Post prepared by POP Education Committee Member, Karen Stark, GMO Free PA.

Great for gifts!

I love apple season–the sight of reddening fruit hanging heavy from trees as the leaves change; the first bite of a tart, crisp apple picked straight from a tree; apple-cider and apple cider donuts; and all of the apple-themed recipes. Extend the autumnal warmth a bit longer and make the busy holiday season a bit easier with this simple apple pie filling–great for a gift or for home food preservation!

Pick your apples from a local orchard like Linvilla, buy your apples from a local farmers market, an establishment geared towards local food like Fair Food Farmstand or Philly FoodWorks, or volunteer at a POPHarvest apple gleaning event next season! Some of the best apples for baking are Goldrush, Newtown Pippin, and Winesap.

Store them in quart jars (for gifts or pantry storage) or a freezer bag (much easier for self use).

Pam’s Easy Pie Filling

(Fills 12 quarts)


36 medium apples (3 per quart)

4 1/2 cups organic cane sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup arrowroot powder (or quick tapioca)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

10 cups water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, arrowroot powder, nutmeg, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer and stir until thickened.

Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and stir.


Pack sliced apples in jars and add 1 1/2 cups of the mixture. Make sure you have 1/2” gap at the top of the jar. Give a 20 minute water bath. Visit other POP posts about canning or The Ball Jar Website for great tips.

Alternative storage: In a 1-quart freezer bag, place three sliced apples, add cooled mixture (a too-hot mixture may melt plastic or leach chemicals into your food), seal bag, and lay in the freezer.

A selection of the many apple cultivars planted in POP’s community orchards and picked at POPHarvest events:

Liberty – Eat Fresh (winner of children’s taste-tests this summer over other store-bought conventional and organic apple varieties!)

Goldrush – Eat Fresh, Cooking, Juice, Hard Cider

Honeycrisp – Eat fresh

Newtown Pippin – Cooking, Juice, Hard Cider

Winesap – Eat fresh, Cooking, Juice

Northstar Orchard in the Philadelphia area grows an astonishing 353 varieties of apples, mostly heirloom and antique. Visit their variety page for more information.

SUPPORT US!  If you found this entry useful, informative, or inspiring, please consider a donation of any size to help POP in planting and supporting community orchards in Philadelphia: