Sunday, October 11, 2009

Easy as pie! Canning apple pie filling

Seems like everywhere we go lately, we see trees covered in beautiful ripe apples. 
On our trip to town this week, we stopped by to visit our good friend Mark.  His apple tree was bursting with big juicy Gravensteins.  Mark had eaten a few apples off the tree but was content to give the rest to the birds and the squirrels. 

We had just purchased some nice red delicious to make a pie and thought the Gravensteins would be a nice compliment in flavor.  So before it all went to the wildlife, we grabbed a bag, filled it with fresh picked apples, then headed home with visions of hot apple pie.

On our way back to the island, we realized this was a lot more apples then we would need for one pie!  Why not whip up a batch of homemade apple pie filling and have organic and delicious apple pies throughout the year! So we pulled our canning equiptment back out and got to work.

To make our homemade canned apple pie filling you will need:
  • 6 Sterilized wide mouth quart jars
  • Apples - any variety.  We like to mix them to make a more flavorful pie.  Peeled cored and cut.  Enough to fill 6 quart jars
  • 5 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cups Cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 Cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large pot.  Add water and lemon juice.  Heat to a slow boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thikens.  Remove from heat.
  2. Fill bottom inch of sterilized jars with thickened mixture
  3. Wash, peel, core and chop apples filling jars with apples as you go
  4. Pour thickened mixture over apples to fill jars.  Be sure to leave 1/4-1/2" head room for processing.  Use a knife to remove airbubbles in the jar
  5. Wipe jar rims clean
  6. Place caps and rings on jars.  Be sure not to over tighten rings
  7. Process jars in a hot water bath canner for 25 minutes
  8. Remove hot jars onto a towel on counter
  9. Allow to cool overnight. Remove rings and label your jars

Recipe variations:
  • You can leave out any of the spices that you don't like. 
  • You can add 1 teaspoon of salt to the recipe, but I prefer them sodium free.
  • You can use pre ground nutmeg.  If you find whole nutmeg too expensive, check at your local mexican market.  I buy my whole nutmegs in a package of 4 for less that $1 at our tienda
  • Try adding pears along with the apples for a mixed fruit pie

To make your pie: Use your favorite pie crust recipe or frozen crusts. Fill with your homemade pie filling and bake for about an hour at 375 degrees. Allow pie to cool for 2- 3 hours before serving. You may also use this filling in empenadas, turnovers and other filled pasteries. Or warm and serve over icecream or yogurt.

Ben prepping for our apple project:


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