) and after about a week reality sets in and I realize that once again my eyes were much bigger than my stomach.

Apples can last 1 to 2 months in the refrigerator (best in the crisper drawer) but only 5 to 7 days on the counter.

When shopping for apples, I always want to get the freshest ones that I can.

Tips for choosing the freshest apples

If you’re heading to the orchard, you know how fresh they are. However, in the grocery store apples don’t come with an “eat by” date, you have to rely on your knowledge of what to look for.

At Spoon University they state to pick an apple that is colorful, smooth, and firm. Also, make sure that it’s free from bruising or spots. If you rub your finger across the skin of the apple and it wrinkles, that’s not a good apple.

They also have a great buying guide on the best apples to buy according to your purposes like eating or baking.

Some apples are naturally softer in texture, and we don’t care for them as much and they’re not great for baking in my opinion either. I tend to buy Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples which are great for eating or baking or making an Easy Apple Pie Filling Recipe! John’s a Granny Smith guy.

Are apples healthy?

They sure are! Here are just a few of the benefits according to UsApple.org!

  • Packed with Antioxidants and Good Gut Bacteria
  • Can reduce bad cholesterol levels
  • Lowers the chance of bone fractures
  • One of the best sources of soluble fiber
  • Weight reduction
3/4 view of cooked apple pie filling in a metal bowl with 3 fresh apples behind it sitting on a blue stripped towel.

Ingredients in Apple Pie Filling

  • Apples – the best ones are the ones you like. This recipe is all about using what you have. Some may cook up softer than others but they’ll be delicious just the same. I combined Honey Crisp and Granny Smith for this post.
  • Brown Sugar – I like dark brown sugar. It has a little more molasses in it which gives it more of a caramel flavor. You can use light if that’s what you like.
  • Cinnamon – adds warmth to this Apple Pie Filling with Brown Sugar recipe. By using only cinnamon I can add it to other recipes if I choose to.
  • Apple juice – I used 100% juice but you could even use water which the apples will flavor.
  • Butter – I used salted in this recipe for simplicity. If you use unsalted, just add a pinch of salt.
  • Cornstarch – thickens this filling into a delicious saucy consistency.

I love making this saucy Apple Pie Filling and serving it with a warm savory dish like chili or a casserole such as the following:

Pin this recipe to your favorite Board!

This Easy Apple Pie filling makes a great side dish or in amazing in recipes like these:

Tips for making the perfect Apple Pie Filling:

  • Don’t overcook the apples! This apple pie recipe only takes about 10 minutes to cook depending on how thick you slice the apples.
  • Slice the apples all about the same 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. That way they will all cook at the same rate. Otherwise, you’ll have some undercooked and others overcooked and mushy.
  • As a flavor variation, you can also add Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove, and Ginger. Make it your own!
  • Homemade Apple Pie Filling can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Straight on view of apples in brown sugar-cinnamon sauce overflowing a metal bowl.

STORING SUGGESTIONS:

Apple Pie Filling can be stored the same as you would fresh apples.

  • Refrigerated for up to 3 days
  • Frozen in an air-tight container for up to 3 months
  • Canned

If you like making your own filling, our Caramelized Pear Pie Filling is one of our most popular recipes!

Top view of a bowl of apple pie filling in a thick brown sugar cinnamon sauce. overflowing a metal bowl.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Author: Julie Menghini
Homemade Apple Pie Filling combines fresh apples in a brown sugar sauce loaded with warm cinnamon. This easy Apple Pie Filling from Scratch can be eaten as a sauce or added to a tart shell for a quick apple dessert.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Sides
Cuisine American
Keyword: Apple Pie Filling, Homemade Pie Filling
Servings: 10

Ingredients
 
 

  • 6 cups apples I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Peel, core and slice apples 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • In a 2-quart saucepan combine sliced apples and juice.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes. Add butter.
  • Whisk cinnamon, brown sugar and cornstarch together. When the butter has melted pour the brown sugar mixture over the apples. Stir constantly until sauce thickens approximately 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Notes

TIPS:
  • Don’t overcook the apples! This apple pie recipe only takes about 10 minutes to cook depending on how thick you slice the apples.
  • Slice the apples all about the same 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. That way they will all cook at the same rate. Otherwise, you’ll have some undercooked and others overcooked and mushy.
  • As a flavor variation, you can also add Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove, and Ginger. Make it your own!
  • Homemade Apple Pie Filling can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 48mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 182IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

What is your favorite way to repurpose apples? Please share, you’re my inspiration!

Recipe Rating




Leigh Brooks

Saturday 30th of October 2021

My daughter is GF, and apple pie is one of her favorites. She asked me to make her “the innards” of an apple pie. I’ve made plenty of apple pies. But never cooked the filling separately. This recipe was easy and delicious.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 31st of October 2021

I'm so glad it worked for you, Leigh! I make this as a side, similar to applesauce, and my kiddos love it.

Liza

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

All apple sizes are not equal. Is there a chance you can weigh them the next time you make it, then update the recipe to indicate weight. I used a combo of granny smith and honeycrisp apples and followed directions; however the "sauce" looked too thick. Sure enough, the pie filling wasn't as juicy as it should be. It would be great to know what the texture of the "sauce" should look like.

Julie Menghini

Thursday 24th of December 2020

The glory of this recipe is that you can use as many apples as you want. The sauce gets thick as it cooks down. If it's too thick you can add a little more apple juice. If it's not thick enough, you can add more apples. Next time I make it, I'll do a video of the consistency we go for. I hope this helps Liza!

Robin

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

How long would you cook it in the canner? I'd like to can it,instead of freezing it! I'm thinking 25 minutes for quarts?

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Hi Robin! I've never canned this recipe but looked up some canning recipes for apple pie filling and it looks like 20-25 minutes is the consensus.

Marilyn

Thursday 10th of September 2020

How long do I bake this when using it in an apple pie

Julie Menghini

Monday 14th of September 2020

You can do one of two things Marilyn. Cook the apples on the stovetop as the recipe calls for or, what I would do is combine the ingredients and put them in the pie unbaked and then bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.

Sandra

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Can you can this?

Julie Menghini

Sunday 29th of December 2019

You can definitely can this filling or simply freeze it in an air-tight container.