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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

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Homemade Apple Pie Filling: Capture the Essence of Fall in a Jar

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Preserve the Flavor of Fresh Apples for Year-Round Pie Delights

Homemade Apple Pie Filling is a culinary gem that allows you to enjoy the cozy flavors of apple pie any time of the year. Capture the essence of fall by canning your own apple pie filling, which can be used for traditional pies, turnovers, tarts, or as a topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and more. Let’s embark on this delicious journey and create your very own jar of comfort.

Ingredients:

For the Apple Pie Filling:

  • 8 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples (about 8-10 medium-sized apples, use a mix of varieties for the best flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

For Canning:

  • Quart-sized canning jars with lids and bands
  • Water bath canner or a large stockpot
  • Canning utensils (jar lifter, lid lifter, and canning funnel)

Instructions:

1. Prepare Your Jars:

  • Wash quart-sized canning jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Place the jars in a water bath canner or a large stockpot filled with water. Bring to a simmer (180°F or 82°C) to sterilize the jars. Keep them in hot but not boiling water until ready to use.
  • Place the lids and bands in a separate saucepan filled with hot water. Keep them simmering, not boiling, until needed.

2. Prepare the Apples:

  • Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples. Place them in a large bowl filled with water and a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.

3. Create the Syrup:

  • In a large pot, combine the sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt.
  • Gradually add 2 cups of water, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
  • Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 2 minutes or until the syrup thickens.

4. Add the Apples:

  • Drain the sliced apples and add them to the pot with the syrup.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the apples are slightly tender but still hold their shape.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.

5. Fill the Jars:

  • Using a canning funnel, carefully ladle the hot apple pie filling into the sterilized quart-sized jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace (the space between the top of the filling and the top of the jar).

6. Remove Air Bubbles:

  • Run a clean plastic or wooden utensil (like a chopstick or bubble remover tool) along the inside of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.

7. Wipe the Jar Rims:

  • Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars to ensure they are free from any residue that could prevent a proper seal.

8. Seal the Jars:

  • Place a sterilized lid on each jar, followed by a band. Tighten the band until it’s fingertip-tight, meaning don’t overtighten.

9. Process in a Water Bath Canner:

  • Place the filled jars back into the water bath canner or large stockpot. Ensure the jars are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and process (boil) the jars for 25 minutes.

10. Remove and Cool:

  • Carefully lift the jars from the canner using a jar lifter and place them on a clean towel or cooling rack. Allow the jars to cool completely, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.

11. Check Seals:

  • After cooling, check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it doesn’t flex or make a popping sound, the jar is sealed. If it does, the jar did not seal, and you should refrigerate and use the filling within a few days.

12. Store or Gift:

  • Label the sealed jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Tips and Variations:

Tips:

  • Use a mix of apple varieties for a more complex flavor profile in your pie filling.
  • Adjust the level of sweetness by adding more or less sugar, according to your taste.

Variations:

  • Experiment with different spices like cloves, allspice, or cardamom for a unique twist on your apple pie filling.

Customization:

  • This homemade apple pie filling makes a wonderful gift. Decorate the jars with a ribbon and a label, and share the warmth of homemade goodness with friends and family.

Cook’s Note:

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  • Homemade Apple Pie Filling is a versatile pantry staple that allows you to enjoy the flavors of apple pie year-round. Whether you’re making pies, tarts, or using it as a topping, you’ll savor the delicious taste of freshly preserved apples in every bite. Enjoy the convenience and warmth of homemade goodness whenever you desire!
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