Apple Pie Filling


Apple Ambrosia pie filling

For the whole Potential Pie Perfection Package:

First, the foundation of all pies, THE CRUST aka Perfect Pie Pastry Premix

Then, the center of it all, the apple pie filling aka Apple Ambrosia

And now the Parade Of Streusels

Streusel #1 - Sweet, Sweet Streusel

Streusel #2 - Foster's Best Crumb Topping Seeing as this already HAS a name, I don't feel good about changing it - Foster's Best it has been, and Foster's Best it shall continue to be!

Streusel #3 - Big-Frank's Beautiful Balanced Bakery Betopping Bits, AKA Professor-Frank's Pulchritudinous Pulverulence for Proper Pastry and Pie Peaks


1 9"
File under
apple, Apple pie, pie filling


6 to 7 c apple slices - 8 to 9 c if you want a very apple-y pie
1/2c to 2/3c brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 T butter


Have your pie crust ready.

Wash, core, and slice the apples. I don't peel mine but you can if you want to. Cutting them in half helps make it easier to pack them into the pie.

If you're using sweet apples, use 1/2c of sugar. If they're pretty tart, use 2/3c.

Put in a large glass bowl or microwaveable casserole, about 2.5 to 3 qt size. Toss all ingredients together - I use a small sieve to sprinkle the cornstarch on.

Let macerate, preferably overnight, or for several hours if possible. 24 hours (in the fridge) seems to have the maximum benefit for most varieties of apple.

Microwave on high, loosely covered, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the apples are just barely beginning to cook. Let cool thoroughly. They will continue to cook a bit as they cool.

When the apples have cooled, pour off the liquid into a small microwaveable bowl and CAREFULLY (because overcooking it will make a gooey mess) boil it down just a little. In my microwave this takes a minute to a minute and a half at high. It will take longer if there is more juice due to overnight maceration. Watch carefully, depending on how powerful your microwave is you can ruin it before you know it. It will thicken further as it cools, so just look for a syrupy consistency. I usually find this at about 1/3rd of the starting volume.

NOTE: Essentially you are making something similar to Boiled Cider when you do this. This has the same flavor-enhancing benefits as adding boiled cider to the filling.

Meantime preheat the oven to 350F. You may reduce oven temp by 25F if you are using a Pyrex pie plate, but I've been finding it makes no difference so I don't anymore.

Put the apple pie filling into the pie crust, as densely as possible (jiggle, gently press, move bits around to fill empty spaces)

Pour the cooked down juices over the top - use a spatula to spread it around a bit.

Top with struesel if you want a dutch apple type pie; else cover with a lattice or other pie crust topping.

Bake until the bottom crust is done, 45 mins to an hour.

Cover the top crust loosely with foil part way through - use your judgment - so it doesn't burn.

Placing the pie pan on a preheated baking stone will help the bottom crust to cook more evenly with the top - if using Pyrex or ceramic, wait until at least 10 minutes after placing in the oven before moving from the top rack to the baking stone to avoid shattering the pie plate.

Remove the foil when the pie crust looks nearly done to finish browning the top, if necessary.

Let cool thoroughly before slicing.

NOTE: I have since repeated my success with MacIntosh apples as pie filling. While they were noticeably softer than other types of apples (when using this method of preparation), they were nowhere near "mushy" and very far indeed from the soupy apple sauce others often report. I like the flavor better than many other varieties available to me from the grocery store. Preparing the apples for filling this way not only reduces liquid so you don't get gummy pie crust on the bottom, but also results in a firmer texture to the apples than if you didn't parcook.


Submitted by pear on Wed, 2011-03-16 13:14.

This sounds very similar to my moms process.....only she would prepare the filling then freeze so each bag was pie size, then just thaw...put into crust and bake.

Submitted by KitchenBarbaria... on Fri, 2011-03-18 00:52.

I never thought of freezing it! We always used to use McIntosh apples, which I can't seem to find anymore. I know people who insist McIntoshes are no good for pies, but they worked for me. I recently read in Bakewise (I think) that partially cooking your filling like this causes structural changes in the apple so they remain firmer later when you finish baking them in the pie. Maybe that's why McIntoshes worked fine for us in pies, because they were precooked. I do know they never came out mushy.

Now I just use whatever apples are on sale (excluding Red Delicious). I should probably keep track of variety because some have tougher skin and probably should be peeled, while others are much less juicy and tend to come out a little dry if I cook all the juices down before putting into the pie crust.

Submitted by brandy1co on Tue, 2014-09-30 14:23.

I want to freeze my filling, when macerating do I do the whole process then freeze? Like letting the apples macerate overnight, cooking off in the microwave and then adding the liquid, then freezing. Do I put everything together then freeze then thaw and continue. Or, do I just go to a certain point in the process and then freeze? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

Submitted by KitchenBarbaria... on Sat, 2014-10-04 17:50.

I've never done this so I don't have a definitive answer, but if it were me, trying it for the first time - I would go through all the steps EXCEPT cooking the juices down. Right up to the point where you would drain off the excess juices - only instead let the filling cool down and freeze it, un-evaporated juices and all, in ziploc freezer bags.

Then when you thaw - that is when I would drain the juices off and THEN evaporate them down.

This will protect the apples from freezer burn. Also, when you freeze something juicy like apples, it will cause more liquid to come out of the apples. Now that juice is already in with the rest of it and you can cook it all down at the same time.

I haven't tried it yet, but that is how I will do it when I DO get around to trying it for the first time.