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Homemade Organic Pie Filling or Fruit Syrup Recipe from Nancy


The other day I was complaining to my friend Nancy (one of the best cooks there is), that if I have any recipes that call for pie filling, I can’t use them anymore, because I’ve never seen an organic version. (All the Thank You brand or similar pie fillings have high fructose corn syrup.) She said, “Why don’t you just make your own?!” I had no idea what she was talking about, so she filled me in!


Into a medium saucepan:

  • 2 heaping T. flour (unbleached flour – I don’t think whole wheat would work for this)
  • 1/2 c. natural sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (best from organic lemons) or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 c. water + more water as needed to get the consistency you want. (Thicker for pie filling, more liquid for syrup.)
  • Whisk together well
  • Add 2 c. fresh or frozen fruit, whatever kind you’d like. (I used strawberries & blueberries when I made it, just because I had some in the freezer leftover from last week’s Creme Brule.)
  • Stir occasionally as it heats up and cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes or so. Bring to a gentle boil until desired consistency.
  • Add another 1/2 c. or so more fruit right toward the end of cooking, so there are some chunky pieces of fruit that aren’t all cooked way down.
  • Use how you would use any can of pie filling (see recipe below), or use as a yummy syrup on pancakes or waffles. :)

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.

  • What do you use pie filling in? (Besides pies, obviously – I’m completely blank and can’t think what other recipes I use it for besides the one below.) Do you make your own? How is it different from this recipe? (I love hearing about variations.)
  • Lemon blueberry pie – this one is just with the berries (pie crust recipe is here)
  • Here’s the cake recipe I made with this pie filling


  1. Thanks. I am going to try your recipe using honey or maple syrup. Usually when i have an abundance of apples or other fruit I make my own pie fillings and can for the winter. Last year I made blackberry, apple, pear and blueberry pie filling. I just found out that i have diabetes so will have to experiment with the recipe this year for sugar-free recipes. Does anyone have a good sugar-free recipe?

  2. Kel –

    I make my own pie filling (always have, it’s SO much better tasting) but I don’t add any flour. It’s usually not necessary.

    I also don’t cook the fruit fillings. I think most pies taste better and fresher when you don’t cook the filling.

    Last summer I made apple pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, and peach cobbler. For Thanksgiving I always make apple pie (served with ice cream and a slice of cheddar), pumpkin pie, and pecan pie.

    The recipes depend on what I’m making. For example, I add a little tapioca to the cherry pie. I usually add some fresh lemon to all the fruit recipes. And I use very little rapadura sugar. I don’t like pies that are too sweet. I like to taste the flavor of the main ingredient more than the sugar.

    Here are two of my favorite pie cookbooks (all my recipes for filling are based on recipes from these two books):

    The Pie and Pastry Bible

    Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes from Around the World

    And here is my recipe for perfect pie crust (it’s actually Vogue food editor, Jeffrey Steingarten’s recipe, which is based on master baker Marion Cunningham’s recipe):

    If you don’t have lard on hand, you can substitute butter for the lard. I’ve done that many many times and it still tastes good.

    I will have to post some of my recipes for fillings. I will soon — it’s almost pie season!

    Pie season is like baseball season — it lasts most of the year. 😉


  3. Ann Marie,

    Your comment reminded me to add a link in the post to a lemon-blueberry pie where I just use the berries, too.

  4. Last year, when I had an abundance of apples, I canned apple pie in a jar. I simply cooked appples with cinnamon down to a very soft sonsistency and then added sliced apples and cooked them partially so that they kept their shape. This provided an apple filling like texture without adding any flour for thickening and I used Stevia powder at the end to sweeten. This turned out quite well, I just go to the pantry and open up a jar when I need it! I have mixed this filling with cranberries, rhubarb raspberries to make a fruit crisp. You may need to add more sweetener at that time since these fruits can be quite tart. For Easter I made a cream cheese bar with this pie filling that consisted of a flour crust, cheese filling and then topped with a quart jar of apples, yumm!! The rest of my family is none the wiser that there is no sugar — perfect!

  5. Thanks acahoon. I will try this. Do you remember about how much Stevia powder you used for each quart? Last year I used therm-flo for the thickening and it worked quite well. An Amish friend told me she uses it because it doesn’t seperate like flour would in the jars. I had always used flour for thickening and it always seperated in the jars. I love to can my own food. I have found too many foreign objects in some of the canned foods from the stores and since then I like to can my own so I now exactly what is in them.

  6. Acahoon, YES! Fruit crisps, that’s another good use for fruit filling! How about that cream cheese bar recipe, eh? What do ya say? :) Sounds like it would be a winner with the kids, too.

    Rose, I’ve got to learn how to can this summer now that we’ll have a real garden…I hope I don’t get overwhelmed with it all!

  7. I would like to have the recipe for the cream cheese bar from acahoon too.

    I do a little at a time on the canning. We don’t have a big garden so i can do that. For instance, on the green beans I usually get 7-14 quarts every other day or two. I usually know ahead of time what I want to can and get all my recipes together before it is time to can. That way I know what I will need. I also have been making some soups. If the store has it, I feel that you can make your own. Just use your favorite recipe and adjust the processing time to the ingredients such as meat which usually takes 90 minutes to process. I make my own spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and hoping to try ketchup this year.

  8. I will dig up that cream cheese bar recipe in the next few days and get it to you. As far as how much stevia, I did not measure I just added it until I thought the level of sweetness was right,which will be different for everyone. I also use stevia as the sole sweetener for my jams and jellies, again I add it at the end, to taste.

  9. Okay, so here is the recipe

    Apple Custard Bars
    1/2 c butter, softened
    1/3 c sugar
    3/4 c flour
    1/4 tsp vanilla
    2/3 c chopped nuts

    Cream butter and sugar. Beat in flour and vanilla until combined, stir in nuts. Press into greased 8×8 pan, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

    8 oz cream cheese
    1 egg
    1/2 t vanilla
    1 qt of apple pie in a jar
    Cinnamon for sprinkling on top

    Increase heat on oven to 375. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar egg and vanilla, mix until combined. Pour over crust. Spread apple pie filling on top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes, center will firm up when cooled. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting.

    I use as many organic, sprouted, soaked, etc. ingredients as possible, I have even used yogurt cheese in place of cream cheese and stevia in the filling to reduce the sugar.

    Friut Crisp

    1-2 jars apple pie in a jar filliing
    3 cups of whatever fruit I have on hand or in the freezer~ rhubarb, cranberries, raspberries, etc
    3 T flour
    Maybe some sweetener ( honey, maple syrup) depending on the tartness of the other fruit, add to taste.

    Mix together and pour into 8×8 pan.

    1 c flour
    1/2 c rapadura
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1/2 c cold butter
    1 c oatmeal

    Cut in butter with remaining ingredients and spread on top of filling.
    Bake at 350 for 50 -60 minutes.
    Top with fresh whipped cream!

    One last note, something that I do to ensure that my kids get coconut oil~ whip equal parts of butter, honey and coconut oil. I leave this in a covered dish next to the toaster so my kids/husband can use it when I am not there. Time and mess saver!

  10. The main thing I use pre-made pie filling for is for Cherry Pie Porkchops, a dish I learned from an old friend, which are amazing. Just the thing for winning the heart of a guy through his stomach! 😉 This requires pre made cherry pie filling, and I hate hate hate using the canned stuff from the store. When I lived in Washington State I used to get nice stuff in jars from my farmer’s market, but now I’m in San Francisco and I haven’t seen it yet here. I don’t think I’m ambitious enougth to ever make my own cherry pie filling, but maybe I’ll talk someone else into doing this step for me. . .

  11. I just wanted too say if you could make a pie without fruits because I am nine years old and I’m trying to make a pie but I have any fruits or I don’t even know if I have eggs. Well if you can can you email me the recipe? That will be very nice. And maybe we can be buddies and if I find out a recipe I will tell you and you can put it in your blogs. Also in my website I write storys but I haven’t com up with one so if you have a story email it to me and I will put in my blog. We can become buddies that work over email. Also can you give me your email so I can email you. That will be realy great. Thank you.:-)

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