Can You Make Apple Pie Filling Ahead Of Time? (Easy Recipe)

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I greatly appreciate your support!

Apple pie is one of those classic desserts that everyone loves.

However, not many people have the time to make it from scratch.

I know I always find myself short on time during the holiday season as there are so many things to do.

That’s why I was curious to find out if you can make apple pie filling ahead of time.

I did some research and here’s what I found out.

You can make apple pie filling ahead of time. In fact, it’s really easy to do and it also helps to let the flavors of the apples and the rest of the ingredients meld together. It is best recommended to make the filling at least a day before you plan on using it in order to let the flavors really develop.

So, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy this delicious dish without spending hours in the kitchen, you’re in luck!

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make apple pie filling ahead of time. 

We’ll also give you some tips on how to store it so that it stays fresh until you’re ready to use it.

So, let’s get started!

Tips For Making The Best Apple Pie Filling Ahead Of Time

Here are a few tips to help you make the best apple pie filling:

  • Use a combination of different types of fresh apples for the best results. Apple varieties will give the filling a more complex flavor. The best type of apples to use are Granny Smith apples. They are tart and have a firm texture, which makes them perfect for pie. You can easily mix them with some Golden Delicious apples or Pink Lady.
  • Be sure to slice the apples thinly for the perfect apple pie. This will help them cook evenly and prevent the filling from being too chunky. On top of that, it will also make it easier to eat!
  • Add a little bit of lemon juice to the apple filling. This will help to prevent the apples from browning and it will also add a little bit of tartness to the filling.
  • Don’t overcook the filling. Once it comes to a boil, let it cook for just one minute before removing it from the heat. Overcooking the filling will make it too thick and gooey.
  • If you’re using frozen apples, be sure to thaw them before adding them to the filling. This will help to prevent the filling from becoming too watery.
  • Add a little bit of salt to the filling. This will help to bring out the sweetness of the apples and it will also help to balance the flavors.
  • Be generous with cinnamon in the filling for warmth and spice. A solid 1/2 teaspoon per pie adds flavor without being overpowering. 
  • For extra flavor and texture, consider tossing a handful of raisins or walnuts into the filling mixture before assembling your pie. 
  • For the best apple flavor, cook the filling just until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork but still hold their shape. Overcooking will cause the apples to break down and lose their texture.
  • For a beautiful finished pie, arrange the apple slices in an attractive circular pattern in the pie pan. This allows any excess juices to be absorbed by the bottom crust preventing a soggy bottom.
  • The homemade apple pie filling can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored tightly covered in the fridge until you’re ready to top with a lattice pie crust or double crust and pop in the oven for a perfectly tender and delicious classic fall dessert.

Now let’s go ahead and get started on the recipe!

How To Make Apple Pie Filling Ahead Of Time

The first thing you need to do is gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need:

-6 cups of apples, peeled and sliced

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/4 cup of cornstarch

-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

-1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger

-1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Once you have all of your ingredients, the next thing you need to do is mix them together in a large bowl.

Be sure to mix everything together well so that the sugar and cornstarch are evenly distributed.

After everything is mixed together, pour the mixture into a large saucepan.

Heat the mixture over medium heat and make sure to stir it occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, let it cook for one minute before removing it from the heat.

Once the filling has cooled, pour it into a glass or plastic container. 

Be sure to seal the container tightly so that the filling doesn’t dry out. 

I personally like to use mason jars because they’re airtight and they’re also really cute!

And that’s it!

Now you have a delicious apple pie filling that you can use whenever you want.

Now let’s look at the best ways to store your filling so that it will stay fresh as long as possible.

How To Store Apple Pie Filling

The best way to store homemade apple pie filling is in the refrigerator.

This allows you to make a large batch of your favorite classic apple pie or apple crisp recipe in advance, using a variety of fresh, crisp apples like Honeycrisp or Gala in your filling.

The filling will stay fresh for up to one week stored in an airtight container, such as a glass pie dish covered tightly with plastic wrap, or in a mason jar.

Some bakers prefer to bring leftover pie filling to room temperature before using in other desserts like hand pies or open faced tarts.

I find the flavors are best when the chilled filling is used within 3-4 days. After about a week, the sliced apples begin to lose their texture and the flavors start to decline slightly.

If you want your homemade apple pie filling to last even longer, you can easily freeze it.

Simply place the filled pie dish or jar in the freezer, and once solidly frozen, transfer to a heavy duty freezer bag for compact storage.

Clearly label and date the bag. Frozen pie filling will maintain its fresh apple flavor for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready to bake another batch of your go-to double crust pie recipe or whip up a quick apple crisp using your favorite buttery pie crust recipe, thaw the filling overnight in the refrigerator.

The cold filling can then be poured directly into your pie plate or crisp topping for an easy homemade dessert, without having to peel and slice a bunch of raw apples.

With a stash of homemade pie filling in your freezer, you’ll always be ready to delight family and friends with a fresh-baked classic fall dessert.

It’s as easy as that!

Other Questions You May Have

Now that we’ve gone over how to make and store apple pie filling, let’s tackle a few other questions you may have about this delicious dish.

Can I Use Any Type Of Apples For Apple Pie Filling?

You can use any type of apples that you like. 

However, I recommend using a combination of different types of apples for the best flavor. 

The most common types of apples to use are Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, and Golden Delicious apples.

Can I Make Apple Pie Filling Without Sugar?

You can make apple pie filling without sugar. 

However, the filling will be less sweet and the apples may not cook down as much. 

If you’re looking for an alternative to sugar, you can try using honey or agave nectar.

Can I Make Apple Pie Filling Without Cornstarch?

You can make apple pie filling without cornstarch. 

Just keep in mind that the filling will be thinner and may not thicken up as much when it’s cooked.

What If My Bottom Crust Gets Too Brown Before The Filling Is Done?

To prevent over-baking, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the bottom crust about halfway through baking. This will shield it from extra heat without steaming the crust.

Can I Make Individual Hand Pies With The Filling?

You can form the filling into rounds and top with pie dough cut into circles for easy portable apple hand pies. Just be sure to seal the edges well with an egg wash before baking.

Will Homemade Pie Crust Taste Better Than Store-bought? 

In most cases, homemade pie crust will have a more tender, flaky texture. But store-bought can work in a pinch. Just be gentle handling it to prevent toughening.

How Do I Get Nice Crispy Edges?

For a golden brown, crispy crust edge, lightly brush the top crust with milk or egg wash before baking. You can also use a baking sheet underneath the pie plate for the first 30 minutes of baking.

What If My Apples Brown After Slicing? 

Toss sliced apples with a tablespoon of lemon juice or pineapple juice immediately after cutting to prevent browning. The acid will help keep them their natural color.

How Do I Prevent A Soggy Bottom Crust? 

Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp flour or cornstarch over the bottom crust before adding filling. This will absorb excess juices. You can also use a baking sheet under the pie plate.

Can I Use Brown Sugar In The Crust?

Replacing up to 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar called for in a pie crust recipe with light or dark brown sugar adds a lovely caramel flavor that complements the apples.

Can I Make An Apple Dessert Other Than Pie? 

Of course, there are plenty of delicious apple dessert options besides traditional pie. A simple and versatile recipe is an easy apple crumble or crisp. Just top sliced apples with a streusel-like topping made of rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

You could also try making an elegant free-form tart called an apple galette. Take puff pastry dough and roll it out into a large round disc. Top with sliced apples in concentric circles, then dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. 

Fold the extra dough from the edges over the filling and crimp to seal. Bake until the apples are tender and the crust is deeply golden.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has answered all of your questions about making and storing apple pie filling.

Now that you know how to make apple pie filling ahead of time, you can enjoy this delicious dish any time you want!

Whether you’re planning to make a delicious apple pie for the holidays or you just want a quick and easy dessert, this make ahead apple pie filling recipe is the perfect solution.

Just be sure to follow the tips we’ve given you so that you can make the best filling possible.

Recent Posts