Making Apple Pie Filling in your crock pot is an easy way to make this seasonal favorite! When the time of year comes around for apple picking, a homemade apple pie filling is a great way to make use of those fresh juicy apples. This recipe is great for those making pie filling for the first time since it's a nearly hands off, fool proof recipe.
When fresh apples are in town there is nothing better than making your way to the kitchen to whip up your favorite apple recipes. This easy recipe for crock pot apple pie filling is one of my favorite ways to use up lots of fresh picked orchard apples. It's a dump and go recipe - just add your apples, seasonings and sweeteners to the slow cooker and let it do the work for you.
But don't limit yourself by using your homemade apple pie filling just to make apple pie! Crock pot apple pie filling makes a perfect fall dessert in so many ways, such as dolloped over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or tucked inside warm crescent rolls. Added bonus- slow cooking fresh apples with a whole bunch of warming spices and sugars will make your house smell amazing!
For more tasty apple recipes, check out this bread maker apple bread (or make it by hand with these instructions), and homemade spiced apple cider also made in the crock pot or in the Instant Pot. Homemade apple butter is another one of my apple season favorites!
Ways To Use Apple Pie Filling
You can use this easy slow cooker apple pie filling in so many more ways to just tucked inside a warm apple pie. Here are some suggestions:
- French Apple Tart: similar to American apple pie, this French version is a delightful twist.
- Apple Turnovers: Use puff pastry or crescent roll dough to create apple turnovers. Fill the dough with the filling, fold, seal, and bake until golden brown.
- Parfait: Layer apple pie filling with vanilla yogurt and granola to create a tasty parfait.
- Apple Pie Dip: This delicious dessert dip is full of apple pie filling and topped with rich caramel.
- Smoothie: Blend with yogurt, milk and a dash of cinnamon for a refreshing apple pie-flavored smoothie.
- Oatmeal: Stir into your morning oatmeal for a sweet and flavorful twist. You can use it in place of the strawberries or pumpkin in strawberry baked oatmeal and pumpkin oatmeal.
- Apple Pie Ice Cream: Warm up the filling, then drizzle over vanilla ice cream for a quick and easy dessert.
- Yogurt Bowls: Layer filling with Greek yogurt and granola in a bowl for a wholesome and satisfying breakfast or snack.
To make your own apple pie filling you need:
- Apples: Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, or another combination of sweet and tart apples (see below for recommendations).
- Sugar: a combination of white sugar and brown sugar
- Extracts: I use part vanilla extract and part cinnamon extract. If cinnamon extract is hard to find, you can make your own or double up on the vanilla extract instead. You can also add a cinnamon stick to the slow cooker in place of the extract.
- Butter: use real unsalted butter and not a margarine.
- Lemon juice: lemon juice helps preserve the filling so that it lasts longer.
- Spices: ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
- Cornstarch: thickens the apple pie filling. Use flour in the same amount as a substitute.
Step 1: Peel, core and dice the apples.
Step 2: Add the apples to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the white sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and lemon juice over the apples.
Step 3: Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix with the vanilla extract and cinnamon extract. Pour over the apples and stir to combine.
Step 4: Add the cornstarch to the slow cooker and mix into the melted butter.
Step 5: Set to HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. For best results, stir periodically if able to do so. This will prevent the sugars from burning to the sides of the crock pot. *Depending on your desired texture, cooking time may be more or less.
Step 6: Allow to cool slightly, then store in sealed airtight containers in the fridge until ready to use.
How To Store
Store homemade apple pie filling in an airtight container such as mason jars in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. This recipe lasts for a while, but always make sure it hasn't turned bad before using by checking for signs of mold on the top and sides of the container. It can be frozen using a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
The best apples for apple pie filling are those that balance sweetness and tartness while holding their shape well during baking. These include Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, Jonagold, Cortland, Fuji, and Golden Delicious. I like to use a combination of apples known for their tart flavor, such as Granny Smith, and sweet flavor, such as Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp.
Cornstarch and flour both work well to thicken pie fillings. If you prefer a more natural alternative, a bit of maple syrup can be used.
Yes! If your filling has too much liquid or appears runny, it will thicken more as it sets, especially in the fridge.
Slow Cooker Apple Pie Filling
- Peel, core and dice the apples.
- Add the apples to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the white sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and lemon juice over the apples.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix with the vanilla extract and cinnamon extract. Pour over the apples and stir to combine.
- Add the cornstarch to the slow cooker and mix into the melted butter.
- Set to HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. For best results, stir periodically if able to do so. *Depending on your desired texture, cooking time may be more or less.
- Allow to cool slightly, then store in sealed airtight containers in the fridge until ready to use.