A lot of times, when I am talking to friends, patients or family members about some of my cooking practices, they look at me with surprise and say that they never thought of doing that. This happens a lot when I talk about canning, preserving or freezing. Unfortunately, we are more comfortable going to the local big box grocer and buying frozen fruit or veggies in a can. This time of year, when gardens are offering up their highest yield and farmers markets are bursting with seasonal fruits and veggies in every color, is the time to think about what you will miss in winter and plan ahead. Plenty of our local produce can be canned, frozen or dried for later use. Also when you grow or buy some fruits and veggies you always get a few that are just not pretty. These are great ones to save for recipes like this.
In this recipe, I went to our local produce stand that I frequent weekly. They had a special on a half bushel of peaches for $8 because they were considered too small. I bought it and have eaten them, baked with them and gave some to friends. In the bottom of the basket there are always a few that are bruised or slightly crushed. These are always the perfect peaches to make into pie filling. Of course, fresh peach pie is always a treat during summer months, but imagine in the cold gloomy days of January (when we all need a mood booster) having the ability to bake a fresh peach pie. It is comfort at it's best. First, you have the satisfaction of knowing you made this and it gives you the taste of something that you can look forward to. Prepare now. In January you taste buds and maybe your friends will be thanking you!
Frozen Peach Pie Filling
6-7 cups sliced peaches ( about 8-9 medium peaches)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Mix peaches and lemon juice. Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon; mix with peaches. Place all in quart size Ziploc bag. Squeeze all air out of the bag. Place bag into your pie plate and flatten it to fit into the pan. Freeze the Ziploc in the pie plate overnight. The next day remove the round frozen puck of pie filling from the plate. Place the pie filling back in the freezer. You can freeze this for up to 8 months.
When you are ready to make your pie, you can either thaw the filling and add about 1 Tbsp. tapioca to the filling or you just use the frozen pie filling puck. Prepare your crust in the bottom the of the pie plate. Place frozen pie filling inside. Cover with crumb topping or more crust and bake as you always do. I bake mine at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is brown and the juices are bubbling.