Picture this: it’s January 14 and you’re 3 feet deep in snow. You’re just off the holidays and the winter depression is setting it (or not if you’re in sunny Cali or the sunshine state!). A way to perk yourself up is a fresh, delicious homemade apple pie - which tastes as wonderful as the day you freshly picked them back in September. Here’s how you can have this magical pick-me-up.
Since I can remember, my mom and I have two traditions we do every year. The first is making a round of our family Christmas cookies and the second is getting a bushel (yes a WHOLE bushel!) of apples and making apple pie filling for the year. Not many people know you can prep the filling and freeze it for a quick, easy & delicious dessert any time of the year.
The best apples for pies tend to be the ones that are slightly sweet and a little bit sour. I’ve always used Cortland apples for my pies. You just set up an assembly line, have a helping hand or two to make the process go faster and boom, you’re done!
Apple Pie Filling Recipe:
One bushel of apples yields approximately 18-quart size bags.
5-6 Apples, depending on their size
2 tablespoons of butter
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon (based on likeness - I always like more)
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
Simply substitute the flour for a gluten-free blend (King Author is my fav).
Wash the apples. Use an apple peeler & corer to remove the skin & core. My machine even slices the apples so you don’t have to do that step.
Cut the apple into 4 to have smaller slices.
Prep the filling - the most important part! The secret is to melt the butter first, then add the apples, cinnamon, flour and sugar. Only cook long enough until you have a very small amount of syrup at the bottom of your pan, the apples will barely be warm.
If you cook them too long and have too much syrup in the pan your final pies will come out runny and won’t hold together too much. The trick is to just cook it as soon as all the ingredients are mixed and the apple are only warmed a little bit.
Fill up a quart size freezer bag full to the top. If the filing is too warm, let it cool before you seal it up.
To make your apple pie:
One quart size bag will be the perfect amount of filling for 1 pie. To make your pie, take a bag out and let it sit in the fridge overnight to thaw, or you can pop it in the microwave on defrost. Prep your bottom pie crust, pour in the filling then add your top pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
Now you have apple pie all winter long. Mmmm, mmmm, good!