Is corn starch a good thickening agent in canned apple pie filling?

Asked October 14, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT

I'd like to can my apple pie filling. Do I need to add any fruit preservative? Is it OK to include the usual corn starch in the recipe, or will the hot water bath cook the corn starch and impact the consistency of the final product? If I need to leave the corn starch out, is there a substitute I should use for thickening? Thank you!

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

If you want to can great apple pie filling I would suggest you go to the Lane County Extension Office and purchase a bag of Clear-jel. This is modified corn starch and it is best for canning. When you are there you can also get a copy of the apple pie filling recipe that is for canning OR you can download it from the Lane County Extension website. It is SP 50-616 Fruit Pie Fillings located under fruit.

Canning pie fillings with corn starch is not a good idea because the corn starch is not heat and shelf stable and will break down with the canning process and the product will not be great. The modified corn starch is what is used in commercial pie fillings. It is more stable and holds up when canned or frozen.

You will also note that the apples need to be blanched before canning the pie filling. If you don't then there is too much air in the apples and they can float and siphon during canning.

The Lane County Extension Office is located at 783 Grant Street in Eugene in the Rainbow Construction Building.

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Nellie Oehler