Apple pie filling can be used in far more than apple pie, you know. Crisps, turnovers, with pancakes, oatmeal…loads of things! That’s why I love to keep a couple of bags in my freezer -ready to go- during the winter months when a warm, gooey apple dessert tastes best.
It’s so simple, you can put up several bags in no time!
Do you visit an apple orchard in the fall? We frequently do. Fresh-picked fruit straight from the tree..yes, please! I also watch for sales at the grocery to stock up. And a couple of times, we have hit the apple jackpot.
My parents have some friends who own an orchard that sells direct to grocery stores. They always have bushels of apples that can’t go to stores due to blemishes. Kindly, they bless friends with these seconds. It was upon receiving more apples than I knew what to do with that I found this recipe.
And I’ve been making it ever since.
Apple Pie Filling
Be sure to start with apples that lend themselves to baking. Our generous apple donors grew Honeycrisp. (As if getting piles of apples isn’t good enough…they were Honeycrisp!!) Some other varieties that work well are: Granny Smith, Cortland, Fuji, Jonagold, and Braeburn. Mixing apple varieties is always yummy, too.
Today, I’m freezing a mix of Honeycrisp, Fuji and a variety called ‘Sweet Tango’.
First, you need to peel your apples. Then, slice them up. Here’s how I do it:
I cut off the ‘cheeks’ of the apples.
Then slice each one into fairly thin slices.
As you slice them up, drop the slices in a bowl of cold water with some lemon juice squeezed in it. Once you collect 4-6 cups of sliced apples, it’s time to mix up your sugar and spice mixture. A little flour is added for thickening, too. Then cut up 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into pretty small pieces. Mix this all together in a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
Then it’s as easy as draining your apples, dumping them into the bag, and mushing it all together.
When I’m doing lots of bags, I usually mix the sugar and spices up directly in the bags and set up a kind of assembly line, draining and adding apples as soon as I’ve got enough for a bag.
To use the apple pie filling, thaw it enough to be able to squeeze every bit of goodness out of the bag. Dump it into your pie shell. Top with another crust, or crumbles. (Or if you’re making an apple crisp, just thaw and dump it into a square baking dish and top with your crisp mixture). Bake as usual.
To make a sweet topping for pancakes or oatmeal or cake..or anything else your heart desires… just heat the filling up in a saucepan. Cook until apples are soft, but not mushy…about 15 minutes.
If you find yourself with an abundance of apples this fall, this is a fantastic way to preserve the goodness. Heck, it’s worth buying extra apples just for this apple pie filling! Then, this winter, you’ll have a quick way to whip up a warm and delicious apple dessert.
You will thank yourself for thinking ahead…
…and while you’re thinking ahead, grab some ice cream to go with your pie!