Making homemade Cinnamon Apple Pie filling recipe from scratch, is easier than you think and is so much better than any store bought pie filling. It's made with fresh apples, makes a perfect topping over breakfasts or desserts and bonus, is freezer friendly!!! Gluten-free. Stove Top and Pressure Cooker options given below. Video recipe included.
Why you will love this Homemade Apple Pie Filling
Easy Peasy - We cannot emphasis enough how easy it is to make these Cinnamon Apples or Apple Pie Filling at home. It's literally a dump and stir recipe. No fancy ingredients, just keeping it minimal and simple with pantry staples.
Perfect Texture - You will love the tender crisp apple texture when you make this pie filling. No more mushy or uncooked apples. You can see the texture in the video recipe.
Delicious - Mind you it's addictive because it's so delicious. While we were testing this recipe, we got hooked onto it and it's been rotating on our menu pretty often now. It's a bomb of flavors when you cook and coat the apples with cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon juice.
Better than store bought - Once you make this you are never going back to but canned apple pie filling. Trust me, you will just make your own at home from scratch every single time. I promise.
Customize it - This is one versatile recipe. Use the apples you have at home, you can add or skip the optional flavors like ginger, nutmeg or vanilla. Make it sugar-free, vegan or gluten-free.
Freezer friendly - Apple season or no, you can enjoy this pie filling, all year round because it's freezer friendly.
Fancy topping - Dress up your breakfast, desserts, pastries and ice cream with this cinnamon apple pie filling and you will thank me later for this recipe.
Cinnamon Apples / Apple Pie Filling
If this makes you feel any better, think of making cinnamon apples for your pie filling. Isn't it the same thing. Same ingredients, same flavors, same procedure, except that different people like different consistencies, or sliced or diced apples. Sometimes it's just a mental block.
In this recipe, I first make cinnamon apple slices and then cut that to make my apple pie filling. This gives me the flexibility of enjoying them as cinnamon apples or cut them for the pie. So let's get started.
Ingredients for Homemade Apple Pie Filling
Apples - Choosing the right apple variety here is the key to getting the perfect flavors and textures. You can always start with the apples you have handy at home, but before you do that a couple sections below, I have shared the varieties of apples I tested for this recipe and the best results.
Brown Sugar - Brown sugar contain molasses, thus the flavors when combined with the rest of ingredients are delicious. However if you want to use an alternative sweetener, you could use coconut sugar, raw cane sugar monk fruit extract or maple syrup, agave etc, but tweaking the sweetener will also change the taste and texture of this recipe, especially if you plan to not use these cinnamon apples as a topping but a pie filling.
Flavors - Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or vanilla, all of these flavors go well with apples. For me cinnamon is the primary flavor and often I will add a secondary flavor too. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, feel free to replace it with your preferred flavor.
Butter - Butter adds richness to this recipe however if you want to make this vegan or want to keep it light, you can skip the butter.
Gluten-Free Flour - You need flour to thicken the juices and liquids from the apples, so your pie filling isn't to runny. Although you can use any flour like corn starch, tapioca, arrowroot, cassava, I like to use, Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour as it has a base of white and brown rice and thus gives a neutral taste to anything you add it too.
Lemon Juice - It prevents the apples from browning and also enhances the flavors of all fresh fruit recipes.
Water - You need water to avoid a burn when the brown sugar, flour and butter are involved.
How to make easy Apple Pie Filling in Pressure Cooker
It's a simple dump and stir recipe. Here is just a gist of the recipe, the exact measurements, timings and rations are listed in the recipe card below.
Gather the ingredients - When you are dealing with apples it's always a good idea to gather the ingredients first and then peel and cut the apples so that don't start browning. So get the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, gluten-free flour, lemon juice and water. Make a slurry of the flour and water and keep it ready.
Prepare the Apples - Taking one apple at a time, thoroughly rinse the apple and peel it so it can combine together into the thick smooth consistency required. Cut the apple into half and remove the core. Now cut the remaining apple evenly into thin wedges. Coat with lemon juice and keep aside while you
Dump the Ingredients - Using the Saute function on the pressure cooker, melt the butter and throw in the remaining ingredients. Gently stir. I realized that adding the flour and water slurry while pressure cooking gives the apples a nice coating from the flavors. Close the lid and seal the vent.
Pressure Cook - For 1 minute and quick release the rest of the pressure manually.
Thicken the slurry - When you open the lid, don't be afraid of the slurry you see in the pot, as the apples cool down the slurry thickens too. If you think you are still left with more slurry than you need, saute it for a couple mins, gently stirring it a couple times to thicken it.
To use it in the pie - depending on how you like your pie filling, wedges or smaller chunks, you can just use your spatula to cut the tender-crisp wedges into chunks.
Can I cook apples on the Stove Top.
Absolutely yes!!! You can take a large skillet or pot and dump in all the ingredients and cook on slow heat until the apples are cooked and the slurry thickens. That's it! Unlike the pressure cooker, you do have baby sit through the cooking process as it's slower.
What kind of apples are best for homemade apple pie
Typically, sweeter apples break down easier than acidic apples. Ideally it's best to combine a tart and a crisp sweet apple to get the best flavors and texture. However I tested this recipe several times with apples that I had at home and I realized that for pie filling it's best to
Avoid - Red Delicious and Fuji apple varieties. These result in a mushy texture.
Best Results - Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Gala or HoneyCrisp. I once did a combo of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious and the texture and flavors were just right. Since Golden Delicious are not easily available the next time I experimented individually with just Gala and Honey Crisp and I was happy with the textures and flavors too.
How to store apple pie filling
Once the pie filling cools down, you can transfer them into an air tight container and refrigerate it for upto a week.
How to freeze apple pie filling
Once the cinnamon apples cool down freeze them in a freezer bag and they are good for about 3 months.
How to thaw cinnamon apples or pie filling
It's best to defrost them overnight in the fridge and then use it like how you would use it fresh.
Other ways to use cinnamon apple pie filling
Dress up your oatmeal, pancakes, or salads.
Serve it on cakes, pastries and ice cream.
When you try these cinnamon apples or apple pie filling recipe
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Pressure Cooker Instructions
Stove Top Instructions
Dump all the ingredients in a skillet or pot and cook on low heat until apples are tender crisp.
All tips are mentioned in the post across appropriate sections.
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Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, 22 Ounce (Pack of 4)
McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Nutmeg, 1.81 oz
Simply Organic, Cinnamon, 2.45 oz
Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - Unsalted (8 ounce)
365 Everyday Value, Organic Light Brown Sugar , 24 oz
Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Slow and Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer