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December, Day 2: Canned Pie Filling

2.December 2010

Yesterday we talked about where to shop for holiday presents.  I gave you a long list of shops and things to buy and baubles and blah blah blah.  I love shopping for presents (and I very much enjoy receiving presents), but sometimes we find ourselves a little slim in the wallet region (grad school, layoffs, debt, etc.) and heavy-duty shopping just isn’t very practical.

If you find yourself in this situation with a *little* extra time and a tiny bit of initiative, maybe a DIY present is what the doctor ordered?  This month I’ll be giving you a couple ideas for DIY presents, the first of which is this one: Canned Pie Filling.

If you like baking, and particularly if you would bake a pie for the people you love, but you don’t happen to be in the same place for the holidays, then this is just the ticket.  Two … maybe two and a half hours, and you’ve got six or seven quarts of delicious pie filling just ready to be packed into a box and mailed off to your nearest (or farthest) and dearest. Tack on the instructions for use and then your friends and family can taste your goodies while you’re bundled off far away, thinking warm thoughts in their general direction.  Feel free to download my instructions (at the bottom of the page) to enclose with your pie filling!  To gussy up the jars, you can go old school and put a little fabric over the top and tie it with ribbon, put a circle of wrapping paper under the jar ring, or do what I did and put a little cut-out snowflake underneath the jar ring.

The pie filling is extremely easy to make – the hardest thing is peeling the apples, honestly.  If you can manage that, you can put the whole thing together.  Feel free to change the spices up – I added cardamom, for instance.  Also, use any old apple you like, as long as it can stand up to being cooked.  Granny Smiths are always a good fall-back.

Canned Apple Pie Filling:
Makes 6-7 quarts

  • 5-6 pounds of apples (I used a combination of Cortlands and Macouns)
  • 3  c Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 c Brown Sugar
  • 1 c Corn Starch
  • 3 t Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 t Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 t Ground Cardamom
  • 1 t Kosher Salt
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/2 c Lemon Juice
  1. In a large pot (minimum ten cup capacity), whisk together sugars, corn starch, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and salt.
  2. Stir in 10 cups of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is thick and bubbly.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
  4. Peel and core the apples and slice them.  Feel free to slice them quite rustically – don’t be too precise!
  5. Pack apples in jars, leaving 1 inch head space.
  6. Fill the jars with hot syrup leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  7. Process in a hot water bath for twenty minutes.

Notes: One quart jar is sufficient for one standard pie plate.  As with any canned goods, do NOT use if the seal breaks, if lid is bubbling out, if there is a smell, if the jar breaks, or if the liquid inside discolors or becomes cloudy.  As long as the seals hold, the pie filling will keep for up to two years.

Here’s a downloadable quarter-fold (you know – fold in half, then fold in half so that the recipe is on the inside) card that you can include with the pie filling – inside is my recipe for pie crust!

Apple Pie Filling Card

50 Comments leave one →
  1. Jamie permalink
    2.December 2010 09:36

    I’ll put one of those jars on my Christmas list!!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      2.December 2010 10:06

      Hm…. let’s see… Yes. I think you’re on my list.

  2. 2.December 2010 18:29

    I LOVE this idea! I haven’t ever thought about canning pie filling. I happen to be light in the wallet this year, so this is perfect…thanks!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      3.December 2010 13:55

      Aren’t we ALL light in the wallet this year? Sad days…

  3. 3.December 2010 11:01

    you are welcome to come over to bake for me ANYTIME.

  4. 3.December 2010 11:07

    Great idea…I always like DIY gifts. They just mean more…

  5. 3.December 2010 11:33

    …and how exactly do I secure a spot on your Christmas list? ;)

    Great idea — I had no idea it was that easy to make an amazing pie filling. I’m totally in … and totally not afraid of the apple peeling. BRING IT!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      3.December 2010 11:36

      Stay tuned around here for a few giveaways this month! You might just score some delicious canned goods or other goodies!

  6. Teri permalink
    3.December 2010 11:55

    This is such a cute idea! Given that so many of us (me included) are unemployed this year and apples are like $1.29 at Aldi’s…this would be really cheap to make. (And people love homemade!) Your snowflake topper is adorable, too.

    Thanks for the idea, and cheers on being pressed.

  7. 3.December 2010 11:56

    This is a fabulous idea and one I never would have thought of. I make great apple pie, and everyone wants to know the recipe. What a great gift idea.

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      3.December 2010 13:54

      Yes! And that way you can give them pie and keep your recipe a safely guarded secret!

  8. 3.December 2010 12:15

    Great post that reminds me of mine about trying to find pumpkin pie filling here in Port-au-Prince–“Thanksgiving Haitian Style: a shopping list.”
    Happy holidays from my pantry to yours!

  9. 3.December 2010 12:30

    Love this idea! An affordable, personalized and cute gift. And the jars all look so pretty!

  10. 3.December 2010 12:51

    mmmmm yummy

  11. 3.December 2010 13:57

    These are beautiful!

  12. 3.December 2010 15:49

    Great idea that the recipients will surely appreciate. Thanks for the idea.

  13. 3.December 2010 15:50

    That pie looks amazing :)

  14. 3.December 2010 16:11

    Never dawned on me to make food for Christmas presents! Thanks for the idea!

  15. 3.December 2010 19:16

    Great and yummy ideas. It’s nice to make and receive handmade gifts. Makes them unique amongst all the other store bought items. I encourage this in my blog as well.

  16. 3.December 2010 21:08

    great idea and great recipe!

  17. 3.December 2010 21:50

    This is a wonderful idea. I’m going to try it! Thanks for this post and congratulations on making Freshly Pressed.

  18. 3.December 2010 23:53

    Looks like a great gift for someone who likes to bake but doesn’t have much time.

  19. 4.December 2010 02:32

    Great idea, thank you! Congratulations on being freshly pressed! :-)

  20. 4.December 2010 03:26

    What a great idea and your pictures are beautiful.

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      4.December 2010 11:02

      Thanks! I’m a fan of yours too!

  21. 4.December 2010 10:24

    This is awesome!! I’m as broke as broke gets this year and now I know what I’m going to do for friends and family, yayy!

    And who says pie filling made from my own 2 hands isn’t juuust as exciting as any dime a dozen thing I could buy at that mall place? ; )

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      4.December 2010 11:03

      Glad you’re excited to try it out! Good luck!

  22. leonabriggs permalink
    4.December 2010 10:57

    That has got to be the most gorgeous pie I have ever seen! Mine don’t tend to turn out that way!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      4.December 2010 11:01

      Awww – thanks. Try out that pie crust recipe! It’s really easy to work with!

  23. 4.December 2010 13:02

    I’m craving pie. Great idea. Thanks!

  24. 4.December 2010 17:07

    Well, I wasn’t hungry until I read through this. There goes all that time on the treadmill.

  25. Ivory Pearl Bridal Mall permalink
    4.December 2010 21:31

    Made two sweet potato pies today…I am so happy they turned out pretty good. However, your crust looks much better than… I like the mason jar idea to share your pies with friends.

  26. 5.December 2010 00:34

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the recipe too.

  27. 5.December 2010 02:21

    Thanx for sharing! I loved the pictures too :)

  28. 5.December 2010 12:31

    Wow, what a great idea! Love the snowflake jars…congrats on FP!

  29. 5.December 2010 12:35

    Great idea. But you lost me on step 7: “Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes”.
    Well…I do know what 20 minutes means, but the rest? Not so much.

  30. 5.December 2010 15:45

    Now this was a useful post! Thanks for sharing your idea and recipes. Have a great holiday.
    Take care.

  31. 5.December 2010 17:24

    Great idea! I use t heaping TB unbleached four to thicken each of my apple pies, I wonder how that would cook up?

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      6.December 2010 13:45

      Hm. I don’t know! Let me know if you do try it out! I almost always use cornstarch or tapioca to thicken things up when I’m baking pie.

  32. 5.December 2010 18:57

    Thanks for the inspiration. This recipe is one of my favorites. YummmmO!!!!
    ~Great love to you,
    Mirian from peelingtheorange.

  33. 6.December 2010 01:57

    Absolutely fabulous! This post alone has made me want to subscribe to you. I will probably be using this recipe soon…. Yum :) I’ll let you know (I’ll link back when I blog about it!)

    Leanora B

  34. 6.December 2010 06:40

    Great, wonderful idea! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  35. 6.December 2010 08:15

    a great way to use extra time, contructive and creative…

    nice one dude, keep posting!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      6.December 2010 13:43

      Will do! Keep visiting! :)

  36. Sunflowerdiva permalink
    6.December 2010 10:52

    Love the idea! So yummy!

  37. 6.December 2010 14:26

    Wonderful idea!

  38. clothingpromote permalink
    3.February 2011 04:16

    ทัวร์เกาหลี ทัวร์พม่า

    Thank you :)


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