Apple Pie Filling Recipe (No Refined Sugar)

Like many fresh fruit desserts here, this apple pie filling is made without refined sugar and comes together quickly! Use now, or freeze it for later to use in apple crisps, pop-tarts, and to fill a pie crust!

Best homemade apple pie filling from scratch that is made with natural sugar.

Why this apple pie filling is the best

+ Made without refined sugar! Traditional apple pie filling is made with white sugar (table sugar), which can spike blood sugar levels higher than natural sugar. We use coconut sugar to create a rich caramel filling that is thick and creamy without dairy and processed sugars!

+Easy apple pie filling recipe for using up fresh apples! Do you have apples that need to be used in baking? This recipe is great to make and use right away or freeze and save it for a later time as a filling in pies, crisps, and pastries.

+Warm and caramelly tasting! This pie filling is so luscious, warm, sweet, and has all the cosy flavors of fall and caramel combined!

What ingredients go into this easy recipe

  • 4 large apples (about 6 cups diced)
  • water
  • coconut sugar
  • cornstarch
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, salt

Best apples to use for cooking

What kind of apples make the best pie filling? Fuji, Cortland, Golden or Yellow Delicious, Gala, or Red Delicious varieties work well for a sweeter recipe. If you prefer a more tart acidic taste combined with the sweet caramel filling, then use Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonathan, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, or McIntosh.

Peeling and slicing apples

How to effectively peel an apple for baking, sautéing, or frying? Use a vegetable peeler to peel by hand. Or use one that peels and cores the apple for you like this apple peeler and corer.

How to make homemade apple pie filling from scratch

STEP 1: Wash, peel, and core the apples. Dice them into ¼-inch cubes and transfer to a medium size bowl. Mix in the lemon juice and set aside.

STEP 2: Heat a large saucepan on medium-low and combine the water, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir until it thickens (about 2 minutes), constantly stirring.

STEP 3: Add the apples, cover and simmer on low for about 6 minute, stirring as it cooks. Remove from heat and serve or store in the refrigerator for later use.

Storing and freezing the filling

Store the cooked apples in the refrigerator in a glass jar or container with a lid. It will last for about 1 week. Or freeze this recipe to use another week.

We are big fans of freezing fruit. This is wonderful to freeze for a later time. After it is cooked, let the filling cool completely. Then carefully transfer it to a sealed freezer zip-bag. Make sure all of the air is removed to prevent frost from forming. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Uses for apple pie filling

This pie filling is so delicious that it’s hard to not eat it directly off the spoon! The uses of pie filling are endless so here are a few ways to use this recipe:

  • Use with this gluten-free pie crust and turn it into apple pie
  • Turn it into gluten-free pop tarts by filling them with apple pie
  • Turn it into a gluten-free apple crisp by filling and pie dish with apple pie filling, adding the topping and baking it
  • Top this filling over pancakes
  • Blend it into apple muffins
  • Stir it into this chia hemp oatmeal or peanut butter oatmeal

Recipe substitutions

If you are wondering, “can I make this apple pie filling with brown sugar?” the answer is yes, and here are a few recipe substitutions that can be made.

  • In place of coconut palm sugar, use ½ cup of organic sugar and ½ cup brown sugar (preferably light brown).
  • Apples can be substituted with fresh pears in equal amount, or combine half pears and half apples for an apple pear filling!
  • If you do not have cornstarch you can use ⅓ cup of sifted gluten-free flour or potato starch adding and whisking in slowly.


Can you cook apples before putting them in a pie?

Yes, you can cook the apples first, like in this pie filling recipe. Then add it as the filling and cook the pie according to the crust directions or until it is golden brown.

How do you thicken apple pie filling after baking?

How do you thicken apple pie filling? Cornstarch is used to thicken the filling during cooking. As the filling cools, it will become thicker. If the pie is made and the filling is watery, try to mix in a bit more cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time.

More favorite pies and fruit recipes

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