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Preserving Apples- Freezing Apple Pie Filling

We have a granny smith apple tree in our backyard. In years past, there hasnt been many apples. This year was a different story, it was loaded with apples. Apples that weren't very pretty to look at, but had an amazing taste!

When you grow your food all natural, using no herbicides or pesticides, they LOOK different than what you buy in the store. They also TASTE different! The look is not so appealing, the taste is sooooo much better and fresher! Just look at these sad looking apples before being peeled. Then look at them peeled. Yummmo!

I decided I needed to preserve them into pie filling. I found a great freezer recipe in one of my aunt's church fundraiser cookbooks.

We needed to prepare a lot of apples.

I was lucky and kiddo was home and bored. Being the creative young man he is, it took him 5 minutes to rig up this apple picker and we had a 3 gallon bucket full of apples in less than 15 minutes!

I set our kitchen up in stations. I have two Apple And Potato Peeler/corer/slicers, with different bases. I love these things!

I picked mine up at garage sales for a couple bucks. You can get one FREE using your Amazon gift cards earned from Swagbucks!

You can read some other people's reviews on CSNstores.com. They love it too!

We set the suction cup based peeler on the glass top stove. Kiddo was in charge of running the apple peeler, I did the "detailing" of the apples. The little machine makes fast work of a bucket of apples and they all come out the same thickness! It took us about 40 minutes to prep the apples.

24 cups thinly sliced apples
4 tablespoons lemon juice ( used some lemon juice mixed with sprite to keep em white!)
5 cups sugar (I used 2 cups brown and 3 cups white)
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 cups water

1. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Pour water into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
3. Ladle 4 1/2 cups into freezer ziploc bags. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.
4. Seal bags and freeze. Can be stored in freezer for up to 12 months.

After cooking down, I had enough to fill 4 ziploc bags for four pies! The apples were free, so I have the cost of the added ingredients which I figure is maybe $2.

I can't wait for one of those cold grey evenings with snow flying for one of these pies to spice up my home and warm my family!

Did any of you preserve any apples this year?

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  1. Those look just like the apples I got from Janelle. I used her method for pie filling (it's frozen without cooking it first) and ended up with 9 bags. I also made a quart or so of applesauce. We could have made more, but we were especially busy those weeks, so a lot of the smallest apples went into the compost pile. :(

    Shane and I peeled and cored by hand. I figured those apple peelers were just junk, so I never bought one. I think I'll have to rethink my stance on them now after learning both you and Janelle like them.

  2. Looks so yummy, I could just smell them looking at the pictures! LOL Lucky you to have your own apple tree! Enjoy!

  3. Annie I wouldn't process apples into anything (pie filling, applesauce,etc) without one. I bought my first one (suction cup) about 14 years ago to make apple butter. At that time I didnt have a glass top stove and found it didn't like to stick to my countertops.

    When I seen the clamp on style a few years later at a garage sale I bought it. It had a little stand to go with it (which I've since lost-hubby is suppose to make another one). You really need a stand with todays counter tops being so thick. Some of the peelers come with a stand too. My clamp will not screw open wide enough for my current counter top.

    But now that I have a glass top stove the suction cup base worked great. My mother has a glass cutting board she sticks hers on.

    We also use it to make suzi q french fries. I would give up a lot of other small appliances before I gave up this oldie but goodie. My grandmother had an electric one she loved. After her stroke, she was unable to peel potatoes/apples by hand for several months. Even after she regained her hand she still used it. It peels the peeling off very thinly, thus there is hardly any waste of the apple/potato.

  4. Jill the house smelled so yummy and I find cinnamon a comforting smell. We also have a "baby" apple tree. It only had 6 apples on it this year. I can't remember what kind it is though the apples are not good for cooking, just eating. Hopefully next year it will have quite a few more.

    I want to get some grapes planted too! Need to locate some plants.

  5. Yum! I've got a ton of apples that look just like! (From my CSA farmer). I have to look into that peely gadget. I hate to get one more gadget, but that one is pretty awesome.

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  7. Mmmmmm...I can almost taste that apple pie! I have been thinking about picking up one of those peeler gadgets, but I was wondering if they really work well. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mara I know exactly what you mean about getting another gadget. I know I don't use this one often BUT when I do use it, it saves me SO MUCH TIME! Also, they store so easily and dont take up much room. I keep mine in the cabinet over my refridge since I dont need to get it out often.

    Design it Chic thanks for stopping by. I'll definately share the love!

    Niki Mine have been worth every penny I spent on them. Don't forget they also peel potatoes quickly too. I've used mine before at holidays when we were feeding mashed potatoes to a very large family!

  9. I have a post about what to do with extra apples.
    The Swedish Apple pie is really good. And the freezer pie filling is good too. I just finally used up my last bag of filling this spring.
    Love Apples