Friday, October 7, 2011

Preserving Apple Pie Filling

I have a partner in crime...literally.  Well, let's call it a partner in urban foraging.  It has a more rustic, eco-friendly ring to it.  

My accomplice, we'll call him Ron, told me about some local apple trees, no where near houses, that were just sitting there (as opposed to all the other apple trees that have a very active social life).  The apples were falling off the tree and rotting on the ground.  So, with the health of the world in mind, we set out to save the tree!  (like how I turned that around?)

If you look closely, you can see Ron, who took one for the team and climbed the tree.

The apples weren't the most beautiful, I'm guessing because they're not sprayed with insecticide.  But, they tasted like perfectly good Macintosh apples.  

We kept picking until it became dangerous to climb any higher and ended up with a pretty decent accumulation.

Next, we started discussing recipes.  Ron wanted to make apple pie filling that could be given away as gifts.  

We got a conveyor line of peeling/chopping going and made relatively quick progress preparing the apples.

Apple Pie Filling
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 drops yellow food colouring (omitted)
  • 6 pounds apple

  • In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and food colouring.

  • Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.

  • Peel, core, and slice apples. Pack the sliced apples into hot canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.  

  • Fill jars with hot syrup, and gently remove air bubbles with a knife.

  • Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

Notes: Like the canned peaches, we has some siphoning issues...AGAIN!  But, I think I've learned my lesson.  I'm starting to give a generous amount of headspace.  When I see 1/2 inch of headspace in a recipe, I check whether other similar recipes give the same amount.  I also lean toward 3/4 or a full inch of headspace (maybe this is bad advice, but I'm tired of siphoning).  The other recommendation, which comes from Giz, is to fill the jar only 1/2 full of apples.  Then, add some of the hot syrup.  Get the air bubbles out.  Then repeat (add more apples, syrup and remove air bubbles).  It's easier to get the air bubbles out this way and it makes a difference because those apple slices make for great hiding spots for air bubbles.

Siphoning aside, the recipe was still a success.  The seals were good, so we wiped down the outside of the bottles of their syrup.  The flavour reminded us of apple pies from McDonald's.  I haven't tried it in an actual pie yet.

After finishing the apple pie filling, we still had a tonne of apples... Stay tuned for more apple preserving posts. StumbleUpon

1 comment:

That Girl said...

Ron is such a thoughtful guy, thinking of others with your apple bounty.

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