Apple Pie Filling

Once the first breeze of fall comes our way, it’s certain that sweater weather goes with nothing other than apple cinnamon EVERYTHING. This classic apple pie filling is perfect and it comes together in minutes. The best part of it is that it can be frozen and used in so many fall treats this season.

What kind of apples are best for apple pie filling? When you bite into the perfect apple pie, you want to taste the apple and experience its texture. With that being said, choose an apple that will keep its shape. You also want an apple that will balance out the sweetness so you want to steer away from extra sweet apples. My choice of apples for the perfect apple pie would be Granny Smiths because they are perfectly tart as well as crisp. Other apples that tend to hold their shape after being baked are Jonagold, Mutsu, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn. While these are apples I recommend, don’t be afraid to play around and experiment what flavors and textures suit you your taste the best.

 

Preparing your apples: The apples are the most important ingredient in this recipe. Start washing each apple thoroughly with water. Peel the apples and dice them. Although this recipe calls for diced apples, you can also slice them lengthwise. I find that the diced chunks of apples provide a bit that’s more full of apple, thus making it more flavorful. Add the lemon juice over your apples while you are working on the rest of the recipe. The acidity of the lemon juice will prevent your apples from browning.

All about the sugars. This recipe calls for both granulated as well as brown sugars. I find that the stronger flavor of the brown sugar gives it a better caramel color as well as flavor. If you don’t have brown sugar, it is okay to use just granulated white sugar.

Adjusting the consistency of the apple pie filling.

  • To thicken: In 2 tablespoons of water, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch mixture does not contain any lumps. Add this mixture to your apple pie filling while it is on the stove and stir until it is completely incorporated into your filling. This should thicken the filling slightly. Keep in mind, the apple pie filling will also thicken as it cools.
  • To thin out: If you are finding that your apple pie filling is too thick, you can add one tablespoon of water at a time to thin it out. 

How to add this filling to your pie. Whether you are using a store bought pie crust or making your own, the directions are the same. Layout and press your pie crust into your pie dish. Once the apple pie filling has come to room temperature, add half of the the apple pie filling to your pie. This filling is best if you for a double crust pie, meaning that your pie also includes a crust on the top, covering the apple pie filling.

Freezing your apple pie filling. This recipe is great because it can be frozen and when thawed properly, you can definitely use it for another pie or an apple recipe of your choice. To freeze this, Pour the completely cooled Apple Pie filling into a freezer bag, making sure that all of the air  is out. For best results, double bag the apple pie filling.

Thawing instructions: Best way to thaw this Apple Pie filling is to leave it at room temperature for 2-3 hours or in the refrigerator over night. The apple pie filling will release water after defrosting. Use a strainer to release the extra water from the apple pie filling. 

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 apples, peeled and diced (440 grams)
  • juice of 1/2 of lemon
  • 3 cups water (675 mL)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (50 grams)
  • 1/3 cup corn starch (40 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp groung nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract or rum

Directions:

  1. Peel and dice apples.
  2. In a large bowl, toss diced apple in lemon juice.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, place water, sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until there are no more clumps of corn starch. Then, bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once the mixture has boiled for 2 minutes, add vanilla extract and stir. Then, add the apples, cover, and let simmer until the apples are soft or about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Pour into jars or containers and refrigerate.

Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

This Chewy White Chocolaate Cranberry Cookie recipe is so easy and fool proof, it will easily become a family favorite. These cookies are soft baked and when the dough is chilled, the cookies will be thick and chewy but not crumbly. These cookies scream “beginning of the holiday season” and you will love everything about them!

What ingredients are used in these Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies?

Butter: As with many cookie recipes, butter is important in this recipe. Use butter that contains full fat content and is softened at room temperature. The point of butter in baking cookies such as these is to add moisture as well as flavor, which is why I recommend full fat butter. Whether a recipe calls for softened butter or melted butter depends on the kind of texture you want your cookie to be. In these cookies, I use softened butter instead of melted because it will leave the cookies thicker. Softened butter is also easy to cream with the sugars leaving you with evenly combined ingredients. Softened butter should hold its shape but when pressed down with a finger, you will easily be able to leave a fingerprint.

Sugars: In this recipe, you will see that both brown as well as white granulated sugars are used. Whenever I want a chewy cookie, I always add brown sugar because due to its higher moisture content from the molasses in the brown sugar you will be left with a cookie that is more chewy. Brown sugar also has a deeper and stronger flavor. Granulated sugar on the other hand, is dry and cuts down on cookie spreading as it bakes.

Eggs: Eggs are another ingredient essential to a perfect cookie. The protein and fat in eggs aid in holding the cookie together, thus providing structure  as well as flavor.

Flour is another ingredient responsible for the texture. While the flour help hold all of the ingredients together, it will also distinguish whether the cookie will be chewy and dense or brittle. All purpose flour is recommended for these Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies because it has just the right amount of gluten.

Baking soda is a leavening ingredient in many baked cookies that creates a soft and fluffy final cookie.

Vanilla extract adds flavor.

Salt balances out the sweetness.

Dried cranberries and white chocolate chips give these cookies their main flavor.

How to make Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies:

  1. Start by whisking together all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. (Flour, baking soda, and salt)
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together softened butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in vanilla and egg to your butter and sugars and mix.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  5. Lastly, fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  6. Refrigerate cookies for 1-2 hours.
  7. Bake
  8. Enjoy!

Is refrigerating the cookies required?

Although not required, it is recommended to refrigerate the cookies in order to prevent the cookies from spreading for at least 1 hour. 

How to properly bake Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies:

Baking time is also a very important step in the final outcome of the Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies . I can not stress enough how important it is to NOT over bake the cookies. A perfectly baked cookie will be slightly brown around the edges, however, the center will still look like it is raw and extremely soft. Don’t wait for the center of the cookies to become harder because as the cookies cool, they will slightly harden while still keeping their soft and chewy texture. Over-baking the cookies will result in a hard and dried out cookie, which is often one of the most common mistakes made when making cookies.

Cookie Presentation Tip: 

If you also like a nice presentation, I recommend saving about a 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips to add to the cookies after they are baked. This will make them look ultra professional and delicious because you will be able to see extra chocolate peeping out of the cookie. As soon as you remove the cookies out of the oven and while they are still very soft, press the white chocolate chips and cranberries gently on the surface of the cookies just so that they are held in place. As the cookies cool, they will just slightly deflate, making the added ingredients (white chocolate chips and cranberries) stand out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the stick of softened butter for 1 minute on medium speed or until the butter is smooth creamy.
  2. Add brown sugar and granulated white sugar to the butter and continue to beat with mixer until the mixture is creamy and well combined. Next, add in the egg and vanilla and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt together until combined.
  4. On low speed, slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Lastly, add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries  and mix until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly and chill for 1-2 hours.
  6. Remove cookies from refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature until your oven is preheated.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 heaping Tablespoon of dough each. Place 10-12 on each baking sheet, (you will need two for this recipe) press them down slightly, and bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges. They will be extremely soft when you remove them from the oven but will slightly stiffen as they cool, still keeping their soft and chewy texture.
  9. Once removed from the oven let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, place on cooling rack to cool completely. 

Mini Apple Walnut Turnovers

These Mini Apple Walnut Turnovers are basically fall wrapped in buttery, flaky puff pastry and are the definition of perfection. They are super soft, filled with delicious apple pie filling, and have a slight walnut crunch that makes them extra with out all the extra work.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
  •  3 medium sized apples-peeled cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg- for the egg wash

Glaze: (optional)

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs milk

Directions:

  1. Remove puff pastry from the freezer and thaw according to package instructions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, place water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until there are no more clumps of corn starch. Then, bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once the mixture has boiled for 2 minutes, add the apples, cover, and let simmer until the apples are soft or about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
  5. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  6. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut each pastry sheet into 9 sections. You should have 18 total.
    • The easiest way to do this is cut 2 horizontal lines where the puff pasty sheets have a crease and then 2 vertical lines, slightly over 3″ apart.
  7. Add about a teaspoon of the apple filling on one side of the puff pastry sections, sprinkle with a few walnuts (about 1/2 tsp each), and fold over in half. They should be rectangular in shape.
  8. Crimp each rectangle around edges firmly with a fork and brush top with eggwash.
  9. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping them at least 1″ apart.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
  11. For the glaze, stir together powder sugar and milk until you get desired consistency. I start with 1 Tablespoon and and more if needed.
  12. Once the glaze is smooth, drizzle over warm turnovers.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are all the pumpkin spice flavor and the chocolate is the cherry on top. A chewy cookies with so much flavor, it will complete your day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups and 2 tbs all- purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth and free of sugar lumps. Add in vanilla and pumpkin and mix until evenly combined. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together.
  3. Fold in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and combine.
  4. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Roll the dough into balls. Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, flatten the tops of the dough balls, otherwise, the cookies will not spread.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are set. The cookies will be very soft once removed from the oven but will just slightly stiffen as they cool. The will be very soft, chewy, and full of flavor for up to 2 weeks.