Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Pie Filling

Make some delicious homemade apple pie filling with all those apples you got this year!  This is pretty simple but takes a little bit of time.  I have two recipes I tried this year. The first one I used last year but this year I added some more spices and thickened it a little more.  It tasted yummy from last year but I was trying to get it more like my 2nd recipe, but a little cheaper.

7 quarts filled with peeled, cored and sliced apples
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1 TBS cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
10 cups water
3 TBS lemon juice

Wash jars and screw lids.  Place flat lids in pot of hot water on low on your stovetop.  Get them out just you you need them.

Peel and slice apples (this is SUPER EASY if you have an apple peeler/corer - I have one from Pampered Chef - makes it very fast!).  Fill quarts with apples leaving 1 inch head space.  Be sure to pack the apples in there, put a few in and smosh down with a handle of a wooden spoon, if needed.

Make syrup by combining sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and water.  After combined, cook until thick. Add lemon juice.  Pour syrup over apples in jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Be sure to run your plastic spatula around the inside of the jar to get the air bubbles out and let the syrup run down.  Use a wet washrag to wipe down the top of the jar to get all the dripping syrup off.   Place the lids on and screw the rings down just finger tight.   Process for 35 minutes.  Add 5 minutes for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and 10 minutes from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

And the other recipe is from my sister-in-law, Cheryl.  This is very yummy and tastes exactly like the apple pie filling from the store.  The syrup is super thick!   But it is more expensive to make.

7 quarts filled with peeled, cored and sliced apples
5 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups Ultra Gel
1 TBS cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cups cold water
5 cups apple juice
3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

Follow the same instructions above for the syrup except add all the ingredients together at once instead of leaving the lemon juice for last.  Cook until thick and pour in jars.  Process for same time above.


Marne said...

I love homemade apple pie filling! The recipe you posted is really similar to the one I use from Allrecipes.

I was told this past week that using cornstarch as a thickener when canning is not recommended by the USDA due to food safety. The person who told me this said only thickener that can safely be used is Ultra Gel or Sure Jell. I had never heard this before, and I have canned apple pie filling several times with cornstarch! I called our Extension Office yesterday and left a message for them to call me about it. I am canning apple pie filling next week! Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Marne said...

Guess what? She just called me back!

She said that the USDA is now recommending using a modified cornstarch (the Ultra Gel or Clear Gel) in apple pie filling. She said that extensive studies have been done with regular cornstarch and that it doesn't hold up well, it breaks down easily and a thick mass occurs and spoilage can occur. Using Clear Gel solves that problem.

I asked her if the bottles I still have on my shelf from 2009 are safe...obviously she cannot recommend one way or the other without testing it...but the chance is there. I think I will dump the last few quarts and start fresh this year.

She also said you can't find Clear Gel in any store. In the Boise area you can find it at the Boise Coo-op, Food 2 Store in Meridian, and Karcher Ranch Market in Nampa.

Marne said...

I forgot one more thing she said! Sorry.

She gave me the recommended recipe for canning and preserving. It's at this link:

And it's the UGA, not USDA. Sorry! My brain is not working today.