(by Dolores Scholz ~ Tonasket, WA)
6 cups sliced peeled baking apples
(5-6 medium or a little more to suit your desired filling thickness)
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt (optional - I don't include)
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
In a saucepan, combine apples, water and lemon juice; cook over medium-low heat just until the apples are tender. You will want to stir fairly often. In the meatime, combine sugar, tapioca flour and spices in a bowl. Set aside. When the apples are tender, add the sugar mixture to the apples in the saucepan and stir well; reduce burner temperature to low. Stir occasionally and continue over low heat until sugar mixture thickens and become a rich caramel color. Remove from heat and allow to cool. *If you're going to make a pie at this point, you don't want the filling to be hot when putting it into the crust. Allow to cool for at least 5-10 minutes.
*You can use all-purpose flour instead of tapioca flour (if not making this gluten-free)
To proceed with pie: Place bottom pastry in pie plate; add apple mixture. Cover with top pastry; seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 35-45 minutes longer or until golden brown.
To preserve pie filling for a later date: You will need a quart size and pint size glass canning jar per recipe of pie filling (or other suitable container for freezing the pie filling). Boil or heat well the number of canning lids you'll need depending on how many batches of pie filling you are making. *I don't recommend doubling the recipe, but it is fairly easy to stagger 2 batches of pie filling on the stove utilizing 2 cooking pots.
Follow the direction above, but when the filling is thickened, remove it from the heat and fill a quart size and a pint size jar with the hot filling. Place a heated lid on top and twist on a canning ring. Label the jars with the same numbers (with a sharpie pen/permanent marker), ie. I use a number followed by the year: 109 (on both lids). The next batch would be 209. When I pull a filling from the freezer, I make sure I have two jars with matching numbers...
Note: make sure you leave headspace in each jar to allow for expansion when the mixture freezes.
Allow these jars to sit on the counter or table overnight prior to placing them in the freezer. My freezer allows me to stack the small jar on the larger jar... When I'm ready to use a pie filling, I set the jars on the counter for a few hours, make the pie crust and follow pie directions above. (I have even made a pie with the pie filling still slighty frozen.)
I usually pick enough apples each fall to make 18-20+ pie fillings for the year ahead. It may be alot of work over a few days, but it's wonderful the rest of the year when we can grab a filling out of the freezer and make up a pie or an apple crisp (even with fairly short notice).
Any questions, let me know!
Today is a good day for pie...
Pie crust recipe - click here!
Pie crust recipe - click here!