No more canned pie filling! Learn how to make Homemade Peach Pie Filling from scratch using fresh juicy peaches. Use it to make peach pie, crumb bars, or no bake cheesecake parfaits.
August marks peach season in PA and you bet I’m not going to miss it!
Usually Dad and I do pick-your-own-peaches, but when I lived a few hours away in south central PA for a few years, it was difficult to find a weekend together and go to the one farm we love.
When that happened, I would buy a basket of peaches from a fruit stand on the side of the road. I may not have personally picked them, but I knew they were fresh from the farm.
I’ve also made fresh peach pie filling but never shared it with you. Until now.
This recipe for Homemade Peach Pie Filling is similar to canned pie filling but much fresher and without preservatives or corn syrup.
I personally don’t care about those last two items, but I know others do. Whatever you believe, this recipe is easy and delicious.
It’s a beautiful start to some freshly baked peach pie, but you can also use the filling in other recipes, such as cheesecake crumb bars and no bake cheesecake parfaits.
Should peaches be peeled for pie?
Before I talk about how to make peach pie filling, let’s talk about the main ingredient – the peaches!
One question I get for most peach recipes is should you peel the peaches?
Although the skin is totally edible, it’s best to peel peaches for pie. Leaving the skin on could result in a bitter taste and texture.
How to peel peaches
The best way to peel peaches is to boil them.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, cut an X in the bottom of each peach and submerge for 30 seconds. The skin should split.
Remove the peach with a slotted spoon and immediately place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Once cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel. Sometimes you can pull the skin off with your fingers if it’s loose enough.
Need a visual guide? Check out my post on how to peel peaches.
How to make peach pie filling
This recipe is as easy as boiling water, mostly because that’s exactly what you’re doing to make homemade peach pie filling.
First, whisk together water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch then bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens thanks to the cornstarch.
Once thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the peaches and vanilla. Because the peaches are soft (unlike apples, for example), you don’t need to cook it any further. Cool the filling to room temperature before using.
Because the recipe is a pretty basic, it gives you the freedom to add additional flavors.
Add cinnamon and clove for a spiced pie. Add a bit of thyme or basil for some freshness. Add other fruits such as raspberries or blueberries then add pecans or walnuts for a medley.
Can you can homemade peach pie filling?
I’ve had people ask if my fresh peach pie filling is suitable for canning.
The answer is no because of the cornstarch. Cornstarch breaks down after awhile, which affects bacteria growth. Keep this pie filling stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can also freeze it for future baking.
How to freeze peach pie filling
Much like peach pie itself, you can freeze peach pie filling. There are two ways to freeze peach pie filling:
- Line a freezable pie plate (not glass as it may shatter when baked at a cold temperature) with pie dough. Fill the dough with the peach pie filling then cover the top with another piece of pie dough. Fully cover with plastic wrap then place in a freezer-safe plastic bag.
- Transfer the pie filling to a freezer-safe plastic bag. Place the bag inside an empty pie plate and spread out so it takes the shape of the plate. Freeze until firm. Because it’s the shape of the plate, it should be easy to transfer and bake when ready.
Whichever method you choose, freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, cut three slits into the top of the crust and bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
What to do with peach pie filling
Looking to make more than just pie? Here are some recipes using peach pie filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups chopped peeled peaches, roughly 4-5 large peaches (learn how to peel peaches
- In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and peaches. Cool to room temperature then use as desired or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks**.
To make a peach pie:
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spoon the filling into a prepared 9 inch pie crust (homemade or store bought). Top with another 9 inch pie crust, making slits to let steam escape, or streusel. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely before serving.
*This recipe is not suitable for canning because of the cornstarch.
**The filling will separate when stored in the refrigerator. Reheat everything back up in a saucepan until smooth again.