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Perfect Apple Pie Filling

 I adore apple pies. I lived in an olden times style house not too long ago that had a real wood-burning oven (which was really really big) in the kitchen. We lived off of fresh homemade pies every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! It was pure bliss! So I thought it would be fun to use my own homemade pie filling recipe to make my own pie crusts with some flour instead of the traditional milk-based dough.


Perfect Apple pie filling


Ingredients

3 pounds (about 7-9 apples) baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar

¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

1–½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons (14 g) cornstarch

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons fresh apple cider, divided (see note)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Preparation

1. Peel and slice fresh apples into 1/4 inch pieces  

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat add in sugar and cornstarch 

3. Stirring constantly for 4 minutes until the mixture becomes clear, then add in butter at room temperature 

4. Mix well and then add in the sliced apples, cinnamon, and salt 

5. Cook stirring constantly for 10 minutes until thickened 

6. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes 

7. To make the pie crusts, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs (you can use your hands or pastry blender) 

8. Cut butter into smaller pieces (about the size of peas) and add them to the flour mixture; mix well with your fingers or pastry blender until large crumbs form 

9. Add the cold water and mix with your hands until the dough just comes together. Press dough into a ball about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal and chill for 20 minutes 

10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into two 9 inch circles 

11. Carefully transfer to a baking sheet measuring 10 inches by 15 inches. Prick several holes through each crust using a fork 

12. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown (turning your oven off at the end) 

13. Cool on a wire rack


Perfect Apple pie filling


14. Combine sugar, flour, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat with mixer until very smooth and fluffy 

15. Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature

16. Spoon out 1/4 cup of pastry cream mixture into each pie crust (see filling instructions for more details) 

17. Top each apple pie with a layer of pastry cream before adding the lattice edges (see instructions at bottom of post)  2-3 minutes before the pie is done baking so that the pastry cream doesn't burn.

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