It’s almost that time of year again; apple picking. Apple picking used to be an annual event with our kids and homeschooling allowed us to make every opportunity a school event. Off to the mountains we would go to pick and bring home a bushel or two of apples.
I never liked canned, store bought pie filling. It always tasted like metal or medicine. Something just isn’t right about it. The fancy jarred stuff you find in country stores might taste better, but I never spent the money on it. So back in the day, before the internet was really big and who had a computer then anyway?, I couldn’t search for homemade pie filling so what’s a woman to do? Create your own.
I have an unusual talent. Well, perhaps it isn’t that odd but I can taste something and parse out all the ingredients and go home and make it. I love knocking off recipes. There have been sauces I had at restaurants and I have taken home a small cup of the tasty delight to taste further and figure them out. Sometimes it takes a while but this one was just too easy.
Having this filling on your pantry shelf makes for quick apple crisp, pies or even ice cream topping. You can use the recipe to can hard, old time variety pears instead of apples. That filling can be used just like apple pie filling.
Happy Homesteading, S
Apple Pie Filling
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 c corn starch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of cloves if you like them
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water
3 T lemon juice
8-10 tart apples, peeled and sliced thickly
In a large saucepan blend sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt. Add water, whisking continuously to keep sugar from burning. Add lemon juice to restore acid and keep apples from getting brown. Keep stirring until thick and when you lift your spoon, it should look heavy but not like grits or anything.
Pack apples in warmed quart canning jars and fill space with mixture. Tap jar a bit to make sure it fills all empty spaces. Dry pies are no fun!
Cap, seal and process 20 minutes in hot water bath. As the mixture cools, it will thicken a bit more and look rather congealed.
Makes six quarts. Bake pies for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.