If you can manage to keep from eating all of your apples fresh, (on the way home from our ranch) here are some delicious recipes for traditional Apple Pie and Apple Crisp!
I keep menitioning the use of Rome Beauty apples, or Winesap because they are the historic favorites for baking, which is why they were planted in our orchard, but you can substitute other varieties.
Topping:1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 1/2 pounds or 6 cups Rome Beauty Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch cubes or ½ inch slices
1 cup fresh berries (optional) Cranberries in the Autumn!
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a cooking spray, a 9 inch deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. (Can also make 8 individual ramekins.) Set aside.
For Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugars, spices, butter, oats and nuts) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible. (This can also be done with two knives or your fingertips.) Set aside while you prepare the filling.
For Filling: Place the apple chunks in a large bowl, along with the berries (if using) and lemon zest. Toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Transfer to your prepared baking dish Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes (20 - 25 minutes for individual ramekins) or until bubbly, and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Before sharing my recipe for home canned apple pie filling, I want to share an amazing resource for home canners. The USDA offers a free canning guide, with up-to-date canning techniques and recipes, and it is FREE! Please visit http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html and read up, even if you are a seasoned home canner. Techniques have changed and the USDA offers information that makes canning safer than in years gone by. Grandma’s home canning may have been wonderful, but the processes that were believed safe previously may no longer be recommended.
HOME CANNED APPLE PIE FILLING
Use a large stainless steel or enameled stock pot. I don’t recommend aluminum or non-enameled cast iron because of the high acid content of this recipe.
3 Quarts of peeled, cored and sliced apples
6 cups cold water
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup clear Jel *
½ cup cold water
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Add 6 cups of cold water and one half cup of lemon juice to the pot. Peel, core and slice three quarts of apples (measured after cutting) and add to the pot. Stir them in well to ensure that the lemon water has access to every bit of the apples. This keeps them from browning during processing, and adds delicious tang to the finished product.
Cook on high just until the apples begin to soften. Add the 1 cup of sugar and stir in to the cooked apples.
Add the clear jell and cinnamon to the half cup of cold water. Mix well. Clear jell is a modified corn starch, and must be mixed with a cold liquid. If it doesn’t stir in easily, add small amounts of cold water until it does. Keep stirring the clear jell mixture as you add it to the hot apple mixture, and stir the apple mixture as you add the clear jell. It will thicken very quickly. Turn off the heat immediately once thickened.
Put hot pie filling into sterilized jars (hot pack method)and process using the boiling water method described in the USDA guide. Process for 30 minutes, starting from the time the water in the canner comes to a full boil.
This recipe makes three quarts of apple pie filling. One quart is the perfect size for a pie made in pyrex deep dish pie pan.
• Clear jel is a modified corn starch that is recommended for use in home canning. On the internet it is available from Amazon.com. Locally, it is available from Loma Linda Market, www.lomalindamarket.com. Note: Loma Linda Market is not open Saturdays, please check their website for hours.
www.lomalindamarket.com. Note: Loma Linda Market is not open Saturdays, please check their website for hours.www.lomalindamarket.com. Note: Loma Linda Market is not open Saturdays, please check their website for hours.
Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
I didn’t include amounts because this is a method, rather than a recipe.
If you have a food mill, or potato ricer, you don’t need to peel or core your apples. If you don’t have either, then peel, core and dice apples and put them in a large pot. Just cover with water. Add lemon juice about a quarter cup per gallon of water, or apple cider vinegar about a Tablespoon per gallon of water used. Simmer until the apples are soft.
Once the apples are soft, remove them from the water and run them through the food mill or ricer. This separates the apple sauce from the peel and core materials and forces the sauce through small holes in the mill to give you a nice texture in your sauce. If you don’t have a food mill or ricer, use a potato masher to mash your apples into sauce.
At this point, you have apple sauce. Sweeten to taste if you prefer it sweeter, however it is also excellent sugar free. You can also add cinnamon if you prefer.
You now have a choice. Do you want applesauce, or apple butter? If you want apple sauce, you are done cooking. You can refrigerate or can it using the boiling water method from the USDA guide I provided a link for.
Apple cider vinegar
Cinnamon or apple pie spice
If you have a crock pot or slow cooker, fill it with applesauce. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of apple sauce used. Add a teaspoon per quart of cinnamon or apple pie spice, and stir. Cook on high (in the crock pot, not on a stove), stirring occasionally until reduced in volume by at least a third. The texture will be thick and more paste-like than apple sauce. When it condenses, the flavor is intensified. Taste it, and if you prefer it to be sweeter, add sugar or honey to sweeten.