And I especially love apple pie. I feel like an old-school 1950's wife, baking a pie for her husband, and for me that is an awesome feeling. But sometimes its hard to take the time to make a pie from scratch, and I am the first to admit that canned pie filling is quite convenient. But I would never ever eat a pie made with a filling bought in the stores because a) they taste so gross and b) theyre ingredient list is quite frightening. So here I am, trying to make the perfect apple pie filling that I can can (I love doing that). Here is what I have come to so far.
Here are some basic explanation for canning, if you don't know how to do so.
First, you need about 6.5 lbs of apples. Don't go by the number of apples, because size is subjective. Peel them apples (and don't worry about it if there is a little peel left, its no biggie. I have a friend who actually makes her entire pies with un-peeled apples, and although texturally different, it was still pretty tasty. And arguably, higher in vitamins) Core them and slice them into desired thickness, for me an eight sliced apple is perfect.
Pack the apples as tight as they fit within a 1ltr jar (or quart jars if you've got American stuff). After you add each apple, shake the jar a little to settle the apples within the space. Leave a whole inch and half of space.
Next comes the syrup making fun. On the stove, wisk 2 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of brown sugar, 3 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp of cloves, and 1/4 tsp of allspice together. I know the sugar level is scary, but that is why pie is, in my house at least, a special treat. The spices are also high because we like it spicey, but feel free to fine tune both the sugar level and the spices to your own liking. Next, add about 8 cups of hot water and stir until sugar is disolved on low heat. Bring to ebulition, then add 1.5 more cups of water with 3 TBSP of lemon juice, and 1 cup of cornstarch. Stir or whisk quickly. When the cornstarch has been completely incorporated (i.e. no more white) ladle the syrup slowly over the packed apple, and don't forget to leave an inch of headspace!
Warning, this will be a messy step. If your anything like me, you will need to wipe not only the inside rim, but the outside rim and indeed the whole darn jar as well as the counter.
Use a plastic knife (or other non metal instrument) to pop all those silly air bubbles, and this unfortunately makes tons of them so watch out. Process for 20 minutes. And bam, 6 liters of apple pie filling. One jar equals one 8 inch pie. Using this recipe, I personally found that there was a bit too much syrup so I just spooned out a few tablespoons when I upended a jar the next day over a pie plate. I also use this over ice cream, in pancakes, over my yogurt, etc. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!
|I swear I look like this when I cook.|