In my never ending quest to save money and supply my family with healthy, yummy food, I joined a produce co op. Sounds crazy - but so far the kids are loving it. Earlier this month I bought a case of apples. Even crazier than the joining a co op - huh? I thought it was a good idea. A case of apples for about $30.
I have learned in the past that if I clean, core and slice fresh fruit, and have it waiting in the refrigerator, it doesn't last long. So, the first thing I did was slice about a dozen apples, drizzle a little lemon juice over top (to prevent browning) and put them in the fridge. Those didn't last a day.
Not bad. A dozen fiber filled fruits gone into my children's bellies.
Now, what do I do with the rest? There are tons of recipes. However, these are gala apples. Most recipes call for something more crisp, a bit more sweet.
Then I found an apple pie filling recipe that uses any kind of apple. We love apple pie! The girls learned how to make hand pies over the summer, and I love making sausage and apples when I don't have a lot of time to cook. This particular recipe (I wish I could remember where I saw it! Pinterest maybe?) didn't can the filling, but froze it. This was perfect for me since I have not tried canning yet - but my freezer is always full!
§ 24 cups sliced and peeled apples (6-7 lbs)
§ 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
§ 2 cups brown sugar
§ 2 ½ cups white sugar
§ 1 – 1 ½ cups cornstarch
§ 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
§ 1 teaspoon salt
§ ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
§ 10 cups water
Warning – you need to either cut this in half or use a very large pot. When I say large I mean it needs to hold 2-3 gallons of food. I use my turkey roaster (it’s like a super-sized crock pot).
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In your very large pot over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add your water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Scoop into freezer bags, leaving about ½ inch at the top. Cool for about an hour, and freeze.
Hint: When freezing gallon size bags, lay the bags flat. You can fit a lot more into the fridge that way.