Cook it or Bake it: Chunky Apple Filling

This filling was designed to be used as an all-purpose apple filling that can be used for pies, tarts, breakfast pastries, or anything else that you might think of. It can either be cooked in a skillet on top of the stove or baked in the oven, depending on your mood. Either way is easy. The flavorings include honey and Calvados. Although there is no cinnamon, there’s no reason why you couldn’t add a little, if you like. The inspiration for this filling comes from a recipe for “Apple Financier Tart” in Simply Sensational Desserts by François Payard (1991).

I like using Honeycrisp apples for this filling, but green Granny Smith apples work as well, and are available year round.


Making Chunky Apple Filling: Step-by-Step


Chunky Apple Filling
This is a very versatile apple filling that can be used for many purposes: pies, cakes, breakfast pasties. It is the filling of choice for French Apple Pie and Apple Financier Cakes

YIELD: 775g (1# 11 oz) APPLE FILLING

  • 1050 grams Honeycrisp apples - peeled, cored, and cut into 3.8" dice
  • - About 5 Large Apples (2# 5 oz)
  • - Net weight of prepped apples = 750g (1# 10 oz)

  • 160 grams honey (8 tablespoons / ½ cup)
  • 60 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick / 4 tablespoons)
  • 45 grams Calvados (apple brandy) (3 tablespoons)

  • 100 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 20 grams Instant ClearJel (3 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1435 grams = Total 50 oz (3# 2 oz)
  1. TOSS prepped apples with honey.
  2. TO COOK IN A SKILLET: HEAT the butter in a large 12" skillet on medium-high heat until sizzling and just starting to brown.
  3. ADD apples to the skillet, turn heat to high and bring up to a simmer. Add Calvados. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. WHISK together the sugar and Instant ClearJel, and salt. Stir into apples.
  5. FINISH cooking until the apples are tender, another 5 minutes. Taste the apples for doneness; they should be tender but still have a crisp texture.
  6. TO BAKE AS AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO COOKING IN A SKILLET: Combine the prepped apple chunks, honey, butter (melted), and Calvados. Whisk sugar, Instant ClearJel. and salt. Stir into apples. Spread apples on foil-lined half sheet pan. BAKE uncovered at 350°F (176°C) for about 35 minutes. Taste for doneness. If necessary, bake another 5 minutes.
  7. TRANSFER filling to a bowl to cool. Ready to use in any recipe.
  8. REFRIGERATE for up to one week, if making ahead.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
Inspired by the apple filling included in the "Apple Financier Tart" recipe in François Payard's "Simply Sensational Desserts: 140 Recipes for the Home Baker" (1999).

Chunky Apple Filling

Chunky Apple Filling

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!