Thanksgiving is tomorrow! This is the first year out of nine that we haven’t hosted or been over to someone’s home. I am cooking a small “linner” (official term for lunch and dinner) for all of us tomorrow, and I went ahead and prepped an apple pie today to give myself more room in the kitchen. Apple pies can be quite bland if you don’t make an awesome filling. I have been making apple pies for years, so this recipe is one I have poured a lot of time into. I used to buy the canned filling and just dump it between crusts, and voila! Come to find out- nobody really liked it. I can’t imagine why?! Ha!
This apple pie filling recipe is the result of many years of compliments, complaints, and the number spoon fulls I want to eat straight out of the skillet. The combination of browned butter and spices really make this filling something special. I hope you love it!
Apple Pie Filling
You will need:
- 8-10 apples
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Peel, core, and medium dice your apples (I used a combination of Pink Lady, Fuji, and Gala). Toss them around in the lemon juice to keep them from browning. This also brightens them up and adds wonderful flavor.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the stick of butter. Let it simmer until it starts to brown. Don’t go too far, because once butter starts to brown- it will burn shortly after. Once the butter is browned, add in the apples and stir until they are all coated in the butter. Toss in the cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt. Let this cook on med/low heat until it starts to soften and thicken (about 10-15 minutes). Once the consistency is is how you like it, add in the nutmeg, cloves, ground cinnamon, vanilla, heavy cream, and lemon zest. Give it all a stir, let it cook together for a couple of minutes, and then remove it from the heat.
From here- you can fill a pie crust, make mini pies in mason jars, eat this by itself with some vanilla ice cream, top it with a crumble and bake it, or do whatever your heart desires! This pie filling has incredible depth of flavor without being too heavy with spices. I put mine in a blind-baked store-bought pie crust (making dough is not my strength) and bake it off until the top dough is golden brown.
As we go into this holiday, remember what you are thankful for. I am thankful for the normal everyday things my family and I get to do together, and I am thankful for the blessing that is my family. God has been great to us, and I couldn’t have hand-picked a better life to be living.
Lots of love and many blessings,
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.