The recipe is for Make-Ahead Fruit Pie Filling. Last year there was a bumper crop of beautiful peaches and I wanted to be able to savor the flavor in the winter so I made one pie to eat and one pie filling to freeze. It works quite well, but it's a little puzzling to see a UFO made out of aluminum foil in the freezer. Every time I'd open the freezer I'd have to go through the same mental routine - "What's that? Oh, it's the pie filling. I really should learn to make crust so I can bake that into a delicious peach pie." The Abbot and Costello of the kitchen I am not.
Also, you need to extend the cooking time to make sure the filling gets cooked all the way and you don't end up with limp crust. A wonderful baker told me that she likes to use glass pie plates so she can see how the pie is doing on the bottom as it bakes. A sound idea but I happen to love my pottery ones and I don't currently have x-ray vision, so it's a bit of trial and error for me.
Make-Ahead Fruit Pie Filling for one 9-inch pie
3 pounds firm-ripe apriccots, peaches or plums
About 1/2 cup sugar
About 1/4 cup al-purpose flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or mace
1/4 tsp salt
1. Cut each of the apricots lengthwise into quarters (sixths if they're very large), discarding pits. (If using peaches, peel them and cut into thin wedges. If using plums, cut fruit into 1/2-inch slices.) You should have about 8 cups fruit total. If you don't have that much of any one fruit I think a mixture of them would be delightful.
2. In a large bowl, gently mix fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour (see notes), lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Taste fruit and add more sugar if desired (up to 3/4 cup total.)
3. Line a 9-inch pie pan with a 20-inch long sheet of foil )there should be about 5 inches of overhang on each side of the pan). Line the foil with a 20-inch-long piece of plastic wrap. Pour fruit into plastic wrap; pull edges together and fold over to seal, then repeat to seal foil over plastic. Freeze up to 3 months (although mine was probably more like 5 or 6 months), removing from pie pan, if desired, after filling is hard, in about 8 hours.
To bake the pie, unwrap frozen filling and place in a 9-inch pie pan lined with an unbaked crust; cover with top crust, crimp edges to seal, and cut small slits in top to vent. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake pie in a 375 deg. regular or convection oven until top crust is browned and filling is bubbling in the center, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. (If crust gets too brown before filling is bubbling, cover eges loosely with foil.)
If baking a fresh pie, after mixing filling in step 2, pour directly into unbaked pastry, cover, crimp, and slit. Bake for about 1 hour.
*Notes* To thicken this fhe filling, use a basic ratio of 1 Tbsp of flour for every 2 cups of apricots. Peaches and plums may be juicier; for very juicy fruit, increase flour to up to 1 Tbsp per cup of fruit.