Monday, June 12, 2023

Strawberry Pie Filling Canning Recipe

Learn how to make a strawberry pie canning recipe.  Home canned pie filling tastes so much better than what you buy in the store, and this is a wonderful strawberry canning recipe to preserve berries for later.

How to Can Strawberry Pie Filling

When it comes to the realm of delectable desserts, strawberry pie filling stands out as a perennial favorite. Bursting with the natural sweetness and vibrant colors of ripe strawberries, this luscious concoction is a true delight for the taste buds. 

Imagine indulging in the heavenly combination of a flaky pie crust and a spoonful of homemade strawberry pie filling that perfectly captures the essence of summer. 

In this article, we will explore the art of canning your own strawberry pie filling, enabling you to savor this exquisite treat all year round. 

I'll also have some strawberry pie filling canning tips to prevent siphoning, which is common for pie filling recipes.

For more strawberry canning recipes, check out these posts:

Keep track of your favorite canning recipes with my printable canning journal.  You can print out the pages to create your own 3 ring binder for recipes, notes, and more.

Selecting Strawberries for Pie Filling

To achieve the best results, selecting the perfect strawberries is paramount. Opt for strawberries that are ripe, juicy, and bursting with flavor. Look for vibrant red coloration, as it is an indication of their ripeness. 

When picking strawberries, trust your sense of smell; a sweet, fragrant aroma is a good sign of their quality. Remember, strawberries at their peak of flavor will yield the best strawberry pie filling.

Preparing the Strawberries

Begin by gently washing the strawberries under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. I like to use a homemade fruit wash recipe.  Next, carefully remove the green hulls from the strawberries using a paring knife or a dedicated hulling tool.

 Once hulled, you can proceed with slicing or dicing the strawberries to your desired consistency. Whether you prefer chunky strawberry pieces or a smoother texture, the choice is yours.

I like to use an egg slicer to slice my strawberries quickly.  I also really love this food chopper for dicing food.

Optional Additives

This strawberry filling canning recipe is delicious on its own, but you can also add some vanilla extract or lemon zest to enhance the strawberry flavor.

You can also add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Thickening the Filling

I use Clear Jel to thicken my homemade pie filling recipe.  Clear Jel is a modified corn starch that can withstand the high heat of canning.

Do not use corn starch because it will not give you good results.  It's not made for the high heat of canning.

I also want to note that Clear Jel is not the same as Sure Gel, which is used for jams and jellies.  

I buy Clear Jel in bulk from the Amish bulk food stores.  You can also find it on Amazon or Etsy.

Strawberry Pie Filling Canning Recipe Tips

Before we learn how to make strawberry pie filling for canning, I want to give you some tips.

  • Pie fillings and anything made with Clear Jel tend to siphon, which can prevent your jars from sealing.  This is due to the temperature difference between the water bath canner and the ambient room temperature.  When the timer is done, I turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Then I let the jars sit in the water bath for about 15 minutes before removing them.
  • Head space is very important for all canning recipes, but it's very important for pie filling.  If they are too full, it will leak out the top and prevent your jar from sealing.
  • This recipe is made for quart jars.  
  • This recipe is for one quart of pie filling.  You can fit 7 quarts in a standard canner or 4 quarts in a Nesco Electric Canner.  You can multiply the measurements by 4 or 7 as needed to make a full batch at once.
  • You can also use one batch to make two pint jars.  However, we live a quart for our pies.
  • Let the jars cool completely after removing from the water before you test the seals.
  • Learn about how to sterilize canning jars.
  • Avoid these canning mistakes that can kill you and always practice safe food preservation.
  • Learn about canning jars not sealing and how to prevent common problems.

Strawberry Pie Filling Canning Equipment

Canning does take a lot of equipment, and you'll need the basics to make this homemade canned strawberry pie filling recipe.  Check out my canning supplies for beginners to see what I recommend and what you don't need to buy right away.

Water Bath Canner: You can use a large pot to can strawberry pie filling, but make sure it's deep enough to cover the jars with 2 inches of water.  You'll also need something to lift the jars from the bottom of the canner.  I recommend investing in a water bath canner if you'll be canning every year.  

Canning Jars: This recipe is for quart jars, but you can also make pints.  I prefer the wide mouth jars because it's easier to get the pie filling out, but you can use what you have.  

Canning Funnel:  I use a canning funnel for less mess when filling the jars.

Bubble Popper:  Pie filling is thick, so it's important to pop air bubbles with a bubble popper.  This one doubles to check the headspace too.

Jar Lifter:  You'll need a jar lifter to move jars in and out of the water.  Trust me when I say do not use tongs.

Strawberry Pie Filling Canning With Clear Jel Ingredients

This will make one quart or two pints of strawberry pie filling.

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Clear Jel
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Strawberry Pie Filling Canning Step by Step

Step #1 

Wash your jars in hot soapy water and place in the water bath canner.  Then fill the jars and the canner with water.  I fill to about 2-3 inches below the top of the jars because you'll be emptying the water in the jars into the pot later.

Wash the lids and rings in hot soapy water, rinse, and set aside.

Step #2

Wash the berries.  Discard any bad berries and remove stems and leaves.  Hull the berries and slice them.

Step #3

Blanch the strawberries for 1 minute in boiling water.  Then place the berries in a bowl to keep warm.

Step #4

Combine the Clear Jel and sugar in a large pot.  Add 1 cup of water and heat until the mixture gets thick and starts to bubble.  Then add the lemon juice and stir constantly.

Step #5

Fold the berries into the hot filling and stir gently.

Step #6

Use the jar lifters to lift a jar from the water bath.  Dump the hot water into the canner and then fill the jar with strawberry pie filling with a 1 inch headspace.  Use the bubble popper to remove air bubbles.  Wipe the rim and place a lid and band on the jar.  Place the jar in the hot water. 

Repeat with as many jars as you made the filling for.

Step #7

Add water to the canner to ensure the jars are covered by at least one inch of hot water.  Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes for elevations up to 1,000 feet above sea level.

  • 0-1000 feet - 30 minutes
  • 1001-3000 feet - 35 minutes
  • 3001-6000 feet - 40 minutes
  • Above 6000 feet - 45 minutes

Step #8

Once the time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the canner.  Let the jars sit in the water for 15 minutes.  Then use the jar lifter to remove jars and place on a towel.  Let cool overnight before touching the seal.

Then remove the ring and wipe the jar if needed.  Label the jars and store.

How to Use Home Canned Strawberry Pie Filling

When you want to make a pie, make a graham cracker crust or buy one.  Then dump the pie filling in the crust and top with whipped cream.  

Here are more ways to use this canned pie filling:

  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Strawberry turnovers
  • Add to oatmeal or yogurt
  • Top crepes or pancakes

I hope you enjoy this strawberry pie filling canning recipe!

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