Over the weekend, Kevin picked the apples on mom and dad's tree. This was the largest crop they've had! While it wasn't a 'huge' crop by any means, it was definitely more than they've had in past years. In the late spring, Kevin helped dad hang squirrel deterrent bags in the tree. They seemed to have done the trick because the squirrels didn't even touch the apples. A bird or two here and there, but even that wasn't a big deal.
After picking, mom and dad saved a couple of apples and then insisted that Kevin and I take the rest home. We shared a handful with one of our neighbors and then kept the rest.
I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and process the apples tonight before they had a chance to bruise or go bad. I wanted to make apple pie filling for the upcoming holidays. I chose to make filling over just preparing the apples for the freezer because, in the past, I've just sliced and frozen apples and I've not liked the way they turn out when thawed. They tend to be discolored and the slices are somewhat dry. By making a filling instead of just freezing the apple slices, the apples are bathed in lemon juice to prevent discoloration, and then slightly cooked with the sugars and spices, so they should remain moist and tender.
We weren't quite sure how much filling the recipe would yield; it indicated enough for 5 pies, but I opted to make it into just four. I decided that I'd rather have four nicely filled pies, rather than five pies that could use more filling. The recipe that I used was new (to me), and both Kevin and I thought it was definitely a winner. Here's the end product: Mmmm. Yummy! Pie anyone?