Apple picking is fun and something to look forward to every year. We had some pretty good yields of apples on our apple trees this year, some were first time producers. The Sweet Sixteen tree did well this year and I recall nostalgically that we planted that apple tree for Jessi when she turned 16. There was not a huge yield but enough to eat fresh and freeze a bunch for apple crisps. Thanks to a couple of nice farmers in our county, we were able to pick and use even more than what grew on our farm.
Now what to do with all the apples this year. Last year, you may recall, we made a ton of apple cider and apple pie filling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDILTnVaDLc
The apples on the ground that were not good enough to use are being fed to our hogs and chickens. Since we had a bunch of old aluminium pie pans on hand, we decided to make up raw apple pies to freeze. It worked out great and I’ll show you how we did it. So far we froze over 150 pies between us and Frenchy. That may sound like a lot, but they also make great gifts and easy treats for unexpected company and when we are all together, one pie doesn’t go very far! Then, you never know from one year to the next whether there will be apples or not. Especially with the drought that we are experiencing. Hold your mouse over the photos!
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
4 cups whole wheat flour (Prairie Gold)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 and 3/4 cups of lard (must be at room temp, do not heat on stove to melt!!)
1/2 cup of cold water
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
Just mix the dry ingredients up first then blend in the lard, followed by the water, egg and vinegar. Do not over mix or it will become tough later. Lard must be softened naturally, not on the stove. This is one of the most important tricks to making a good flakey pie crust. Moist dough is way better than too dry……..remember that! Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When we did this we made up several balls and chilled them ahead of time. Keep them wrapped air tight.
Apple Pie Filling ( For Freezing Pies 9 inch tin)
4 cups of apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
a dash of salt
2 tablespoons of flour (heaping)
1/2 cup of sugar (more if your apples are super sour…….less if very sweet apples)
1 tablespoon of butter
In a bowl, pour the above ingredients over the apples EXCEPT for the butter. You shred that on top of the apples after you have filled the pie.
After you put the top crust on the pie, wrap the raw pie in clear plastic wrap and freeze overnight or until it is frozen solid. Then simply pop the frozen pie out of the tin and wrap it in foil and place in a gallon freezer bag. Then you can reuse all the pie tins again and make another batch. When you want a pie, pre heat your oven to 400 degrees and when it is hot, take the pie out of the freezer and slip it into the aluminum pie tin and bake approx. 10 min. Reduce heat then to 350 degrees for another 40 min. Oven temps. will vary, mine is a gas stove. If you don’t have aluminum pie tins you can use glass, but you have to line the glass pie plate with aluminum foil BEFORE you put the crust and filling inside. This way you can still take the form off. I don’t dare bake a pie from a dish that was glass and frozen. This method allows you to reuse the glass as your mold.
This is so easy. So far we have used the pie tins six different days. We also used some glass and tin pans.
I should mention that making so many pies takes a good-sized work force, not to mention willing workers!! In this case there is no need to say to the kids, that if you do not work, you do not eat:)
We are still dealing with tomatoes and this year moved the plants into the butcher shop to ripen on the vine. My grandmother used to do this in Italy so we tried it.
Little cowgirl below! Have a productive and great day:)