Friday, October 3, 2014

Apple Party: Classic Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Last Thursday, I had the privilege to go to a canning party at my friend Pyper Jean's house. She has three apple trees that are just bursting with fruit this year!! The need to can and preserve is at it's all time peak. The bounty of the county is upon us!!

Pyper invited me over just in time. Autumn is my favorite season. This is the first time I have ever lived outside the Midwest, and it is surprisingly hard. I've felt homesick for people since we moved out here: I miss family and friends to the max. But since fall has...fallen here in Utah, I've found myself missing a season. I miss Midwestern harvest.

Harvest out here is different. Not bad different, but different nonetheless. There are no massive fields of corn here to watch turn from green to brown. No sounds of combines and grain dryers running through the night. Being able to soothe my longing for harvest by getting out in the yard at Pyper's and picking produce was wonderful.

And you can't beat having great company for picking!! Ernest was such good help. He slept through the whole thing. Well, until I ran out of room in the basket and started piling apples on top of him in his car seat. Haha. At least he was a good sport about it.

Dat faaacceeee!
Once we got all the produce inside, it was time to start the real work! Meika, Pyper, and I donned our aprons and set to work. We peeled, cored, sliced, and measured and ended up with ten quarts of apple sauce and ten quarts of apple pie filling. Maybe more? I didn't count exactly. But I can tell you what, it made the whole house smell delicious. And that's what counts.

We were a whirlwind of canning!!

With the permission of the lovely Pyper Jean, I'm going to share her recipe with you all out here in internet land. It is simply lovely, and I guarantee it will make your house smell so astoundingly, autumn-ly intoxicating.

The Recipe: Classic Apple Pie Filling
18 cups baking apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn starch
2 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 cups water

In a large bowl mix apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning. Set aside. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.Boil for 2 minutes. Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Have your quart jars and lids hot and ready. Pack each jar with the filling to 1/2 inch from the top. Screw down lids. Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. 

Meika brought over her spinning wheel and made a bit of yarn while we gossiped during the processing time of the batches. Despite all the work, there was still time to get some cuddles in and enjoy the view.

If I'm going to miss autumn in the Midwest, at least I'm in a beautiful place.

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