Christmas Foodie No. 3: Pie in a Jar

Christmas Foodie No. 3: Pie in a Jar

We’ve all seen those ubiquitous cookie mixes, cake mixes, and brownie mixes layered in jars to give as gifts, but what about pie in a jar?

Well, not a whole pie. (Those are super cute, but they also look super labor-intensive.)

How about just the pie filling?

I was looking for a way to use up some of the many (many, MANY) apples I have on hand—from my back yard tree, my CSA and my foraging friend—and stumbled upon a recipe for preserved apple pie filling.  What a great idea!

And with my peeler-corer-slicer, it’s pretty quick work.

  • 12 cups sliced peeled cored apples, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 12 medium)
  • Water
  • 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup ClearJel® (cooking starch used for preserving)
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2-1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1-1/4 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 7  Ball®(16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands


*To treat apple slices to prevent browning, apply Ball® Fruit-Fresh® Produce Protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions or submerge cut apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water.

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. BLANCH apple slices, working with 6 cups at a time, in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a covered bowl.
  3. COMBINE sugar, ClearJel®, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice, return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain apple slices and immediately fold into hot mixture. Before processing, heat, stirring, until apples are heated through.
  4. LADLE hot apple pie filling into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


Do you think it would be tacky to package these “pie in a jar” gifts with coupons for Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough?  😉

Total Price: $1.16 each for 7 pints/pies
12 apples (free)
$0.83 each for seven Ball pint jars (new)
~$0.50 for spices
~$1.00 for organic sugar

Check out the other consumable gifts in this series:

No. 1: Pepper-Infused Vodka
No. 2: Plum Jam
No. 3: Pie in a Jar
No. 4: Sugar and Spice
No. 5: Hot Chocolate on a Stick
No. 6: Gingies
No. 7: Granola 
No. 8: Preserved Lemons 
No. 9: Gingerbread Biscotti
No. 10: Cracker Crack
No. 11: Satsumettes
No. 12: Apricot Nut Bread


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