Apple Pies in Jars!

I know, it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything. I stink, but I’ve made peace with it. To make up for my astounding laziness when it comes to blogging, I will attempt to win you over with my apple pie in a jar recipe!

My dad was kind enough to give me a large box of King apples from the tree back home. We think the tree was planted in the early 1900’s when the first house was built on the property. King apples have turned into a heritage breed, not too commonly found as some other high yielding varieties and I’m not one to turn down free apples!

What to do with over 20 pounds of apples? First was homemade canned applesauce, yummy and delicious! Next came the pies in jars, if you haven’t yet experienced a pie in a jar, prepare to be astounded! Using a wide mouth, straight sided half pint canning jar, you press in pie dough, spoon in the filling of your choice and then top with more pie dough or a crumb topping. Next you put on the lid and ring and put it in the freezer. Then in the dead of winter when you need something brighten your dreary day, you pop a pie jar in the oven straight from the freezer. Less than an hour later, your house smells awesome and you’re eating a delicious single serving pie that tastes like it was made fresh! My personal favorite is Strawberry Rhubarb or Apple. I would recommend using hearty fruit pies for freezing, avoiding things like pumpkin etc.

This recipe is for ten crumb topped apple pies with enough filling and crumb topping leftover for a large apple crisp! I apologize for the lack of photos in this post. I wasn’t anticipating¬† a blog post, but people have asked for the recipe/instructions.

 

IMG_5830

Finished pies and a huge apple crisp!

Apple Pies in Jars and Apple Crisp (if you do not want to make an apple crisp, half the filling AND crumb topping recipe)

Dough (Pate Brisee from Martha Stewart)

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 t of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter and mix until it resembles a course crumb with some large pieces of butter remaining. You can mix by hand by cutting butter into flour with a pastry cutter.

With machine running add ice water through feed tub, slowly. Usually a 1/4 cup will do but you may need a bit more. Blend just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Turn dough out on a clean counter/work surface. Divide in half and wrap each in plastic wrap, flattened into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

 

Filling

  • 6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin quarter-inch slices. I like to use my apple peeler/corer/slicer. You will need to very coarsely chop the slices as they are going in small jars.
  • 5 T fresh lemon juice (reduce to 4 T if you’re using tart apples)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt

Mix lemon juice, sugar, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Prepare you apples, tossing them frequently in the bowl to prevent browning.

 

Crumb Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 sticks of chilled, unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

 

To Assemble Pies

  1. Roll out chilled dough, one at a time so they stay cold. Cut out a round for the bottom of the jar using a round cookie cutter. The ring lid works great for this, it will come up the sides a little bit, but will help with sealing the seam. Try to limit your flour usage as the dough will not stick to the side of the jar if too much flour is applied. After you cut your round, place it in the bottom of the jar.
  2. Cut out a wide strip dough (roughly 2 1/4″ wide and 10″ long) for the sides of the jar using a small knife or a pie wheel. Stand dough up in the jar and press together the side seam and the bottom seam. As your dough warms up and gets saturated with flour, you may find it easier to press the dough in by hand. You may have some overhang of dough on the top of the jar. Trim with a small knife.
  3. Gently put filling in jars, layering apples in with your fingers to prevent large spaces that would bake down. Don’t be afraid to press the apples down. Leave at least 1/4″ space at the top.
  4. Top with crumb topping, making sure it is flat and level at the top. You may have enough dough leftover to use as a top crust on a couple of jars. Make sure to cut slits for vents and press around the edge with a fork.
  5. Place lids and rings on top tightly and freeze.
  6. Use your leftover filling and crumb topping as an apple crisp in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.
  7. TO BAKE PIES FROM FROZEN, place on Silpat (helps if it bubbles over) bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then enjoy your delicious pie that will keep in the freezer for a few months but tastes like you just made it! I have tried baking these pies fresh and found the dough rose out of the jars quite a bit while baking. They tend to bake more neatly from frozen.
IMG_3926

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie in the dead of winter!

I hope you enjoy your pies in jars. Remember you can use any filling! Be creative. If you opt out of a crumb topping and decide to top with pie dough, you will yield 4-6 pies instead. Let me know how they turn out!

Who La La

 

 

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