Fall is finally here, and with Thanksgiving only a week away, most people are brushing off their baking skills in preparation of the big day. From stuffing to turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, and rolls, our tables will soon be full of delicious fall foods. But, of course, it simply wouldn’t be fall without some freshly baked pies! And, while you can easily purchase pie filling, everyone knows that homemade tastes a million times better.
But, did you know that you can actually use your canned and preserved fruits and veggies for pie? Even if that wasn’t the original intention when you preserved it, who can say no to pie?? And, even better, there are plenty of ways to turn the things you already have in your pantry into a delicious treat. Here are some tips:
Using canned fruit in a pie is actually really simple: all you have to do is drain the excess liquid in a strainer and then follow the instructions for a regular pie. Depending on how you preserved it, you might want to add a little extra flour or a little less sugar so that the pie tastes and sets right.
You can also use homemade applesauce (or pear, if you have it) to make a yummy custard-like pie. I haven’t personally done this, but Homespun Seasonal Living suggests simply adding some eggs and flour to the applesauce to make a smooth custard-like filling. Definitely on my to-do list this year!
Pumpkin Pie Alternates
If you’ve got a root cellar or any winter squash laying around, you can actually make an alternate pumpkin pie using basically the same ingredients as with pumpkin. A few suggestions would be to use carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or most other winter squashes. It sounds a little weird, but the taste is actually pretty similar, and it can even be a nice change. Here is a delicious carrot pie recipe.
Personally, I tend to prefer to freeze my fruit, especially berries. While using a frozen fruit is a little more iffy than something canned, it usually turns out okay. I suggest thawing the fruit first, then tossing it with some flour and sugar. Make sure you use a lattice-top crust so that any excess water can have a chance to evaporate. I’ve read that coating the bottom of your pie crust with an egg white will help keep it from being mushy, which is one of the problems of using frozen fruit. Be sure to leave a comment below if you’ve tried this! Also, be aware that with frozen fruit, your pie may be a little runnier than normal, but it should taste just fine!!
Dehydrators are amazing, and a great way to preserve your harvest. But, what do you do with the dehydrated fruit? Well, make a pie, of course! You can actually rehydrate fruit with some water and then bake! Generally speaking, you’ll have to do this ahead of time as it can take anywhere from a fwe hours to a day for the fruit to rehydrate properly. Basically, all you have to do is measure twice the amount of dried fruit as is called for in the recipe, and put it all in a plastic bag. Add some warm water (just enough to cover the fruit) and put it in the fridge. Make sure to squeeze out all the excess air! Some methods call for microwaving the bag, but personally, I think that makes it harder to work with. Drain the water, and then cook as normal!
Do you have any tips for using your pantry fruits in pies? Do you pre-make and can pie fillings? Tell me in the comments below!