Thursday 24 November 2016

Apple pie filling

I've been talking for weeks now about gingerbread apple pies, and how determined I was to make my own version. While I dabble in sharing recipes, I'm not a food blogger, so making multiple copies of recipes and taking process photos doesn't come naturally to me. And finding the right recipe to inspire is difficult in a pinterest world of no gingerbread apple pies!

If I was going to really be inspired by the gingerbread apple pies I'd been buying at the supermarket, I knew that just cooking the apples like I do for Sweetie's Apple Pie wasn't going to work. The joy of the store-bought pies is the sweet caramely filling around the slightly crisp apple pieces, combined with the gingery bite from the gingerbread. It hasn't been an easy recipe to get right, but I think I've finally hit the nail on the head.

I often see pie filling mentioned on American blogs as a seasonal item, but we're lucky enough in Australia to have several different varieties of apples that grow all year round. I generally judge an apple by the cheapest on the shelf that day (we go through up to 4kg of apples a week!) but I've made this recipe with Gala and Pink Lady. You could mix Granny Smiths with a red skin variety if you like the mix.

As I was setting the table for photos, I had a little helper beside me. She pinched apples to munch on (and feed to her best friend), as well as grabbing an apple to peel herself. She's become quite good at peeling apples over the last few weeks! The first time I made this recipe I didn't sprinkle lemon juice on the apple, but it really does help keep them looking fresh.

Once the apple is diced and covered in lemon juice, it's time to pull out the sugar and spices. Cornflour helps thicken the syrup with changing the taste.

Dump the sugar and spices into a big saucepan, and then add the water.

A quick whisk to make sure all the ingredients are mixed, and then onto the stove on a medium heat. I played around a bit with the temperature to see how long it took, medium is best if you might get called away from the stove.

Once the mixture has thickened up and come to a boil, add the diced apple.

Stir the apples around and make sure they're all coated in syrup, then bring to a boil again. Reduce heat slightly, and allow to cook for ten minutes.

The apples are cooked when they're soft, but not mushy, and float to the top of the pan. They're still slightly crunchy, and soft around the edges, and oh so yummy!

Allow the apples to cool for at least an hour, then pour into jars, and refrigerate.

8 apples, peeled and chopped
half a lemon
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup cornflour
1tsp ground cinnamon
¼tsp ground cloves
2 cups water

* peel and dice apples
* toss in lemon juice
* combine sugar, spice and water in saucepan
* place over medium heat and bring to boil
* add apples, stir to coat
* bring to boil and cook 10 minutes
* cool completely
* pour into jars and refrigerate
* keeps refrigerated for 5-7 days

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