Apple Pie Filling

Apple pie or dessert filling recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yields: 4 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
314 Calories
0g Fat
81g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 314
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 30mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 30%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 1g
Calcium 41mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This apple pie filling makes enough to fill a 9-inch pie or can be used to fill apple turnovers or hand-held pies, a cobbler, or apple crisp. You can chop the apples if you plan to use it for hand pies, or you could slice the apples thinly or chop them coarsely for a pie or cobbler. This apple filling is cooked, so it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until it's time to make a dessert.

The recipe can easily be scaled up for more pies and treats. Keep some stashed in the freezer for a last-minute sweet treat.


  • 4 pounds apples (or about 10 large apples)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (or dark, packed)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg (ground or fresh grated)
  • Dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Apple pie or dessert filling ingredients
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. Peel and core the apples. Dice coarsely or finely or slice them and put them in a large bowl. Use a larger dice for pies or a smaller dice for hand pies.

    Peel and core apples
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. Toss the apples with the lemon juice.

    Toss apple juice in apples
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cornstarch and stir to blend.

    Sugar in pot
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring constantly.

    Add apples
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, frequently stirring, for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until apples are tender and the mixture is quite thick. Stir in the vanilla.

    Reduce heat
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. Let the filling cool for about 30 to 45 minutes.

    Let the filling cool
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  8. Use the filling in a pie, in hand-held pies, cobbler, apple crisp, or turnovers. Enjoy. 

    Use filling
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

How to Store and Freeze

  • If you will not be using the filling immediately, store it in containers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  • To freeze the filling, cool it completely. Measure the cooled filling into freezer containers leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace, or pack it into heavy-duty freezer bags. Seal and label with the volume, name, and date. Store it in the freezer for up to 12 months.
  • If freezing the pie filling in glass canning jars, choose wide-mouth jars and leave 1 inch of headspace.
  • To thaw, leave it in the refrigerator in a bin until ready to use.

Recipe Variations

  • Spiced Apple Pie: Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with an apple pie spice blend or pumpkin pie spice.
  • Pear Pie Filling: Replace the apples with cored, peeled, and diced or sliced fresh pears.

What Apples Make the Best Apple Pie Filling?

Apples in apple pie and baked desserts should become tender when cooked but not mushy while providing good flavor. Braeburn and golden delicious are both great choices. Gala apples are a sweet option, while Granny Smith apples will make a tarter pie with firmer fruit.