One of the topics I’ve talked about previously here on Blissfully Domestic is the importance of being organized when it comes to holiday entertaining. I put together this checklist for Thanksgiving some time ago, but it really does apply to all holidays when you are entertaining at home. One thing that many people overlook is how many appliances, burners, and how much oven space is needed to cook their holiday meal. Anything that can be prepared or made in advance, even a day or two beforehand, is essential to ensuring that things run smoothly on the day you have guests coming over.
I have the added problem of ensuring I’m catering to one of my kids who is on a gluten-free diet, whilst the other kids don’t enjoy the taste of a lot of gluten-free items so the more that I can make ahead of time, the better, especially when it comes to baked goods and needing to make two of everything.
This apple pie filling pretty much cooks itself. You can make it a couple of days in advance and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it. I tend to do a loaded apple crumble with this mixture, or spoon it into a puff pastry tart shell.
- 6 large red apples
- 1/2 cup apple cider – I used an apple pomegranate cider for the extra flavor
- 1 tbs agave sweetener
- 2 cinnamon sticks – or 1tsp of cinnamon
- peel and core the apples, and then dice into smaller pieces (about 1 inch)
- in a bowl whisk together the agave sweetener and apple cider (and cinnamon powder if using instead of cinnamon sticks)
- place the apples in the slow cooker, pour the cider mixture over the top, and then place cinnamon sticks either side of the slow cooker
- cook on low for 4 hours
- allow to cool, and then refrigerate until ready to use
Tip: If your apples release a lot of extra liquid, strain the liquid into a pan and thicken with a cornstarch or flour slurry before spooning your apple mixture into the pie shells.