I still have a bunch of early apples that won't keep a whole lot longer so I decided to do an experiment.
Several years ago, finding myself with an abundance of Macintosh apples, I made and froze about a dozen apple pies. Whole pies. Not only did the pies take up quite a bit of freezer space, I wasn't happy with the end product. No matter if I put the pie in the oven frozen or let it defrost partially (or entirely) on the counter before baking, the bottom crust was always really, really soggy. Think paste on the palate. Yuck.
This year, I got to wondering why I couldn't make and freeze the apple filling. So several days ago, I mixed up the apples, sugar, cinnamon, etc. just as I would if I were going to make an apple pie. But I then put the filling in a freezer bag, and threw it in the freezer for a couple of days. One night, I took it and two crusts (I try to have a batch of pie crusts - the balls, not rolled out - ready in the freezer) out of the freezer and put them in the refrig overnight to thaw. Next morning, I made the apple pie.
Three taste-testers pronounced the pie juuuust fine! It was great --- tasted like I had started from scratch. I think I had feared the apple filling would come out too runny or applesauce-like or some such thing. But, happy to say, the experiment was a success, so you can guess what I did today with those early season apples.
Here are the prepped apples piled in a pie plate.
Next I put them in a bowl and added the sugar, cinnamon, etc.
Then they went into a gallon freezer bag.
Eight bags of pie filling ready to go into the freezer. I still have more apples, but I got bored peeling, paring and slicing. (An audio book was good for a couple of hours, but when I started trying to have a conversation with the dog, I knew it was time to quit.)
Here are some of the bags laid out in a single layer in the freezer. When frozen solid, I'll stack them all together like cards.
A good morning's work, if I do say so myself . . . and it sure did make the kitchen smell good . . . and my hands turn brown . . . and the dog wonder what was wrong with me.