How to make an Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling

By Anne-Marie Nichols

How to make an Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling for all your baking needs

Do you buy canned apple pie filling because you think that making pie takes hours to do?

Well, here's an easy way to make healthy apple pie filling that's ideal for recipes like apple pie, apple crumble, and even as a topping for ice cream!

And it doesn’t require special canning equipment or even a slow cooker.

You just cook up this quick easy apple pie filling right on the stovetop in 10 to 15 minutes. All you need is apples, spices, brown sugar, water, and one other ingredient.

What’s that special ingredient, you ask? It’s a gluten free substance that you probably have in your pantry. Wonder what it is?

CORN STARCH!

Since there's no flour and no butter in this easy recipe for apple pie filling, this Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling recipe totally gluten free, dairy free and vegan, too!

Since you made this make apple pie filling from scratch, you know exactly what’s in Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling. No having to guess what “natural flavors” on the label of canned apple pie filling means.

Finally, if you buy your apples on sale or love to pick your own at a local farm, I'm sure making Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling is cheaper than buying canned apple pie filling. Make a big batch and freeze it!

Customizing your Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling recipe

What I love about this Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling recipe is how much you can adjust it to serve your needs and how you want to use it.

To reduce the sugar: I suggest using SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend instead of brown sugar to reduce the calories a bit. I love the taste of SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend and it's great to cook with!

If you’re not comfortable with SPLENDA, you can use half brown sugar and half monk fruit sweetener.

Adjust the flavors: This apple pie filling recipe uses a unique blend of spices that you can adjust to your personal tastes.

If you like ginger, add more! Dislike cinnamon? Leave it out. It’s totally up to you!

Need to avoid corn products? You can use rice starch (which may be called rice powder on the package) to thicken the apple pie filling recipe.

You can buy rice starch online or at Asian markets. It works just as well as corn starch for as a gluten-free way to thicken stews and gravies.

Size of the apples: For my Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day Pot Of Gold Filled Cupcakes, I needed to have the apples cut into small pieces. But for an apple pie, you may wish to have large pieces of apple.

Thick or thin? You’ll be surprised how quickly the corn (or rice) starch thickens the cooked apple pie filling. You can add more water if you desire a thinner consistency of apple pie filling.

You can also add more (or less) spices if you wish to this wholesome apple pie filling. I love cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, so I tend to round up my measurements.

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Best cooking apples for the best pie filling

I choose Gala apples to make my Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling recipe. Since they’re naturally sweet, I knew I could use less sugar.

Luckily my grocery store had descriptive placards with information about each apple variety’s taste and if they were good for baking or just salads and snacking on.

Since your grocery store may not, use this handy guide of the  12 best apples for baking from Midwest Living:

1. Jonathans

2. Jonagolds

3. Honeycrisp

4. Granny Smith

5. Melrose

6. Winesap

7. Braeburn

8. Rome Beauty

9. Golden Delicious

10. Cortland

11. Northern Spy

12. Gala

How to peel, core, and chop an apple for healthy apple pie filling

MyRecipes.com gives the best tips for peeling, coring and chopping an apple in a video.

You’ll need a cutting board, a paring knife, a chef’s knife, and a vegetable peeler. I find using an apple corer makes my life so much easier when cutting up a bunch of apples, too.

You can also watch this video from LifeHacker on How to Peel an Apple for some handy apple chopping tips!

Recipes using Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling

Besides my Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day Pot Of Gold Filled Cupcakes, here are some serving and recipe suggestions for recipes using cooked apple pie filling:

yogurt parfaits

ice cream a la mode served with warm apple pie filling

apple pies

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

on bowls of oatmeal

stuffed pork chops

Apple Pie Taquitos

stuffed muffins

Apple Pie Hand Pies

stuffed crescent rolls

and more!

What recipe will you use your batch of Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling in?

How to make an Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling for all your baking needs

Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled and cored and chopped cooking apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups packed SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (rice starch can also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water (room temperature), divided (plus extra if needed)

Directions

  1. Place chopped apples, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a bowl. Toss to prevent apples from browning.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn starch, and spices, and 1 cup water until well blended.
  3. Add chopped apples to saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to boil.
  4. Turn down heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently to get rid of any lumps. Cook until apples are tender but not mushy. If mixture gets too thick, stir in 1/2 cup of water at a time until you reach the consistency desired.
  5. Allow apple pie filling to cool before using in most recipes.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: Makes 3 1/2 cups
  • Serving size: varies

Originally published on February 26, 2016. Updated with new pictures.

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2 thoughts on “How to make an Easy & Healthy Apple Pie Filling

  1. Amanda

    Hi, this recipe looks delicious! Do you have any recommendations for the best method to freeze it, i.e. containers or wrap or jars?

    Thanks, I have a lot of apples and I am going to try your recipe today!

    Reply

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