Monthly Archives: August 2013

Apple Pie Filling (To make now and freeze for later!)

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!

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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.

ingredients

  • 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.

peel and quarter

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.

slice and add sugar etc

Stir until well combined.

mix

Place in a freezer ziploc, label and freeze up to 3 months.

bag label freeze

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.

thaw place in crust

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?

add top crust

Bake 55-60 minutes; until the vents ooze with bubbling yummy sauce.

bake

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.

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Yup, just like Mom used to make.  What’s your favorite pie?

 

 

 

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Filed under breakfast, Canning and preserving, comfort food, dairy-free, dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, recipe, Vegetarian

Chili-Stuffed Peppers

This year has been a very good year for peppers in my garden.  This is the Big Bertha Bell pepper I picked this week that inspired a cruise around my fave vegan blogs for a stuffed pepper recipe.

big bertha

Success!  The Fat Free Vegan to the rescue!  I modified her recipe just a bit and loved the result; definitely a keeper.  I grew up eating peppers stuffed with a burger mixture, which I always loved, and these are just as yummy!

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I had everything I needed in my pantry and garden:

ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 package fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup prepared rice (I cooked 2 cups, and saved the remainder for other recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 bell peppers

For toppings:

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • fresh tomato, chopped
  • avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.

Saute onion in a bit of veggie broth or water until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

saute onions

Add mushrooms, jalapeno, and garlic.  Cook until mushrooms soften, adding broth as needed to prevent sticking.

add garlic mushrooms jalapeno

While onions and mushrooms cook, cut an opening down the side of each pepper, leaving the stem end on.  Carefully remove ribs and seeds.

cut opening in peppers

Chop the pepper parts you just cut off and add them to the pan.  Saute for a few more minutes to allow them to soften.

add diced pepper

Add beans, corn, fire roasted tomatoes, and spices.  Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two to blend the flavors.

add beans corn tomato spices

Add cooked rice.  1 cup was what looked right to me, but add more or less to your own taste.  Stir to combine.

add rice

Spray a pan with cooking spray and arrange peppers in it.  Stuff each with the filling.  Don’t they look yummy?!

stuff peppers

Bake 30-40 minutes, until peppers are tender.

bake til tender

Arrange toppings next to a pepper to serve, or place them on top.  Enjoy!

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I couldn’t stop making the yum sound.  I was a bit worried these wouldn’t be as hearty as a meat-stuffed pepper, but turns out they are just as satisfying if not even more so.  I had a fair amount of stuffing left over, which we’ve made into some mighty yummy burritos.  I think it would also be fabulous as a squash stuffing, and as a topper for a tofu scramble.  Yum, yum, yummy!

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian