When I was little, my Mom was the queen of Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey and all the fixin’s, often other game meats as well, and pies of course. Mincemeat for Dad, pumpkin, and apple. After our fall trips to Wisconsin for apples and cheese, she’d organize my sister and I along with herself into a pie-building assembly line to make a jillion-jillion apple pies to put in the freezer, crust and all, ready to bake. At least two of these were thawed and baked for Thanksgiving dinner. I still make apple pies in the fall and winter, and always for Thanksgiving. The pie tradition continues into the day after Thanksgiving–one MUST have pie for breakfast that day! Why am I blogging about Thanksgiving in August? A free box of apples landing in my kitchen this week, that’s why. 🙂
Our friend, the winemaker at Reeder Mesa Winery, has summer apple trees–the kind that get ripe at the end of July. These apples are green and tart and perfect for pie. He called the other day and asked if we’d like a box….well, of course! However, July and August are usually not my choice for pie baking, so why not make the filling now and bake when I crave fresh hot, spiced apple wonderfulness this fall?! Of course, I couldn’t resist baking one, for blogging purposes–the last bag of filling just happened to fall right into a crust! If you’re more of an apple crisp sort of person, this filling is perfect for that as well. Or maybe use it inside some cinnamon rolls? Mmmmmm!
I found this recipe on line and adjusted the spices a bit. Here’s what you’ll need to make filling for one eight-inch pie. I made my filling in one-pie batches, but if it works better for you to do one giant batch and divide it out, do that. I found I memorized the recipe, which made it easy, and liked that the peeling and slicing didn’t need to happen all at once.
- 8-9 small to medium apples
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
Peel, core and quarter the apples. Place them in a bowl that has water and a splash of lemon juice to help stop browning.
Thinly slice the apples, but don’t worry if they’re not perfectly the same. The pie or crisp you make from this filling will be so yummy, no one will be measuring your pieces. Just keep them close enough to cook evenly. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir until well combined.
Place in a freezer ziploc, label and freeze up to 3 months.
To bake a pie later, thaw the filling, preheat oven to 375F, and prepare a crust. I’m a huge fan of those rolled, ready to use crusts. Place one in the bottom of the pie pan, and trim excess. Add your super-yummy filling, mounding it a bit in the center.
Place the top crust, trim excess, fold it under the bottom crust, and crimp it closed with your fingers making it all pretty, or use a fork to crimp the edges down. Do it however your Mom did; it will feel just right that way. Cut vents in the top–again, use Mom’s pattern. Brush the top and edges with a bit of milk–dairy or non-dairy–and sprinkle with sugar. Isn’t that pretty?
Bake 55-60 minutes; until the vents ooze with bubbling yummy sauce.
Let it cool to let the yummy sauce firm up, or cut it warm and have a delicious ooze perfect with ice cream. Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream if you like. Oh. Yum.
Yup, just like Mom used to make. What’s your favorite pie?