Monday, September 22, 2008

Apple Pie Filling for the Pantry

Dana asked about my pie filling recipe. A long-time family friend of my husband's gave it to me years ago. I love it because it does make up a good amount, and it's delicious :o) You can whip open a jar or two for a pie, cobbler or crunch, or just a topper for cakes or ice cream.

Mullen's Apple Pie Filling
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt (we personally don't use salt in anything we bake)
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp lemon juice

Mix all above with 10 cups of water in a large pot. Heat over medium-high until sugar is dissolved and bubbling gently. The 'sauce' will begin to thicken and keep a nice thick, smooth texture -- be sure to stir up along the bottom of the pan well and keep things blended.
Spoon into quart jars packed with apple slices. Lid and seal.
Process in water bath for 20 minutes.

I've no idea how many jars you will get with this. It has varied every time I've done it. Ballpark, you can get 16-19 quarts of apples per bushel. I had little hands (and some not so little hands!) sneaking apple slices all the while, so we only ended up with 10 quarts, plus 5 of the sauce remaining. I went ahead and water bathed the extra sauce for the same time length and it's in the pantry instead of the fridge.

It will vary with how you slice your apples (thin side or thicker) and how well you pack the slices into the jars as well (more apples, less sauce). I suggest packing them in as tightly as you can get them -- the slices do tend to float to the top of the jars after processing. Doesn't affect the taste one bit, but they do look funny :o)

I've never made apple cider vinegar. I'll have to look that up and see what it entails. I usually just buy several gallons at a time -- we don't drink it, but I have a couple recipes that uses it, and we add it to the chickens and goats waters for extra nutrients. I was going to make apple jelly with the peels and cores, but every recipe I found said not to do that with a tart apple,such as Granny Smith -- you have to add too much sugar for a nice-tasting product. Granny Smith is what I bought. Maybe we'll try it again some time.

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