I stopped at a farmstand and got a bunch of apples to make some apple-based desserts, and I started with a basic apple pie filling.
This is a lot like some older recipe that I found for Apple Brown Betty, so you can call it a variety of things.
The only problem i have now is that I can’t remember what kind of apples they were, but if you use any type that’s on the tart side with a crisp texture, this recipe should work fine.
And let me tell you, it was REALLY good!
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The basics of the apple pie filling.
This recipe was adapted from an old edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook, and it was originally an apple crumble recipe.
I changed out a couple of ingredients and added some additional apples to make a little more filling, and it worked out fine.
I told my husband that I’m going to refer to this as crustless apple pie, since it tastes like that.
It can also be used as a topping for ice cream, or you can serve it with whipped cream or just on its own.
I’m going to use this as the basis for a lot of desserts this week, it’s so good and easy to make.
To make this into a real crumble, you would need to add something like oatmeal to the flour and sugar mix to give it more body, because it baked down and wasn’t really a crust.
It was more like a layer of the flavor and sugar that you mixed into the apples, but it wasn’t like a pie crust.
Apple Pie Filling Dessert Recipe.
Apple Pie Crumble Pie Filling
- 1 chef's knife
- 1 paring knife or vegetable peeler
- 1 apple corer (optional)
- 1 cutting board
- 1 10 x 6 x 2 baking pan
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 measuring cup and spoons
- 4 large apples
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp butter
- Preheat the over to 350 F
- Butter or spray the bottom of the baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Core and peel the apples.
- Slice the apples into 1/4" slices, or leave them thicker if you want a firmer apple texture after they bake.
- Measure the apples to make sure that you have at least 4 cups of slices. It's okay to have more than that but you don't need more than about 5 cups at the most.
- Put the apple slices in the baking pan and spread them out so that it's level. Sprinkle the water over the apples.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the mixing bowl, then whisk them to combine.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and put it in the flour mixture.
- Using your clean hands, mix the butter into the flour and rub so that it combines well. You'll have small lumps left and that's fine.
- Sprinkle the flour and butter mixture over the apples to cover them completely in the pan.
- Bake the apples at 350F for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and put the pan on a cooling rack. The apples can be served warm or cold, or reheated later to add to ice cream.
- These can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks to be used as a topping or as a filling for tarts or other desserts.
Tips for making the apple pie filling.
Start with 4 or 5 apples to make up about 4-5 cups when they’re cut up. How many you’ll need will depend on the size of the apples.
Use apples that are firm and not too mealy, and tart ones are better than super sweet ones.
(For a cake that I used this filling in as part of the batter, click here: Apple Pie Spice Pound Cake recipe
Core the apples with an apple corer, or slice them after peeling, then remove the cores.
If you don’t have an apple corer, just cut the apples into quarters and remove the core section with a knife or a spoon.
Peel the cored apples. You can leave the skin on if you don’t mind it, but I like to peel them because of pesticides and the wax that they put on them at the grocery store.
Slice the apples. I cut them into thin slices, but if you want them to keep more of their shape you can cut them into larger pieces.
The thinner you cut the apple slices, the softer they’ll be after baking. If you want to use the baked filling as a topping for ice cream or waffles, you should cut them pretty thin so that they cook down well.
If they’re really soft you can also mash them up to make applesauce, so think about what you’ll be doing with the finished product when you’re deciding how thin to cut the apples.
You’ll need 4-5 cups of sliced apples. Don’t use less than 4 cups, but if you do have less you can reduce the amount of sugar.
If you don’t have enough apples the sugar can make the finished product way too sweet, so adjust accordingly.
Butter or spray the bottom of the pan, then spread the apples in it evenly.
I used cooking spray to grease the pan, but since there’s butter in the recipe itself, butter would be the best option to keep the flavors consistent.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine them.
If you want it to be a little less sweet, reduce the amount of brown sugar. You could use 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup and it would still work but it wouldn’t be quite as sweet.
Add the butter to the flour mixture.
The butter should be at room temperature, and you can cut it into small pieces to make the mixing easier.
Mix the flour and butter with your hands, rubbing them together to incorporate the butter evenly.
The original recipe said to “rub” the ingredients together, so that’s the official instruction. If you don’t want to use your hands, you could take a fork and mix the ingredients together that way. A pastry cutter tool with multiple wires or blades would also work.
Cover the apples with the flour and butter mixture. If it falls into cracks in the layer of apples that’s fine.
Bake the pan of apples for 40 minutes at 350F.
When the time is up, take the apples out and let them cool off.
You can eat this warm or cold, but let them cool off a little because the sugar will form a syrup that will be really hot right out of the oven.
This is delicious when it’s warm, or you can let it cool off and eat it when it’s cooler.
I would reheat it in the microwave before eating it because the hot version is SO GOOD.
The apples will look runny in the pan, but the liquid is going to thicken and be more like a syrup when they cool off.
This would be good to use in other desserts, and I’ll be adding more recipes to use it in that way soon. If you slice the apples thin enough they’ll soften up nicely and you can use it as a spread on waffles and pancakes.