With the holiday season approaching we have been working on making gifts for the year. I love making our gifts from scratch because it’s a great experience to share with the kids and I like giving a gift that we have put time, energy and effort into making. This year me and the kids went apple picking a few times and had a huge abundance of apples so we have been making Apple pie filling like crazy people. For this gift we have two separate jars one with Apple Pie Filling and one with a pie crust mix. For the Apple Pie Filling I used an adaptation of the Ball® Apple Pie Filling Recipe and adjusted the seasoning to suit my tastes, but you can adjust them for your own tastes, or use the seasonings in the Ball® recipe.
Recipe Yields: 7 pint jars
To make this recipe you will need:
A water bath canner or large pot
12 cups apples sliced/peeled/cored and treated to prevent browning*
2 ¾ cups sugar
¾ cups modified food starch (such as ClearJel® or Ultra Gel®)
2 ½ cups unsweetened apple juice
½ cup lemon juice
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
7 pint sterilized pint jars
*I put apples in a mixture of ¼ cup lemon juice to 4 cups water as I’m peeling them to prevent browning.
Prepare you canning jars and lids. Peel, slice and core your apples, treat them to prevent browning. In batches blanch your apple slices in boiling water for one minute and add them to a covered bowl. I used my salad spinner for this, it was perfect as it has a fitting lid.
In a large pot add your sugar, modified food starch and spices. Make sure to mix your dry ingredients thoroughly before adding your wet ingredients or your food starch may clump. Add your unsweetened apple juice and water to dry ingredients and bring mixture to slow boil over medium heat.
Continue heating and stirring constantly until mixture begins thicken, add lemon juice and return to boil for one minute, then remove from heat. Drain any remaining water from your apple slices and add apple slices to your filling mixture. Slowly stir apples into you filling until fully incorporated and return to low heat on burner.
Keep your apple pie filling on low heat while you fill your canning jars. Leave 1 inch of head space in your pint jars and process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes.
Remove your jars from canner and let rest for 24 hours before checking your jars to make sure they are all sealed.
This Recipe Yields: 4 pint jars
For each recipe of Pie Crust Mix you will need:
6 cups Flour
2 1/3 cups shortening
1 tsp Salt
Mix ingredients in a large bowl with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture is fully incorporated and crumbly.
Divide mixture in four and put ¼ of the recipe into each pint jar (each jar should have approximately 1 ½ cups pie crust mix). Add label to each jar “Add 3 Tablespoons water to pie crust mix” and embellish jars with rafia or a bow. We like to add our Apple Pie Filling and Pie crust Mix to gift baskets, but you can wrap them any way you want.
Apple Pie is one of our favorite types of pie. Would you use a different filling for your gifts?