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Canning Strawberry Pie Filling: a How-To

Canning Strawberry Pie Filling: a How-To

I may have been compensated for this post. Please keep in mind that it affects you in no way financially. If an item is being reviewed, I am not obligated to give a positive review and always use my own words. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you would like a review done contact Dannelle at op40k@aol.com

Have you ever thought of canning strawberry pie filling? Aldi had some great fresh strawberries this past week, and at under a dollar a pound? I had to take advantage of that sale at the grocery store! They were perfectly sweet, a deep beautiful red, and merely begging me to take that fresh fruit home. So, I purchased 15 packages and then got to work on canning strawberry pie filling.

Canning Strawberry Pie Filling: a How-To

Let’s talk about Clear Jel. It is the “upgraded” cornstarch that is USDA approved for use as a thickening agent when you are canning. Almost every recipe you find on the internet for canning strawberry pie filling, or any other kind of pie filling, uses it. If Clear Jel isn’t listed, it might be an older recipe that uses boxed Strawberry Jell-O. I didn’t really want to add those extra chemicals into my bounty – after all, that is why I can: to feed my family the healthier food.

That took me back to Grandma’s file box – recipes that she used for dozens of years to keep the root cellar full of amazing gems that helped feed the family in the middle of winter or during tougher times. Tougher times were when things were harder to find, or there was a bad growing season. Kind of like the corn crops this year – most of the Midwest is way behind on corn growth and height so the potential yield, or harvest, is looking bleak. Since corn and corn byproducts are in about seventy percent of what is in the grocery stores, I expect prices to jump more than they already have.

That sucks, right? That is why I have been canning and dehydrating all that I can get my hands on right now – like these strawberries that were under my target price for produce. Ten years ago, I shot for under a dollar a pound for fresh produce in season. I have still managed to find great deals on fresh fruits and veggies at those prices yet today. Produce other than the standard bananas, potatoes, and onions. These are always under a buck a pound – even at places like Quik Trip.

Let’s get back to that Strawberry Pie Filling. Grandma didn’t have Clear Jel. Grandma DID have cornstarch. While cornstarch may break down a little and make your finished item seem to get a little cloudier, it will still look and taste amazing if you use it in less than a year. The taste doesn’t change much past that, but the bright shiny color gets that slightly cloudy appearance.

Keep in mind, this is NOT a current USDA recommended recipe, but one of my family’s favorite recipes. Use it at your own risk and enjoyment. I have found that a few of these classic recipes really makes for a great way to prepare for future emergencies as I do on Bug Out With Dannelle.

Our Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe

You will need:

  • 10 pounds washed, sliced strawberries
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Cornstarch
  • 10 cups water
  • 3Tbsp lemon juice – I know some recipes day teaspoons of lemon juice but we like Tablespoons for this recipe!
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Red food coloring*

How to make Canned Strawberry Pie Filling With Cornstarch:

Prepare your strawberries and set aside. That means to wash them, trim off the tops, and remove any thick cores. If the

Prepare your strawberries and set them aside. That means washing them, trimming off the tops, and removing any thick cores. If the berries are unusually large, cut them into smaller pieces.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Stir frequently, or it’ll stick to your pan! *If you want to make your pie filling gel redder, add a few drops of the food coloring. This is totally optional but might make a prettier final product than what I did.

Add strawberries to your hot and prepped quart jars through a wide mouth funnel, then add syrup – leaving 1.5-inch headspace. I know it seems like an ample space, but the gel will expand a little during your processing time.

Use your tool to remove the air bubbles. Make sure you wipe rim of each jar with a paper towel with a little white vinegar on it. Add your new lid and then screw bands on before popping them into your water bath canner.

Load them onto your rack and water bath for 20 minutes, making sure to cover jars with that water. Remove your hot jars from your hot water and place them on a towel to cool. Store jars in a cool, and preferably dark place for up to two years.

When you remove them, listen for that magical sound of the “ping” to tell you that they have sealed.

canning strawberry pie filling popped into a freshly baked pie shell

How do you make a homemade strawberry pie?

Now, how do you make a pie from your freshly canned strawberry pie filling?

This is now a three-ingredient easy recipe! First of all, bake off a pie shell and let it cool. Open a jar of your canned homemade strawberry pie filling and pour it into that cooled shell.

Now you top those canned strawberries with whipped cream or Cool Whip. You are ready to slice and serve your homemade strawberry pies to share with friends and family. At least that is one of my favorite ways to use them – it is a beyond easy strawberry pie. It is also great with a little cream cheese, rolled up in crescent rolls, and baked too – but we will cover that another day.

canning strawberry pie filling used to make a slice of pie

How about your favorite crisp recipes? Use one filled jar and you are almost ready to bake without all of those apple slices to deal with. I am sure you can think of new recipes to try on your own – just use instead of any apple pie filling or blueberry filling that you see in a recipe book. I will say that strawberry cobbler is the total bomb!

Now why wait to the strawberry season for this? Watch your own store to see when berries are on sale and try it yourself!

Print off our recipe here:

Yield: 8 jars

Canning Strawberry Pie Filling: a How-To

how to can strawberry pie filling

Our family recipe for canning strawberry pie filling.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds washed, sliced strawberries
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice – I know some recipes day teaspoons of lemon juice but we like tablespoons for this recipe!
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Red food coloring*

Instructions

Prepare your strawberries and set them aside. That means washing them, trimming off the tops, and removing any thick cores. If the berries are unusually large, cut them into smaller pieces.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Stir frequently, or it’ll stick to your pan! *If you want to make your pie filling gel redder, add a few drops of the food coloring. This is totally optional but might make a prettier final product than what I did.

Add strawberries to your hot and prepped quart jars through a wide mouth funnel, then add syrup – leaving 1.5-inch headspace. I know it seems like an ample space, but the gel will expand a little during your processing time.

Use your tool to remove the air bubbles. Make sure you wipe rim of each jar with a paper towel with a little white vinegar on it. Add your new lid and then screw bands on before popping them into your water bath canner.

Load them onto your rack and water bath for 20 minutes, making sure to cover jars with that water.

Remove your hot jars from your hot water and place them on a towel to cool.

Store jars in a cool, and preferably dark place for up to two years.

Notes

This is an old family recipe and is NOT FDA approved.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 jar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 171gFiber: 12gSugar: 140gProtein: 4g

Other canning recipes of ours you might like to try:

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