Towards the end of last year I posted my recipe for sweet orange pastry and these little apple pies are delicious when made with that pastry. The pastry uses simple ingredients – plain flour, butter, icing sugar and orange zest, all bound together with orange juice – and the recipe is a reliable one that works well every time. As an added bonus, it may be made in advance and frozen until you need it.
To make about 12 of these little pies you will need to make the pastry using these quantities:
250g plain flour
185g cold butter, cut into small pieces
85g icing sugar
the zest and juice of ½ an orange
If you have a food processor, blitz the dry ingredients together for a minute or so until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the orange juice then pulse the mixture until it starts to bind together and form a ball. Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead it for a minute or so and bring into a ball shape. Chill the pastry until needed.
To make the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and orange zest. Pour the orange juice into the mixture and use a fork to combine the ingredients until the orange juice is starting to be absorbed. Use your hands to bring the pastry together. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead it for a minute or so and bring it into a ball shape. Chill the pastry until needed.
For the filling you will need:
- two or three eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into dice
- a dessertspoon of Demerara sugar
- a teaspoon of cornflour
- a sprinkling of cinnamon to taste (optional)
- you will need a muffin/cupcake tray and two pastry cutters – one for the pie cases and one of a smaller diameter for the lids
- remove the pastry from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you wish to use it as it will be easier to roll out at room temperature
- preheat the oven to 180°C
- prepare the pie filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl
- roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 3mm and cut out circles of pastry to line the muffin/cupcake tray
- fill the pies with the apple mixture
- cut out the pastry lids and sit one atop each pie. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit or two in the lids to let out any steam
- lightly brush the tops of the pies with a little water and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top. This gives a nice crunchy topping!
- bake the pies for about 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown colour
- leave the pies in the baking tin to cool (or for as long as you are able to resist sampling them!)
I made these little pies as an experiment to use up some apples from the fruit bowl. We enjoyed them so much that two of us ate them all in one sitting! I’m sure that other fruit would work well in these pies too so I shall continue my experiment……..