This is a recipe that my husband came up with when we had a lot of apples after apple picking several years ago. It has become a family favorite and one that we look forward to making after what has become a fun annual family outing at a beautiful orchard. We like using a combination of at least two or three varieties of apples for flavor and texture. Our favorite combination is Macintosh, Jonagold, and Granny Smith. I double or triple this recipe to can or freeze to use later in pies, over ice cream, on my oatmeal, or straight up, but it is so good it doesn't last long.
- 2 1⁄2 lbs apples, peeled cored, and sliced (about 7 apples)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (use the best quality you can afford, it makes a real difference)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- Peel, core, and slice apples. Should be about 6 cups of apples when sliced. Toss with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Cover or place into a resealable bag and allow flavors to mingle for 30 minutes.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together. Stir frequently. Heat on medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Add salt.
- Add apple mixture and all of the juices. Allow mixture to come to a gentle boil, lower heat and allow to simmer, stirring often, until the firmest apples start to soften. Cooking time can be adjusted to suit your preference for apple texture. My family likes their apples on the softer side, so I let it cook until the firmest apples are fork tender.
- If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and stir through. Let this simmer a bit longer because the cornstarch will not thicken unless the liquid is at a boil.
- Ladle into a prepared quart jar with at least 1" headspace and proceed with sealing. Or ladle into a container for freezing. 1 quart will fill one pie generously.
Really tasty. I was not sure if I was supposed to cover the pot while the apples were cooking because it became quite dry after a while. I took it off the burner when the apple slices were still mostly intact but their crunch gone. I used mainly Granny Smith apples and the rest were Macintosh. I used allspice to replace the nutmeg as we don't consume it because of it's intoxicant properties. I used dark demerera sugar, salted butter, sea salt and did not need the starch. But if anyone needs it to be corn free, tapioca starch works the same. Made for PAC Spring 2010.
A great recipe on its own, but I just jazzed mine up a bit :) I doubled this recipe using 5 pounds of apples: a mixture of Gala and Cortland. As a previous review said, the mixture was a tad dry after stirring everything together. So, I added another 1/4 cup each of the butter and brown sugar to give the apples plenty of coating in that wonderful sauce :) I also added a little bit more cornstarch than the recipe because I wanted a slightly thicker sauce. Into the caramel I also added half a teaspoon of vanilla which added a great richness. In other apple pie filling recipes, I've seen water as one of the ingredients. Wanting a little more volume in the sauce, I added half a cup of water to the mixture which did not lessen the flavor at all. Another (sinful) secret: I realized I had a little bit of premade caramel sauce in the fridge (only about a tablespoon or so) and I added it to give it the most extreme caramel taste I could to the apple mixture. Finally, I cooked the apples until there was no hard crunch, but they still had texture to them, so that they would not turn to mush when I bake the apple pie filling in a Dutch Apple Pie on Sunday (can't wait!). Apples fresh from Michigan are on sale now for really cheap (Thank you fall!) and this recipe would make a wonderful gift to give to close friends :) Thank You for this awesome recipe!
I searched through all the recipes for a good pie filling without white sugar. This is close to how I make my fresh apple pies. I've got a bunch of apples and will be making this pie filling to can. I've cooked professionally enough that I can tell this will be excellent! Now - to see if I can find a non-GMO cornstarch - although I like that you said "optional". Perhaps arrowroot would make a good natural substitute. Thank you for posting this lovely apple recipe.