|My applepeelercorer in action.|
Well, after I made the pie filling but hadn't yet canned it, I read in several places that cornstarch is not recommended for canning. The heat doesn't conduct well enough through the cornstarch to make the mixture hot enough during the canning process, rendering it not safe. A product called Clear Jel was recommended for thickening the apple mixture instead of cornstarch.
So I froze the pie filling instead of canning it, a quart of filling in each of four gallon sized freezer bags. Then I jumped into making other apple products. I worried about the cornstarch in the frozen apple pie filling. Maybe I shouldn't share the recipe, I wondered. I wouldn't want to poison anyone. So I practiced the art of avoidance and didn't write about apple pie filling.
Then I felt guilty because a promise is a promise. I said there would be an apple pie filling recipe, even though I posted this one, a danged good one, a couple years ago.
After a little internet research, I found the exact same recipe (including cornstarch) on another site, but they called it Freezer Apple Pie Filling and none of the comments had an issue with cornstarch. The cornstarch issue must be for those who can. Who can can. Okay, enough.
So now I feel better. Here's the recipe. As I was making this pie filling, I did a little tasting and this would not only be good for pies, but for topping a cheesecake, added to oatmeal, or to plain Greek yogurt, well, you get the idea that this stuff is totally awesome, dudes and dudettes!
Freezer Apple Pie Filling
16 cups apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (that's my peeler slicer corer in the photo)
4 T lemon juice
3-4 cups white sugar, depending on the tartness of your apples
1 cup cornstarch
4 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t salt
8 cups water
1. Toss the apples with lemon juice in a large bowl
2. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Pour water into a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
4. Whisk the sugar mixture into the water in the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Add the apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat and cover the pan. Let the apples cook for 6-8 minutes, until they are tender but still hold their shape. Watch out or you may end up with applesauce if you cook it too long.
6. Cool for 30 minutes.
7. Ladle the pie filling into 4 quart sized freezer containers with 1/2 inch headspace or into 1 gallon sized Ziplock bags. If you are using bags, try to remove excess air before sealing. Cool at room temperature for no more than 1 1/2 hours.
8. Freeze. Or make a pie right now.
Pie filling can be stored for up to 12 months.