Apple Pie Filling

Make up a batch of Apple Pie Filling and anytime you want an apple pie most of the work is already done. Each 6 cup freezer container will make a generous apple pie. Just allow to thaw and bake in your favorite pie crust. Make sure to use a good baking apple, such as Granny Smith or Honey Crisp, not a snacking apple like Red Delicious. If you happen to have a little filling left after your containers are full, it makes a good warm ice cream topping, too.

4 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
24 cups apples, peeled, cored, & sliced (about 8 pounds)
2 cups natural refrigerated apple juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup quick-cooking tapioca
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick butter, cut into pieces

1. In a large Dutch oven, combine 4 cups of water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. As you peel and slice the apples add them to the lemon water to prevent browning. When all the apples have been sliced, use a slotted spoon or spider remove the apples to a large bowl, leaving the lemon water in the pot. Add the apple juice to the lemon water.
2. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, mixing very well. Add the sugar mixture to the liquids and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Return the apples to the pot and stir frequently but gently until the filling mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the filling, stirring often, until the apples begin to become tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter.
4. Allow the filling to cool for about 30 to 45 minutes. Spoon into 4 6-cup freezer containers, cool another hour, then seal and freeze.

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