Apple Pie Filling
It’s apple season! When it’s harvest time in Washington you can get a lot of amazing apples at a good price. Most apple varieties grown and sold here have an amazing storage life…they live a comfortable life in our industry’s massive, state-of-the-art refrigerator warehouse system until it’s the perfect time to be delivered to consumers. August through October is a great time to buy apples as brands are moving the remainder of last year’s crop out of storage to make room for the new crop. And, they’re usually still in great condition! It’s a great time to stock up on your favorite variety from either old crop or new, and enjoy fresh bites and preserve some for the coming months.
Applesauce is awesome, but one of our favorite ways to preserve apples is to pre-make apple pie filling. Getting a step ahead for future pie making makes life a little easier during the holidays. Our personal favorite pie-making variety is Washington’s newest…Cosmic Crisp! This apple has a unique taste that is both sweet and tart, making it the perfect choice for a delicious pie filling. Learning from our pal, Eryn Whalen, here’s how we're making and canning homemade apple pie filling. And if you want to follow along with our video, find it here.
12 pounds apples
4 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1 1/2 cup clear jet (ClearJel)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lemon juice
8 cups water
Peel and slice apples into small chunks. Place aside in large bowl. Mix together all other ingredients in saucepan on low. Let simmer into a syrup thickness for about 20 minutes.
While the syrup is simmering pack the sliced apples into jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Using a funnel, pour the syrup over the apples into the quart jars.
Take a long end of a wooden spoon and tap down the apples, removing air pockets and allowing the syrup to fill up the jar completely. Clean off rims before placing lids on. Place jars in hot water canner and process for 20 minutes.
Remove canning lid and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove jars and place away from drafts on a counter with a towel placed down under cans and one over the top.
Leave for 12-24 hours without disturbing. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
For more on Eryn’s apple pie filling, visit her website.