Peaches will be coming on before too long, and that means that it will be time to make peach pie fillings. There are several things I love about this peach pie recipe. Chief among them is that peach pie is my favorite of all fruit pies. But what also stands out about this recipe is that it is easy to make, and you can make pie fillings to last throughout the whole year. Last summer, I made 24 pie fillings and kept them in the freezer. Whenever I'm in mood for peach pie, I can pull a filling out, put it in a crust, and bake a pie. I also find that people love receiving peach pie as a thank you or birthday gift.
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ascorbic acid (or use a commercial product that prevents browning of fruit)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon salt
4 quarts peeled and sliced fresh peaches (I use Lemon Elberta peaches; also, I add a few extra peaches beyond the 4 quarts)
1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
To prepare and freeze fillings:
Blend sugar and remaining dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the lemon juice to the sliced peaches and then fold in the dry ingredients. Line six 8-inch pie pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, letting the foil extend 5 inches beyond each side of the pie pans. Pour filling mixture into pans. Fold foil loosely over each filling and put them in the freezer until they are fully frozen. Then remove from the fillings from the pans, seal the foil tightly around them, put in a freezer bag, and return to freezer. Fillings may be stored in freezer for up to a year. Makes enough filling for six 8-inch pies.
To bake pies:
Unwrap filling. DO NOT THAW. Place in pastry-lined 8-inch pie pans. Dot filling with about 1 T. butter. Add top crust; seal and flute edge. Cut slits in top crust. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 45 to 50 minutes. Cover edge of the pie crust part way through baking to keep it from getting burned.