The Ingredient Addition For Thicker Home-Canned Apple Pie Filling

Sure, it's cliché, but nothing is more American than apple pie. It ranks up there with baseball and July BBQs. Feel free to order a slice of the golden, flaky goodness at your favorite restaurant or online, but nothing compares to homemade apple pie fresh out of your own oven. The aroma as it bakes, the nostalgic vibe it gives the kitchen as it cools on the counter, and of course, that sweet and tart apple pie flavor is worth all the effort.

Prepping for an apple pie is no small chore. Peeling a pile of apples to fill your pie crust is time-consuming. That's why canning apple pie filling is so worth it. When you get a craving, all you need is your crust and a jar of the filling, and you'll have the pie in the oven in no time. There are so many benefits to canning your own food, including the fact that you'll know exactly what's in the jar.

When canning apple pie filling, besides the canning jars and equipment, all you need is your apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, water, lemon juice, and a thickener, per Beyond the Chicken Coop. The amount you use will depend on how much you want to can. Ingredients vary, depending on taste, but one ingredient is a must-have for a nice, thick filling. If you skip it, you'll have runny apple pie and a lot of disappointment.

Safely thicken the filling

Once you've got your canned pie filling flavored just the way you like it, it needs to be thickened, so when you want to use it in a pie, it's conveniently ready to go. Illinois Extension explains that although some people use cornstarch, tapioca, or flour to thicken their apple pie filling, it's not safe. These ingredients easily clump together during the heating process, making it difficult for the heat to distribute evenly throughout the canning jar. 

Improper heat leads to unsafe bacteria growth, which of course, can make you and your family sick. According to the CDC, improper canning methods can cause botulism in your food. That's nothing to mess around with. Instead, use Clear Jel to thicken the filling. 

Clear Jel is a modified cornstarch that won't break down and clump during the heating process. It not only thickens beautifully, but it keeps your canned apple pie filling safe. Make sure to use the regular variety and not instant since it will be cooked. Can't you smell the apple pie already?