There are a couple ways to make your own pie filling; some people make it so that it can be canned and is very similar to the canned filling you can buy at the store.I prefer freezing it because at this time of year I'm tired of canning and usually out of jars and space in the cellar. If you want to try the canned version, here's one recipe that sounds good to me and doesn't require buying something called Clear Jel.
We brought out two tools I haven't used in quite a while: the apple peeler and the corer-slicer. I've had both of these since I was 22, and used them almost every year but then I bought a Squeezo to make my applesauce and my boys grew up and I was canning less. But with so many apples this year, I thought it was time to get the old tools out. And now that Larry has used them and fell in love with their simple mechanics, I would bet we'll be using them a lot more often.
Here's Larry peeling the apples
and here's he is coring and slicing
This tool did have another arm on it that was supposed to do the peeling but I much prefer the big peeler so I removed the peeling arm some time ago. I wonder where it is now? Hmmm...
We ended up doing about a bushel of apples in 2 hours, making 23 quarts of pie filling. The chickens were quite happy to get the peels; in past years I would boil them to get juice to make jelly, but we have no need of more jelly this year. The peels and cores could also be covered with water and left to make vinegar, something I've also done before.
To make the filling: I put the apples into lemon juice and water as I sliced them to keep the slices from turning brown. Then I drained them, added sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (I measure nothing so I can't give amounts--I make sure the apples are coated with sugar; I judge the spices by the way the mixture looks). Then I bag up the mixture in quart bags and freeze. No cooking required! I've used this method several times in the past with good results, and it is very like the method recommended on the HGTV website.
Now, what to do with the rest of the apples? I think I might try drying some next week, and probably make some more pie filling because next year the crop might not be so abundant.
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