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Easy Apple Pie Filling and It’s Many Uses

by | Nov 20, 2019

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Apples are a staple food item for our households. During Autumn, they become the treasured treat due to all the budding varieties available throughout the fall season. We eat them fresh, dipped, chopped, slawed, and cooked. Our families’ favorite and must-have dessert for Thanksgiving is this Apple Pie. However,  it’s the filling everyone looks forward to the most.

In our households, we have several family members with food allergies and restrictions, which makes this classic apple pie a real challenge to bake every year. At first, we would buy gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan pies from the local store. The main critique afterward was that a decent pie crust did not make up for a mediocre filling.

To us, it became clear that a great apple pie filling is what mattered most. We adjusted our recipe to accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions and now make a big batch of the filling every Thanksgiving. We then use and prepare the filling in a way that everyone can now enjoy this much loved dessert.

Our Secret 

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Our warm and tangy filling is achieved by our ratio of sweet to sour apples. We like to use a ratio of 1:3 — one green granny smith apple to every three sweetly crisp apples.

We prefer varieties such as Honeycrisp, Pink Ladies, Gala, SweeTango, Jazz, Lady Alice, or whatever local apples you may have that fit the taste and texture.

We like to slice the apples into ½ – 1-inch cubes. For a 9-inch deep-dish pie we dice up about 13 cups of ½ inch apple pieces.

Getting Started

To start, we preheat our ovens to 450°F, then gather all our ingredients to flavor the apples for baking. Whether you are placing these apples in a pie, serving them cooked on the side as-is, or pouring them over vanilla ice cream, the ingredients, preparation, and cooking method are the same.

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  • ⅔ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean 
  • 1 TbspGF Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp GF Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp GF All-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbsp Butter or Margarine (Depending on dietary needs)

First, place the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and scraped vanilla seeds from one vanilla pod in a bowl and mix. Then pour the mixture over the chopped apples and stir till they are fully coated.

Second, add the vanilla extract and mix some more. The juices released from the apples, sugar, and vanilla extract will create a moist coating over the apples. We want moisture because that is what gives our filling the yummy sauce and flavoring.

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Finally, add the cornstarch and gluten-free flour to a separate bowl and mix. Pour a ⅓ of the flour mixture on top of the apples in a dusting motion to spread the flour out in a light coating then mix. Repeat until all the flour is used and apples are coated.

Cook  at 450°F for 10 mins. Lower oven to 350°F for 35- 45 mins (cook time depends on preparation method and volume).

The liquid from the apples and ingredients  should bubble and be thick like caramel syrup. Let fully cool before cutting in or eating.

Tasty Uses for Apple Pie Filling

Pie:

Pour the apple filling into the prepared pie shell of your choice. Add pats of butter or margarine on top of the apples making sure they are evenly spaced and that you have used all 5 Tbsp. Place the second pastry layer on top. Pinch edges and cut four slits for ventilation. 9-inch deep-dish pie cooks approx. 45 mins. Cover golden brown pastry with foil to prevent burning if pie needs more time.

Cooked Apples:

Pour the apple filling into an oven-safe dish that is close in size and depth to a deep-dish pie plate. Add pats of butter or margarine on top of the apple mixture, making sure they are evenly spaced and all 5 Tbsp have been used. Cover with foil and cut four slits in the foil with a knife, just like you would with an upper pie crust. Cook for 35 -40 mins.

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  • Serve cooked apples as a side dish or dessert with whip cream
  • Spoon cooked apples over vanilla  ice cream and drizzle with Homemade Salted Caramel finishing with whip cream.
  • Add cooked apple filling to the center of store-bought crescent dough, pizza dough or biscuit dough then bake. Brush with egg wash or milk and sprinkle crystallized sugar on top to make a quick-style apple turnover.
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Easy Apple Pie Filling & It's Many Uses

Our easy Apple Pie Filling is great and works with any pie crust. It also works at a side dish, ice cream topping and filler for other pastries. You will love this sweet and tart, vanilla rich, spiced apple dessert.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Servings9 inch deep dish pie

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 13 cup Granny smith & Sweet Crisp Apples (Ratio 1:3) 1 Granny Smith to 3 Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, etc.
  • cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean Pod Scraped
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract Use Gluten Free to make allergen friendly
  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch Use Gluten Free to make allergen friendly
  • 2 tbsp Gluten Free Flour
  • 5 tbsp Salted Butter Use Margarine to be Diary Free & Vegan Friendly

Instructions

  • Preheat our ovens to 450°F
  • Cut apples into ½ - 1-inch cubes.
  • Place the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and scraped vanilla seeds from one vanilla pod in a bowl and mix.
  • Pour spiced sugar mixture over the chopped apples and stir till they are fully coated
  • Add the vanilla extract to the apples and mix.
  • In a separate bowl and mix cornstarch and gluten-free flour together
  • Pour a ⅓ of the flour mixture on top of the apples in a dusting motion to add the flour in a thin layer then mix. Repeat until all the flour is used and apples are coated.

For Apple Pie

  • Pour the apple filling into the prepared pie shell of your choice.
  • Add pats of butter or margarine on top of the apples making sure they are evenly spaced and that you have used all 5 Tbsp.
  • Place the second pastry layer on top. Pinch edges and cut four slits for ventilation.
  • Cook for 10 mins at 450°F then lower oven to 350°F for approx. 45 mins
  • Cover golden brown pastry with foil if pie needs more time.
  • The sauce inside the pie should bubble and be thick like caramel. Cover golden brown pastry with foil if pie needs more time.
  • Let fully cool before cutting in or eating.

Cooked Apples: Side Dish, Ice Cream Topping, Pastry Filling

  • Pour the apple filling into an oven-safe dish that is close in size and depth to a deep-dish pie plate.
  • Add pats of butter or margarine on top of the apples making sure they are evenly spaced and that you have used all 5 Tbsp.
  • Cover with foil and cut four slits like an upper pie crust.
  • Cook for 10 mins at 450°F then lower oven to 350°F for approx. 35-45 mins
  • The sauce inside the pie should bubble and be thick like caramel.
  • Let cool before eating or adding to pastry
  • Serve on the side with whip cream.
    Spoon over ice cream and drizzle with our Homemade Salted Caramel Dipping Sauce.
    Add filling to the center of store-bought crescent dough, pizza dough or biscuit dough then bake. Brush with egg wash or milk and sprinkle crystallized sugar on top to make a sort of apple turnover. 

Notes

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In a pinch, use refrigerated pie crusts. Stores now carry gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan versions. We like to use refrigerated pie crust, which comes rolled up verses already in a pie tin. It makes it easier to add the top crust of the pie.

Add cooked apple pie filling to the center of store-bought crescent dough, pizza dough or biscuit dough then bake. Brush with egg wash or milk and sprinkle crystallized sugar on top to make a sort of apple turnover.

 

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If rolled refrigerated pie crusts are not available, buy two premade pie shells in pie tins.

Fill one with the filling. Allow the other to come to room temperature upside down on parchment paper.

When the crust fully comes away from the pie tin, lightly roll the dough to smooth any lumps or patches were you had to piece together.

Place the rolled dough on top of the filled pie, pinch edges and cut slits. Bake per instructions of this recipe.

 

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