Apple Pie Filling
Many apple pies call for simply tossing cut apples with sugar, adding a thickening agent and some spices, and plopping it all into a crust. But precooking the apples has multiple advantages: First, it draws out some of their juices, to ensure consistency. (No undercooked apples or runny filling here!) And, second, it prevents the filling from sinking away from the crust as it cools, leaving a pocket of air between filling and crust. Use this all-purpose filling in a traditional pie, tiny hand-held pies, or in a cobbler. It can be made several days ahead, leaving just assembling and baking.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 4tablespoons/55 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 6to 8 medium apples, such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Gala, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 6 1/2 cups/1 kilogram)
- 2tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 ½teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1cup/220 grams light or dark brown sugar
- 1tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1teaspoon ground ginger
- ½teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½cup/100 grams granulated sugar
- ⅓cup/45 grams all-purpose flour
Step 1In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, tossing to coat in the butter. Add lemon juice, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the apples start to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
Step 2In a small bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and flour. Add to the pot and stir well to combine. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 3Let the filling cool completely before using. (You can speed this process up by spreading it into an even layer on a baking sheet.) The filling will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.