The best homemade Apple Pie Filling recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness with rich apple flavor! It’s great for making desserts, like pies, cake, ice cream or danishes. Ditch the canned filling forever, because this recipe made with fresh apples is easy to make in just 15 minutes!

apple pie filling in bowl with spoon

Crisp apples, rich butter, a blend of sugars, cinnamon and apple juice come together in perfect harmony to create the best apple pie filling of all time!

There are so many reasons to make your own apple pie filling from scratch. It tastes amazing, you can adjust the taste and texture to your liking, there are no added preservatives, and it’s super easy!

Never worry about the store running out of the canned stuff again, make your own pie filling with simple and easy to find ingredients.

ingredients for apple pie filling

Ingredients

  • Apples – I recommend granny smith apples for this recipe. They’re the best apples for baking due to their firm texture. They also have more of a tart flavor, which makes them balance perfectly with the sugar in this apple pie filling recipe. You could also use pink lady, honeycrisp, fuji, golden delicious, or braeburn apples.
  • Unsalted butter – I prefer unsalted butter in baking recipes because it gives you more control of the end flavor. Different brands of salted butter contain varying amounts of salt, so it’s hard to be consistent.
  • Granulated sugar + brown sugar – the combination of sugars will give you the best sweet, rich flavors in the apple pie filling.
  • Ground cinnamon – for even more fall flavor, use Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the ground cinnamon.
  • Apple juice – instead of adding water to the pie filling, I use apple juice for even more rich apple flavor. You can always use water, or substitute in apple cider. (Whatever you do, DO NOT USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!)
  • Cornstarch – this is used to thicken the filling. You could also use all-purpose flour, potato starch, or rice flour in it’s place.

Instructions

I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

thinly sliced apples on cutting board

Step 1: peel, core and thinly slice the apples. When slicing the apples, try to make them as uniform as possible, so that they will cook evenly.

apples in pan with sugar and cinnamon

Step 2: melt butter in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and apple juice. Stir to combine the ingredients. Cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes.

cornstarch slurry in small glass bowl

Step 3: in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and apple juice to create a slurry. This will be used to thicken the apple pie filling.

cooked apples in skillet

Step 4: remove the lid from the skillet and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to bubble for 3-5 minutes, or until the liquid in the pan turns into more of a syrup.

Remove from the heat and allow the apple pie filling to cool completely before using it in a recipe.

Instead of slicing the apples, you can also dice the apples to make the filling. Follow the instructions just as you would with sliced apples, but dice the apples into even-sized cubes, instead of thin slices.

This is perfect for making apple pie ice cream!

Ways to use it

Apple pie filling can be used to make more than just pies. Here are some ideas and recipes to get you started (also including a classic apple pie recipe!)

  • Apple Danish – this easy 5 ingredient recipe is perfect for brunch or dessert!
  • Apple Pie Ice Cream – this no-churn recipe means you don’t need any fancy equipment to make totally delicious homemade ice cream!
  • Classic Apple Pie – To make a classic apple pie, line a 9 inch pie plate with your favorite pie crust. Pour the apple pie filling into the pie crust. Place the pie on a rack in the lower half of a preheated 450°F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat on the oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. To make a lattice pie crust on top of the pie, refer to my Mom’s Famous Cherry Pie recipe for step-by-step photos and instructions.
  • Pies and Cakes. You can also make hand pies with the filling, or use it as a cake filling.
  • Spoon it over ice cream, it’s delicious with Vanilla Old Fashioned Ice Cream or this Salted Caramel Ice Cream!
  • Make apple dessert tacos! Roll up the apple pie filling in small flour tortillas. Brush the tops of the tortillas with butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes.
  • Enjoy a festive fall parfait. Layer yogurt with the apple pie filling and your favorite granola.
  • Dress up oatmeal. Start your day with deliciousness by stirring the filling into instant oatmeal or Overnight Oats!
  • Skip the bottom crust and make a crisp or crumble. This pumpkin spice crumble topping from the linked recipe, is a delicious topping for this pie filling recipe!
  • Serve for brunch! Apple pie filling makes an excellent topping for pancakes, waffles, French toast and crepes. Keep it simple, or try pairing with extra flavorful goodies like Sweet Potato Pancakes or Cornflake Crusted French Toast.

Pro tips

  • To peel, core and slice the apples, you can use an all-in-one tool, like this Apple Peeler Corer Slicer, or you can use standard kitchen tools. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Slice the apple in half from top to bottom. Remove the core with a sharp knife. Or melon ballers are actually great for this! Then place the flat side down and cut the apple into slices or cubes.
  • If you want to peel, core and slice the apples ahead of time, you can toss the apples in lemon juice to help prevent them from browning, then store them covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pie filling.
  • Make this apple pie filling vegan by swapping out the butter for a plant-based butter substitute instead.
  • Always remember that the filling will thicken more once it is cool.
  • Making your own filling allows you to adjust the flavor to your taste preferences. I love the simplicity of cinnamon with these flavors, but you can also add other spices like nutmeg or cloves.
prepared apple pie filling in white bowl with copper spoon

Storage options

  • To store: prepared apple pie filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • To freeze: the filling can be transfered to a freezer-safe container, such as a zipper bag or mason jar and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the filling by transferring it from the freezer to the refrigerator 24 hours before use.

Tools for this recipe

apple pie filling in bowl with spoon

More apple recipes

Looking for more recipes that feature apples? Look no further than these popular sweet and savory recipe ideas!

More kitchen basics

Don’t miss these other quick and easy kitchen how-to guides!

apple pie filling in bowl
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Apple Pie Filling

The best homemade Apple Pie Filling recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness with rich apple flavor! It's great for making desserts, like pies, cake, ice cream or danishes. Ditch the canned filling forever, because this recipe made with fresh apples is easy to make in just 15 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 4 granny smith apples, or honey crisp apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice, or water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon apple juice, or water

Instructions

  • Peel, core, and dice or slice the apples.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  • Stir in the apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons apple juice.
  • Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes or until the apples are slightly softened.
  • In a small dish combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon apple juice to create a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the pan while stirring. Allow the mixture to bubble and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the filling is thickened.
  • Let the apple pie filling cool completely before using it in a recipe. Always remember that the filling will thicken more once it is cool.

Notes

  • Apples: while I recommend Granny Smith apples for this recipe, you could also use pink lady, honeycrisp, fuji, golden delicious, or braeburn apples.
  • Classic Apple Pie: To make a classic apple pie, line a 9 inch pie plate with your favorite pie crust. Pour the apple pie filling into the pie crust. Place the pie on a rack in the lower half of a preheated 450°F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat on the oven to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. To make a lattice pie crust on top of the pie, refer to my Mom’s Famous Cherry Pie recipe for step-by-step photos and instructions.
  • To store: prepared apple pie filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • To freeze: the filling can be transfered to a freezer-safe container, such as a zipper bag or mason jar and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the filling by transferring it from the freezer to the refrigerator 24 hours before use.
  • Make it vegan: by swapping out the butter for a plant-based butter substitute instead.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 52kcal (3%)Carbohydrates 11g (4%)Protein 0.1gFat 1g (2%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat 0.3gTrans Fat 0.05gCholesterol 3mg (1%)Sodium 1mgPotassium 46mg (1%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 9g (10%)Vitamin A 55mg (1%)Vitamin C 2mg (2%)Calcium 6mg (1%)Iron 0.1mg (1%)
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