Apple pie is an institution in my house. I love it. When I was little my mum would always make it and put aside some raw dough for me to snack on. I would also eat the apple filling by the bowlful, and Mum used to yell that she wouldn’t have any left for the pie.
Everyone’s favourite part of apple pie is the pastry. Crumbly, rich, buttery, delicate pastry, flavoured with the juices of soft cinnamon apples. When I make apple pie, my brother eats all the pastry and leaves a mound of apples on his plate (little brat). So when I saw mini apple pies on toasty biscuit, I decided that I had to make something along those lines. They just look so yummy and so CUTE. And they would maximise the amount of pastry in each serve!
LITTLE APPLE PIES
Adapted from toasty biscuit, whose recipe comes from Taste.
For the pastry
This recipe calls for almond meal, which is just finely ground almonds. You can buy it at some supermarkets or you can make your own. Just put 60g of almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until the almonds turn to a fine powder.
350g plain flour
55g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
60g almond meal
A pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
40ml water, chilled (4 tbsp or so)
Put the flour, sugar, salt, almond meal and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a food processor) and mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and the cold water while the mixer is still running. Continue to mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, make your filling.
For the filling
You need to use tart apples such as Granny Smiths in a pie as they best keep their shape. Also, I use dutch cinnamon in my recipes but if you can’t find it, use ground.
4 large apples
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp dutch cinnamon
2 tsp cornflour
Peel, core and chop the apples into small cubes. Put them in a medium saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon, butter and water. Stir to coat the apples. Cook over a low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes until the apples are tender but still hold their shape. Stir occasionally.
Take a couple of tablespoons of the liquid out of the apples and mix it with the cornflour until there are no lumps. Pourthe mixture back into the apples and mix well. Allow to cool.
Assembling the pies
1/4 cup milk, for brushing
1/4 cup caster sugar, for sprinkling
Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 12 11cm circles for the bases and 12 7cm circles for the tops. Feel free to gather together any scraps of pastry and re-roll it.
Line the muffin holes with the larger rounds of pastry.
These little pies are a great alternative to traditional apple pies. With the addition of almond meal, the pastry is short and rich, deliciously crumbly and deep in flavour. With the addition of cinnamon apples, this is the perfect winter desert. Which is great because it is absolutely FREEZING outside.