Apples are one of those fruits that are available all year long, but fall apples fresh from the orchards are best. Crisp, sweet, and with a texture you won’t find on the apples that have been stored for months, it’s a great time to stock up on your favorite apple pie filling.
Making the Best Apple Pie Filling
It isn’t always about the recipe, it’s also about the freshness and quality of your ingredients. In the recipe below, you can make it fabulous by using fresh lemon juice, whole nutmeg, and fresh apples.
Why would you pre-make the apple pie filling? Because you know it’s perfectly cooked, has a nice syrupy consistency, and is delicious. Plus it doesn’t have any artificial flavors or colors and no preservatives.
Plus, baking a pie by stacking raw apples and hoping for the best, can result in puffed up pie crust with just an inch of filling. This makes baking an apple pie fool-proof!
What Apples are Best for Apple Pie Filling?
But what apples are best for apple pie filling? My favorite are Granny Smiths for several reasons. First they’re tart and hold their shape plus they brown slower than most when pealed and sliced so they stay brighter when cooked. Experts disagree with me and swear that Golden Delicious apples make the best pie. They’re sweet and and tart with a smooth and balanced taste, but that’s if they’re fresh from the tree. Golden Apple’s that have been stored can get a mealy texture that’s not pleasant for eating or baking.
Skip These Apples When Making Pie or Be Ready for Disappointment
The apples not to use are red apples – they’re meant for eating, not pie making and while they’re sweet to eat, they quickly turn to mush when cooked. Yuck. Rome and Fuji apples fall into the same catagory – eat, but don’t bake with them.
Tools for Apple Pie Filling Making
You don’t need an Apple Peeler Corer machine to make pie filling though if you’re doing a large batch for freezing or canning you’ll want to invest in one. For the casual baker, a few simple tools will make it easier to make your apple pie filling. A hand Apple Corer can remove the central core including the stem and some of the seeds. I use a standard kitchen peeler, though in our house it’s called a potato peeler no matter that we use it for everything else.
Next is the slicer. You can use a sharp knife, but it’s very important that they be a uniform thickness. That’s because you don’t want some of the apples to cook through, while others are still hard. The optimal thickness is about 1/8″. If your knife skills are not accurate enough, try a mandolin slicer. They range in prices from $19 to $199. If you’re not ready for a mandolin, try this OXO Grate and Slicer set.
- 5-6 medium apples, peeled and evenly sliced
- 2 Tbls lemon juice
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 c warm water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- In a large bowl toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning; set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, place cornstarch and add warm water; whisk until completely combined (check for lumps on the bottom).
- In a large saucepan on medium, pour the cornstarch/water mix and add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir during additions. Raise heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to come to a hard boil. Allow it to boil. stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
- Add the sliced apples and bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes or until apples soften to the desired texture.
- Cool completely before storing or using or serve warm over ice cream, cheese cake or bake inside a deep dish pie crust. This recipe can also be frozen.
Cook Now & Freeze for Fresh Apple Pie Filling Later
Make plenty of apple pie filling now and freeze it in an airtight container for up to six months. Freeze in single serving sizes and add to your favorite plain or vanilla yogurt, top your oatmeal, or use as a topping on your favorite cupcake recipe.
What’s your go to Apple Pie Filling recipe? What do you eat it on?