I generally make my apple pies from scratch because it is so easy. Just peel and slice about 6 to 8 apples and you have a pie. Okay, I’ve got to admit that I don’t play by the rules and go to the store to pick the perfect apple to make the perfect apple pie. Instead I use whatever apples happen to be in my fridge at the time and I have even been known to mix apple types. Don’t stress, just make the pie and eat it – it all tastes good. Since I like helping you build your food storage, I am going to share with you a really yummy apple pie filling that you bottle for your food storage.
Apple Pie Filling
4 ½ cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch OR 2 cups flour (I prefer the cornstarch)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (adjust to taste preference)
4 teaspoons nutmeg (adjust to taste preference)
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 drops yellow food coloring
5 ½ – 6 lbs. apples – peeled, cored and sliced thin. Apple corers and slicers are faster and very helpful in making sure that the thickness of the apple is uniform. This is important when you bake your pies.
In a large saucepan blend the first five ingredients. Stir in ten cups of water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Then add the apples and cook another 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and food coloring. Pack the apple mixture in the jar leaving 1-inch head space. Use a cold pack canner and process in boiling water – 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. This recipe makes 6 quarts.
This is a very good tasting recipe, you can use all those apples that you harvested from your tree out back and the kids love to run the apple corer/slicer – or they will learn to.
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch – no problem, it is very easy. Just like I said, grab about 6 to 8 of whatever type of apples you have available, core them, peel them and slice them very thin (about ¼ inch thick, this will make the filling cook more evenly). If they are sweet apples, you might want to add about one tablespoon of lemon juice to make it a little more tart. Mix together ¾ to 1-cup sugar (I prefer less sugar), about 2 Tablespoons of white flour, ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.
After you have mixed all of the dry ingredients, carefully mix it into the cut up apples. Place apple mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie shell. Before placing the pie dough on top of the pie, dot the apples with a few dabs of butter in four or five different places. Cover the apples with dough that has vent holes in it. I like to cut an apple shape because it looks nice. Sprinkle the top with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon.
Bake your pie at 375 degrees until you can smell the pie baking and it is a beautiful golden color. I have never timed any of my pies except pecan and pumpkin. I started baking my pies that way because I kept forgetting to set the timer and sometimes I would even forget that I had a pie in the oven (I was multitasking and forgot), but then that wonderful smell would start wafting through the house and that seemed to be just the right amount of time. If you absolutely have to time it, I would guess about 50 minutes (wimp). If you want to add a little bit of a special treat to your apple pie, throw in a small box of cinnamon Red Hot candies in the apple mixture. Very tasty.
Now for the really easy, light and refreshing pie: the Ice Cream Pie.
Ice Cream Pie
Soften (don’t completely melt) a ½ gallon of vanilla ice cream and mix in 2 Tablespoons to a ¼ cup, to taste, of your favorite frozen drink concentrate. You can use a mixer. Pour into a graham cracker crust and freeze for a couple of hours, or even better yet, overnight. My two favorite concentrates are orange juice – tastes like an orange creamsicle, or the lime concentrate, just because I like lime. Add a drop of two of green food coloring for the lime pie because it will make it look nicer or other colors depending on what flavor you are using and how deep you want the color. This will soon become a family favorite.
The cherry pie will be next and maybe even pumpkin pie. Yum!