Today was a nice cool fall day - a perfect day to heat up the kitchen by canning.
First slice up the apples - I do this over several days and store in the fridge. I don't know exactly how many I cut up - I just keep cutting - if I end up with too many I can always throw them in the dehydrator. When I first starting playing with this recipe, it said to cut up 16 cups of apples and it would yield 4 quarts of apple pie filling - well, what I ended up with was more filling than apples and they would float to the top - the apples shrink as they cook and different varieties of apples cook up differently - so you really just have to experiment for yourself. I probably had 4 two and three quart bowls full of sliced apples when I started this morning.
This recipe calls for quick cooking tapioca and a lot of people aren't sure what that is - so here is a picture of the Minute Tapioca that I use.
In a large stock pot, mix 4 1/2 cups sugar (I use a combination of rapadura and white sugar - I am moving towards totally eliminating white sugar from our diet), 1 cup quick cooking tapioca, 4 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg.
Stir in 10 cups of water.
Cook on medium high heat - you will see the little beads of tapioca in it - they will thicken as it cooks and you will not see them in the finished product - it will just be a thick syrup.
Make sure you stir it so it doesn't stick to the bottom and burn - you can see the beads are starting to thicken.
When it comes to a boil, boil and stir for 2 minutes.
Add the apples.
I add as many apples as I can and still have room to stir in the pot - if you fill it too full you don't have any room to manipulate the apples around.
Bring to a full rolling boil and cook 1 minute. A full rolling boil is one that you cannot stir down - in other words if you stir it while it is boiling, it continues to boil.
Ladle into jars and run a knife or spatula along the edges to release any trapped air bubbles.
Wipe the tops clean (I use a disposable paper towel) - if there is any sticky residue on the tops, it will interfer with the seals.
Process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes.
And here is the finished product.
Now, I had a little bit of the sauce left over so I mixed it with the sliced apples that I hadn't used and cooked them up all nice and soft. I divided them into 8 custard cups and topped with a crumb topping. I put them in the oven and baked at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
And I have dessert for tonight.
For the crumb topping I used:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cold margarine
Mix the flour and sugar and then cut in the margarine until crumbly.