One of the best things about Fall are Apples. Apple season is now in full swing with lots and lots and lots of fresh, crisp apples ready for picking, eating, canning, juicing and baking. I am an Apple Snob though, only liking a few specific varieties to eat fresh. I do venture into other varieties for baking, as long as they stand up well to the cooking process.
Canadian Thanksgiving is approaching quickly and I am usually pressed for time in getting dessert ready in the days leading up to the annual food-a-thon. So this year I decided to venture into canning Apple Pie Filling so that all I have to do is make a pie shell, toss in the filling and fire it off into the oven. Sounds like an amazing time saver to me.
So I did some digging on the internet (I love the internet, greatest thing since sliced bread IMO) and came with up a few recipes to choose from. I settled on one that didn’t require a store bought food starch additive as regular cornstarch would do just fine. Why waste money on a prepared product when you don’t have to?
Since this was my first foray into making apple pie filling to preserve, I decided to halve the batch, just in case I didn’t like the end result. With so few ingredients, it really was a snap to put together. I prepared the liquid first and let that simmer, then got started on peeling and slicing the apples. To keep your apples from turning brown, fill a large bowl half-way with water and add a 1/4 cup lemon juice, then, as you peel/slice the apples, drop them in the bowl and they will retain their white colour.
Once you have peeled/chopped the apples, drain them from the bowl and pack them into hot, sterlized canning jars to within a half-inch of the top. Fill with the liquid, remove air bubbles and adjust head-space as necessary, then centre the lids on, screw the bands fingertip tight and process in a hot water canning bath for 20 minutes.
I must say, the kitchen smelled amazing while the liquid was cooking, but Hubby was really, REALLY disappointed that there was no pie at the end of the day. Talk about a major let down. Poor guy. I see a pie in my immediate future to bake….
Canned Apple Pie Filling
4 lbs Apples, peeled and sliced
5 Cups Water (set aside 1 Cup of Cold Water)
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
2 1/4 Cups White Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
In a sauce pan, place 4 cups of the water, the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together until sugar dissolves. To the remaining cup of cold water, add the cornstarch and whisk until smooth, add to the water/sugar mixture in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and darkens in colour. Once mixture is to desired consistency, mix in the lemon juice.
Pour hot mixture over the apples as stated above and process in a water canning bath for 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack and then store in cool place.
Makes 6 x 500ml jars. Use 2 jars for one 8″ pie.