We were so excited to gather our first apple harvest of significance this year.  After making dump cake, jelly, dried apple chips, apple pie, and apple butter, Nana and Aunt Alisa had fun preserving a great number of our apples by making apple pie filling.

Nana had fun trying Clear Jel for the first time instead of corn starch, because it maintains the ability to thicken under pressure and heat.  The result was a beautiful, thick, semi-clear syrup on the apples

For this recipe and many others, Nana uses the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (ISBN#: 978-0-7788-0131-3).  Like Nana, you can refer to the cookbook any time you want more details about the canning process.

If this recipe makes you want to make a pie, check out Nana’s pie crust recipe.


  • 12 cups peeled and cored apples
  • 2 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup Clear Jel
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 ½ cups apple juice
  • ½ cup lemon juice


  • Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  • In a large pot of boiling water, working with 6 cups at a time, blanch apple slices for one minute. Remove and drain apples. Set aside making sure to keep them warm.
  • In saucepan, combine sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and apple juice. (Before adding to heat, make sure Clear Jel is dissolved.) Bring to a boil stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  • Add lemon juice, return to a boil, and boil for one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately fold drained apples into hot mixture. Heat and stir until apples are heated through.
  • Spoon hot pie filling into hot jars leaving one-inch space at the top making sure to remove air bubbles. Place flats and lids on jars.
  • Follow water-bathing procedure making sure to process for 25 minutes.