RECIPE: Baked Apples, or Apple Pie Filling

by Pitmaster Jimi James

As summer winds down, and is cooler than any August I can remember, I decided this week to start looking toward Fall.


When I think of fall, I think of desserts.

When I was young and wanted apple pie, my mom came up with baked apples instead. She was trying to prolong summer, and she didn’t want to spend her summer making pie dough from scratch. From-scratch dough was for when it was cooler outside and a reason to get the fireplace going and listen to stories about my granny (my mom’s mom).

This recipe is for my mom’s apple pie filling.

Now, pre-heat that oven to 350 degrees.


What You Need: 

  • 5 to 6 apples, of course. I use Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Jonathan apples. You can use just one kind of apple if you like or add some variety like me.
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. of All-purpose flour ( If you can find it, try using tapioca instead.)
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg


First, you’ll need to peel the skin off the apples.

Apple Peeler

Next, you’ll need to take the core out of the apple. You can do this with an Apple Corer or just slice the apple in half and cut the core and seeds out.  Make sure you watch your fingers though.  Safety first.  The Apple Corer makes it a bit quicker, safer, and easier.

Apple Corer

Once you have the apples peeled and cored, slice them into quarters about the size below and put all the apple slices in a bowl.

Cut Up Apples

Then, we’re going to add your lemon juice, sugar, flour or tapioca, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the apples. Stir all the ingredients into the apples. Make sure all the apples are covered with the mixture.

Let the apples sit like this for 10 to 15 minutes as the lemon juice and sugar with start pulling the water out of the apples. As the apples bake, the water mixes with the juice and sugar and makes a thick filling.

Spread the apple mixture into a casserole dish. A 9×9 or 9×13 is good.

You can take a quarter of a stick of butter and slice butter to put on top if you like. . . OR just leave it how it is.

Apples in Pan

Now, cover the pan with parchment paper and aluminum foil. The reason you use parchment is that the apples are acidic and can react with the foil.

At this point, you are steaming the apples. Now, put the covered pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes is up, take the pan out and take the parchment paper and foil off. Put the apples back in the oven uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Pull the apples out and check the apples with a fork.  If they are still hard, bake another 5 minutes. You want the apples soft, but not falling apart.

As fall sets in, this rough-and-tough Pitmaster can’t help but think of all the times I spent with both grandmas and my mom. These women are my heroes!!!!

It’s just around the corner. . . Stay Hungry My Friends!!!!!