Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Ingredient About 2 lbs. About 1kg
apples 2½ lbs. 1.3kg
water 2 cups 500cc
sugar ¾ cup 150g
lemon juice 1 Tbsp. + 1½ Tbsp. 1 Tbsp. + 1½ Tbsp.
butter 3 Tbsp. 3 Tbsp.

This pie filling takes advantage of the tartness of apples from a backyard tree, making for a crisp, less-sweet pie filling that will go perfectly with a scoop of ice cream. It also makes full use of the apples’ peels, both for pectin to thicken it and for color, giving it a distinctive pink blush.


  1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into eighths, but don’t discard the peels and cores. Remove the woody bits at the ends of the cores, then put the remainder of the cores and the peel in a pot.


  1. Cook down peels and cores.
    Add the water and 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice to the pot of peels and cores. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook down until about a third of the liquid remains. Strain and reserve the liquid; discard the rest.
  2. Cook apples.
    Add the apples, sugar, reserved liquid, and 1½ Tbsp. of lemon juice to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until the apples begin to turn transparent and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the butter, stir in until it melts, and remove from heat. To avoid breaking up the apples, you should shake the pot instead of stirring.


  • Because this recipe involves boiling the peels, you definitely will not want to use apples that have been waxed or have other chemicals on them. Apples from your own yard are a safe bet, but if you’re not lucky enough to have one go for organic or farm stand produce.
  • This is best made with sour apples, such as the classic Granny Smith or Japanese Kougyoku; backyard apples are a good fit. If you use apples with red skin the cooked version will take on an appealing pink blush.
  • The balance of sweet and sour can vary greatly depending on the apples you use and your personal preference, so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
  • The reason for boiling the peels and cores is to extract some pectin from them, which acts as a natural thickener. The lemon juice is to help extract it.