Apple Pie Filling
This is a great gift idea and quite easy to make. This recipe is for a single quart (multiple as needed). I you have wide mouth jars, they are a bit easier to work with:
- 3½ cups Cortland apples, washed
- ¾ cup sugar (I used white, I would try brown next time)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½-1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves and all spice
- 1¼ cups apple water
- 2 Tbs lemon juice (bottled is suitable)
- Peel, core and slice apples to ¼” thick. A bowl of cold water with lemon juice is handy for preventing the apples from browning while you are cutting them up.
- Place sliced apples in a large pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil and cook 1 minute more. This will stop the enzymes that can cause the flavor to degrade during storage. Drain and keep the hot cooked fruit in a covered bowl or pot. Reserve the liquid.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large pot with the apple water. You can reduce the amount of sugar by up to half or substitute honey (about 3/4 cup of honey to replace each cup of sugar). Over medium high heat, stir constantly until the mixture begins to bubble.
- Combine cornstarch with lemon juice (add liquid to dry) to make magic mud. Add to pot and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.
- Using the funnel, add syrup to bottom of the sterilized quart jars, pack jar with apple slices in layers to accommodate the thick liquid. Leave 1″ headspace. After each layer, tamp down the slices with a spoon to fill any air spaces. The jar should be tightly packed so the slices aren’t floating in liquid.
- Wipe any spilled apple pie filling before adding the lids. Process in a water bath for 25 min.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour the pie filling into a pie crust. Sprinkle with a crumb topping or dough, as you prefer. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down and cook at 350F for another 40 minutes, or the juices are bubbling.