Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L

CAS TOPICS => The Longbranch => Topic started by: Professor Marvel on December 17, 2020, 06:24:44 PM

Title: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 17, 2020, 06:24:44 PM
Greetings My Good Netizens -

I need some help, please

I am not a cook. I am just a poor dumb retired engineer/computer weenie.

I desparately Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie filling.
Online recipes are not helpful at all. No troubleshooting pages.

Worse, they do not progress in a logical step-by-step linear order.
eg: they almost all read like this

to make this lovely frothy blah blah ( 3 pages of BS) simply
1) collect the ingrediants ( f'in duh)
2) mix all the dry indrediants in a bowl ( ok which ones are they? and quantities, why do I have to go back to the ingrdt list? )
2a)add a pinch of blah   ( wtf is a quantitaive measurement for a pinch ?)
3) add the wet indregiants ( ok is butter wet or dry? can you please put the quantities here as well as in the list?)
4) now take THE PREVIOUSLY PREPARED MAGIC CRAP that you made the night before and ....

with no mention of prep time, should the ingrediants be room temp, is "fridge temp" ok?,
or what substitutions work, and how to substitute, what happens if I melt the butter,
or how to troubleshoot when it's too thick, too runny, not setting up in the oven, etc etc...

oh and ALTITUDE. I am at 7200 ft above sea level. If a storm is coming thru and the barometric pressure drops,
what "stuff" is affected, besides cakes rising ( they don;t anyway baking GLuten Free  :P ) and water boiling temp?


I used to make a rectangular apple pie for holidays using a "gluten free, egg free, soy free, nut free, corn free"
crust of my own devising, (starting with Bisqwik GF Pancake mix) and Krakovia Apple Filling in a jar.

Well,  the Karkovia went missing, can no longer find it, and Last year I used up my last 4 jars.

I have a hard time using fresh fruit, cuz, DAMMIT JIM I AM AN ENGINEER NOT A TREE SURGEON COOK.

I have a source of "safe" canned apples (no starch, gluten, corn syrup, soy, nuts etc) ,
but when I tried to make the pie for T day it the filling mix was  totally runny.

I followed the recipe on the can to the letter.
of course it did not work...

 It tasted OK but .... and Mrs Marvel could not abide the looks of it...



prof nutcake
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Coffinmaker on December 17, 2020, 07:00:35 PM

 :)  My Good Perfesser   ;)

I have the absolute perfect Recipe.  And it's simple, easy, quick, fool proof, idiot proof and some kind of absolutely delicious.

1).  Drive to your local or closest Cracker Barrel Road Warriors Restaurant.  Within you will find Pre-Packed Jars of "Fried Apples".  Buy Some.  DONE.

2).  Should you NOT have a local Cracker Barrel, Being the Computer Whiz you are, Stick a Quarter or Token in your machine.  At "Ready Player One" access the Cracker Barrel web site and procure several Jars of Cracker Barrel Fried Apples.  Since you can't "Eat Just One" you might consider a case lot.  Incidentally, I have found just heating the jar and grabbing a fork is . . . . Bliss.  When combined with the Dough Boys Flaky Grands, a suitable substitute for Cobler.  Oh Yessssssssssss.  Yum

You're Welcome.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: River City John on December 17, 2020, 07:20:57 PM
Any pie filling recipe is going to start with apples, peeled, cored and sliced. There is some discussion about the best apples to use.
Sugar, same weight as the apples.
Cinnamon, dust the apples.
Water, enough to wet into a thin syrup.

If a purist, squeeze a fresh lemon half over the sliced apples before tossing gently to keep from turning brown, although they brown naturally in the cooking.

Some refinements, . . . a pinch of either ground cardamon seed or Allspice as you mix the ingredients.

Cook over medium heat until apple slices just begin to soften and syrup base thickens. Remove and cool to room temp if used right away, in refrigerator if storing, but let sit out after removing from fridge to room temp before using, then use in your pie/strudel/turnover recipe of choice. NOW is the time to dot with butter.

Everything else is rocket science.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 17, 2020, 08:00:16 PM
Just a hint to prevent runny pies, especially apple.   I keep a dehydrator going pretty regularly and before any fruit goes funky i dry it.   So to keep a pie from being runny, i place several dried apple slices in the bottom of the pan then add the filling and bake.   The juices will hydrate the dried apples and your pie will not be runny. 
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: River City John on December 17, 2020, 08:07:09 PM
You could add a teaspoon of cornstarch as a thickener too.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 18, 2020, 12:30:21 AM
Ah My Dear Friends

Coffin -

The problem with the Cracker Barrel Jarred Apples:
List of ingredients
Apples, sugar, water, modified food starch (corn), cultured sugar, cellulose gum, spices

John -
thanks, I may have to fall back on using "fresh apples", thank god the supply chain is still
offering baking apples, but there is a good reason I have a 6 month supply of canned goods LOL.

Firstly, a long winded explanantion....

Mrs Marvel is a diagnosed Celiac.
No Wheat of any kind, and many other grains are out. No Corn.
Many if not all Celiacs also end up with reactions to Milk and Eggs and Potatoes.

As little as 5 PartsPerMillion of Wheat sets off a Celiac attack, projectile vomiting , 7-10 day puking migraines,
Montezuma's Revenge for days, blah blah  blah

Buckwheat, sweet potatos, and rice are ok.

So, hard restrictions:
No Wheat of any kind or Gluten bearing products in the house ever.
No Corn of any kind, including corn syrup, starch, etc
No soy
No tree nuts
No milk
No eggs

(also no shrimp, but it's a pie..)

Since Mrs Marvel has been under the weather for some time, I am doing pretty much everything.

As previously mentioned, I am NOT much of a cook but I have been trying to learn ove the last 5 years.
Mrs. Marvel was the Cook, baker, and epicurian...

Worse, "Gluten Free" cooking means vast numbers of substitutions which means a lot of experimentation is required.
And I was never any good at chemistry...

Experiments gone bad make for disgusting dinners.

Aaaand Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Egg Free Baking is a minor nightmare.
Literally nothing I have tried to bake will rise.
I have not yet, after 5 years, come up with an acceptable GF bread, hamburger bun, or cake.

Once, Mrs. Marvel tried to make GF chocolate brownies from a good, well-known mix, and it
came out like a greasy black inedible brick.

Through 2 years of experimenting I came up with acceptable recipes for
- chocolate chip cookies
- bisquits ( from GF Biskwik)
- pancakes and waffles ( from GF Biskwik)
- pie crust ( from GF Biskwik)
- the fruit pie using Krakow jarred fruit.

just that, nothing more.
even sugar cookies came out "too hard"

after a very long time and months of experimentation I found good egg substitutes, butter subs, and
a Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer that tastes bad by itslef but makes made a good milk substitute for baking
for making "biscuits" in cupcake tins.

Then the Barstiches that make the Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer decided to "save the world"
and changed the f'in formula - it now must be refrigerated, fails at baking, and it tastes like Suet!

So. Back to experimenting.

After a month I found via reverse engineering ( and help from Mrs. Marvel Organic Chemistry training)
that by adding 1 tablespoon ( no more, no less)  of beet sugar or cane sugar ( nothing else) to
8.2 oz of plain Coconut Milk from any vendor reproduces my "baking milk" .... unless the weather changes...

If i use too much Coconut Milk ( ie 8.4 oz or more) or the pressure changes too much bisuits start
falling apart or stick to the cupcake tins or both ....
I still do not understand "why" ...

With everything else going on, and Mrs. Marvel's Celiac, Her back, pnumonia, teeth, dying cats,
dying relatives, dying friends, and etc,


I was hoping to avoid MORE experimenting by using canned "ready to pie" apples.
The Lucky Leaf Canned apples come in water.
No syrup, no unknown sugar, (ie not corn syrup) and no starch,
and thus is safe. Also, peeled, cored, pre-cooked.

I NEED all the help I can get. I cannot spare MORE time to learning to cook everything from scratch.
let alone doing all the prep & etc required.


The recipe:
 - 1 can (20 oz) Lucky Leaf Sliced Apples
 - 1/2 cup sugar
 - 2 Tbsp cornstarch ( sub'd rice starch)
 - 1 tsp ground cinamon
 - 1 Tbsp butter ( sub'd my special margarine)
 - Crust ( used commercial Gluten Free pie crust that worked before)

Drain sliced apples, if necessary add water or apple juice to make 1/4 cup of liquid.
Put apples and liquid in pastry crust. Mix dry ingred . Spread over apples.
Dot with butter ( WTF does that mean?)
Cover with vented top crust (did not do that)
bake at 425 deg F for 10 min then reduce to 350 deg F for 25-35 min.

I had to go for 45 min and the filling was stiull too runny.
I think but cannot remmeber ( di not have my engineering cooking notebook)
that I used ALL the liquid in the can and added 1/2 cup of sugar and that
was probably too much?

So I guess I did not follow the Rx so well LOL
Any Ideas, thoughts etc?

Please help I am trying to make a holiday pie for Mrs Marvel.
She needs Something Nice for Desert this year...

prof marvel
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: River City John on December 18, 2020, 01:30:03 AM
As Paul Harvey would say . . . "And that's - The Rest of the Story."

I've read of using plain gelatin as a thickener. (Not sure about whether ground flax seed would be a no-no as thickener.)
At one time you could buy squeeze tubes of the apple filling for turnovers, but I bet their ingredients would not be celiac kosher.

That's about the extent of my help, Professor.

Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 18, 2020, 03:45:27 AM
Thanks John -
I have a couple of different "safe" thickeners I can try.

If I make sure I am using the correct amount of liquid in the first place,
and actually put a crust on top,
perhaps that will make all the difference.

So I will run that play one more time, following the Rx precisely,
get my laboratory notebook out, and take copious notes...

by following the Rx, I expect to achoeve a more harmonious outcome.

If not, the "next try" I will use twice as much "thickener replacement"
I forget what it actually is, but it works great in my stir fry.

perplexedly yours
prof marvel
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 18, 2020, 08:14:46 AM
Hi Prof,
Wishing you the best luck.   Can the Mrs handle arrowroot?   I have used it as a substitute for corn starch.    If you can find just plain dried apples, I really recommend them in the bottom of the pie.   I have an allergy to soy and potatoes.   My wife has a potato allergy as well.   We pretty much have to make a lot on our own, as soy is prevalent throughout and it is amazing how much potato starch pops into things, and that is the trigger for both of us.   Since I just had cornbeef hash, after 6 years of shots, I can sort of stomach potatoes now, but just.   
Problem with commercial dried fruits is the sulfites that are sprayed on them for color/stability.    I love dried fruit and I cannot handle the sulfites, so I dry my own.   

In looking at the recipe, I am guessing you need to decrease the amount of water/juice you are using.   I would cut to 1/4 of a cup.  Even drained, those canned apples will have a lot of natural juice in them.   I also would mix everything together then pour in the pan.   To dot with butter, just cut the butter into wee little pieces and randomly drop over the apples.   Then top with your crust. 

Good luck and happy holidays.

Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 18, 2020, 08:57:12 AM
So, dusted off some braincells while walking the puppy.
I had a similar issue making a cherry pie for my wife.  First attempt using canned pie cherries ended up with a nice ice cream topping, but not a pie.

My fix. 
First drain the fruit completely.  I usually dump the fruit into a colander and let sit over a bowl, as you want to keep the liquid.   After sitting for about 30 minutes, I dump the fruit on a towel that I am not worried about staining (since my project was cherry).   

The liquid, I add to a pot and reduce, by at least half.   At this point, I add the sugar, thickener, and any spices and make sure it is the consistency I want.   Then, I cool all of that (this is because I am making a pie with a top and bottom crust, cool filling means the bottom be not soggy).   Once cool, I fold the fruit into the thick liquid, then that to the pie and bake.   

Essentially you are making a pie filling ahead of time.    It allows you to tweak it as you go.     Good luck!
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Coffinmaker on December 18, 2020, 09:23:30 AM

 :)  Well, Crime-a-Nently Prof   ;)

"The Rest of The Story" (stolen from Paul Harvey) certainly puts a damper on things.  It also means I am of no help.  I couldn't bake a boot.  Anything I put inna oven comes out as ash.  However:

If you become forced to use fresh apples I must suggest Honey Crisp Apples.  Most delicious.

My Holliday best to Mrs. Marvelous.  Oh, and yourself too, also, each, together -n-
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 18, 2020, 03:54:37 PM
Thanks Mog!

you have answered a plethora of mysteries!

ah yes, arrowroot is one of the approved thickeners,
and also dried powdered beef or pork gelatin... but mostly arrowroot.

the draining, then reducing by cooking, then measuring the amount and adding the sugar, then dumping back in makes a lot of sense!

part of my problem is knowing AS I GO how much liquid is too much.

Thanks for the clarification on "dotting"

but still, What The Fork is a "pinch"? 
Can you quantify it?
what is the commonly accepted pinching technique?
Fat fingers can clearly pinch more than skinny fingers.
and a pinch say, of salt, betwtixt the pads of the thumb and index finger is a lot less than
a pinch taken between the thumb and the curled side of the index finger, (which I see Emeril on TV do often)

WTH is wrong with saying "add 1/8 tsp blah" instead of "a pinch" ???

And folding: I must assume this is not like laundry. or origami. These I know...

And Cutting:
WTH? what exactly am I trying to do there? Do I use a knife? What kind?
Butcher, paring, Bowie?
Am I trying to use one or more knives to somehow mix crap together in some sort of cutting motion?
Can I just use my electric hand mixer on low? Or maybe a cooking fork? Or the edge of a serving spoon?

Or am I supposed to use this

Is there a cheat sheet or google translate anywhere for converting "cook talk into engineer speak"
or at least
"baking language into plain english" ?

Oh, and now suddenly with low humidty, pressure changes and stroms and I dont know what else
the last batch of Mrs Marvels Essential daily Breakfast biscuits came out "crumbly" ...

time to use the lab notebook again..

thanks for all the help!

prof grumbling and confused
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: River City John on December 18, 2020, 04:15:11 PM
At this point Professor, any rational man would urge you to stay the hell out of the kitchen, for it is obviously a hostile environment much like the surface of the planet Jupiter.

BUT, seeing as I'm low on rational, I will heartily second Coffinmaker's Honey Crisp suggestion.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Pay Dirt Norvelle on December 18, 2020, 04:53:40 PM
If you are desperate try making what is called a "Dump it cake"  .  All you need is white cake mix, the apple filling and butter.  It is all dumped in a pan and baked.  It is quite good, but it isn't a pie though.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Coffinmaker on December 18, 2020, 05:08:48 PM

 :)  Ah yes.  ;)

I do actually understand your confusion.  A "Pinch" is about a 16th of a Table Spoon.  I actually have a small (tiny) (minuscule) (microscopic) measuring spoon graduated as a "Pinch."  I use if for adding filler to cartridges.  Look upon a pinch as "a little bit"

Cutting is a term usually reserved for Adult Beverage.  Such as Moon Shine or 151 Rum.  Normal people "cut" the alcohol content by adding some other liquid.  Like water, or (choke) Coke or some such.  In your current realm, consider "Cutting" as the same as "slicing".  Use any handy sharp instrument, not a Hammer.  "Slices" are an eighth to a Quarter inch thick.  Unless talking about Bacon.  Then Thicker is Better.  Just remember, when cutting or slicing, adding portions of Fingernail or even portions of finger are not to be discussed with those to be served.  Fingernail and Finger are considered, delicacies, much as "Flies" and "Ants" are considered extra added protein (very fresh protein).

Baking speak and Cooking speak have no direct translations to "Plain" english.  Not actually being "Rocket Science" leaves Chef Speak as its own language.  If one is unsure, is best to error on the side of "less" as being better.  Unless using Honey Crisp apples in Pie.  Then MORE is better.  Gillette.
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 18, 2020, 05:10:49 PM
Hey Prof,
I typically use an 1/8 tsp for a pinch.   Yeah annoying when they are not exact.  I spent a week deciphering my grandmother’s measuring system. She used “berry spooon” it was a mixing spoon with a strawberry on the handle.   It worked out to be exactly half a cup. 
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 18, 2020, 06:01:36 PM
Thanks folks

perhaps once at a time, in "context" might help with some of my questions:


"cut the butter into the flour"

ok. whaaaaaaaat?

this link is the closest I've come to an explanation, and it still DOES NOT MAKE SENSE to me
I see what they are doing, I see what they get, but what is the point? little lumps of butter randomly mixed into the flour?

What Does it Mean to Cut in Butter?

Cutting in butter is a very common term in baking, most commonly used in the recipe instructions when making pie crust or biscuits. It’s a very simple technique that’s easy to master. Cutting in butter means incorporating cold butter into the dry ingredients (usually flour) so that the butter stays in little clumps throughout the mixture.
Does The Butter Have to Be Cold?

Cold butter is the key to flaky, tender pie crusts, biscuits and scones. In the oven, the cold pieces of butter melt and create gaps that result in the layers essential to certain baked goods. When cutting in cold butter, key is to combine the flour and butter as quickly as possible to ensure that the butter stays cold until it is ready to be placed into the oven.
Tools Needed to Cut in Butter

You don’t necessarily need any special tools to cut in butter. Here are four different tools we recommend you use to cut in butter:

    A Pastry Cutter - The tool we recommend most would be a baking tool called a pastry cutter, also called a pastry blender, (seen in the pictures below). It makes creating those coarse crumbs very easy.

    Two butter knives – Two knives held together at an angle may be substituted for a pastry blender when cutting in butter. Use the knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces of flour-coated butter become smaller and have the texture of coarse crumbs. Using knives will get the job done, but it might take a little longer than using a pastry blender. 

    A Fork – Just like butter knives, forks are readily available in most kitchens and are another great option for cutting in butter. When using a fork to cut in butter, simply smash the butter pieces until you have achieved the desired crumbly consistency. Before you mash, be sure that your butter is sitting in your flour, and is cold and cut into half inch pieces. Having the butter cut into smaller pieces vs. full or half sticks, will speed up the process. Mash until you have achieved the desired crumb consistency.

    A Food Processor - A food processor can also be used, just be careful not to over mix the ingredients. If you overmix, the butter may become too small or overworked, resulting in a pastry that is not flaky and tender

so, technically my Enter The Dragon Kung Fu Knife Hand above would work....


prf mrvl
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 18, 2020, 06:09:23 PM
Okay least this link says "why"  ... to achieve flakiness. 
I thought it was not good if we were flaky ....

 Often a recipe will call for you to "cut in" butter or shortening—usually when making biscuits, scones, or some other pastry that needs to be flaky. "Cutting in" means incorporating the butter into the flour in such a way that little lumps of the raw butter remain whole within the flour mixture. When the dough is baked, these little lumps create separation in the structure of the finished product, which is what gives it that flaky consistency.

The easiest way to cut in butter is with a simple tool called a pastry blender.

Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Major 2 on December 19, 2020, 05:57:04 AM
"cut in" butter or shortening....not sure I ever heard the term ...

I have heard " Fold in "  assumed it meant stir  :-\

aside for a frozen pie or a few and some pre-wrapped cookie dough I have not baked.

Now cutting cheese, I know something about  :-[
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 19, 2020, 06:03:56 PM
Last night Mrs Marvel explained " fold in the blah into the stuff".

You have a bowl of stuff.
You drop the blah on top of the stuff.
You take a spoon or spatula or some other instrument of not sharp
scoop down into the stuff ( going underneath the blah) and scoop the stuff over the top of the blah ( from the bottom of the bowl).

Thus you are "folding" the stuff over the "blah"

Theoretically, one continues this insanity until reasonably homogenous well mixed.

I am completely confused about why one "folds in" as opposed to "mixing together".

probably has to do with "flakes"

after a full day of runnnig around for "necessities" I  can get the monstrous pile of dishes done
then  I will take another crack at the pie...

I think I will write a Recipe Book...

"Gluten Free Cooking For Engineers
a useful guide for Scientific, Linear, and Literal Minds"

prf marvel
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 19, 2020, 08:20:47 PM
Folding works well when dealing with egg whites or whipped cream.    If you fold, you incorporate and still keep the airy aspect of the whites/cream.  Works great for soufflé or some cakes.   I like to sacrifice a third of the whites to mix into the rest and lighten it up, then the rest folds in easier.    Funny story about a diner in my home town.  Diner opened up next to a jewelry store.  They made omelets that were separated and the whites whipped and folded in.  You got a light fluffy omelet a out five inches thick.  One day they did not open.   Seems the dug through their lower level to the jewelry Store’s lower level. They robbed the place and skipped town.  Had down several others in the Midwest.   They knew how to fold and dig.  Ha
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Professor Marvel on December 19, 2020, 10:33:23 PM
OMG Thank You Mog!

I read this to mrs marvel and she is nodding the whole way.
she said "that's what I told you."


Oh, Mogorolla,
My friend, cooking savior, newfound mentor, and possible future adopted nephew to be ...
you speak my language! engineering geek!
if I may... impose ....
I would love to schedule a looooong session with you sir,
at a later time,
to pick your brains on other similar burning issues....
particlarly and especially attempting to make gluten free flour stuff "rise" ...

pretty please with cane sugar?
and honey?
gently carmalized?
I know carmalizing! I can do carmalizing! I carmelize the baked beans way too often!

Caramelization or caramelisation (see spelling differences) is the oxidation of sugar,
a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavor and brown color.
Caramelization is a type of non-enzymatic browning reaction.
Fructose:      230° F
Sucrose:       320° F
Lactose:       397° F

mr science
prf marbles
Title: Re: HELP! I Need a recipe for "canned apple" pie
Post by: Mogorilla on December 20, 2020, 06:23:40 AM
Absolutely.    I will pm you my email.  I have limited experience with GF flour, but will research it.   

Science speak, you gotta love it.   
I am a chemist and I remember years ago while working on my BS, some other chem majors and I had gone to a guest lecture.  The guy was riveting and inspiring.  (Dr. Herbert Brown, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1979, this was 1987, fiesty old guy).  So group went out and we were talking shop, deep shop.   So deep were we in our nerdom, we failed to notice the table full of college girls right next to us.   That was until one of them walked over and asked what our major was.  We told her, she turned around and loudly exclaimed, I told you it was sciency, we need avoid any chemistry class, that sh## is crazy!"