Individual Apple Pies
This dessert uses gently spiced poached apples, coated in a short and crisp flaky pastry and results in a slightly more elegant and light take on the traditional comforting and filling apple pie. The fact that this pudding is made in stages means it’s great for making ahead of time, and cooling the apples in their poaching syrup increases the subtle flavours of cloves, cinnamon, wine and orange in the dessert.
100ml white wine
40g or 1 and a half oz soft brown sugar
one and a quarter teaspoons cinnamon
squeeze of lemon juice
zest and juice of two satsumas
90g or 3 oz plain flour
35g or 1 oz unsalted butter, frozen solid
pinch of salt
two teaspoons granulated sugar
Peel the apples and then slice them in half to remove the cores. Place the peeled, halved apples, water, wine, soft brown sugar, a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon, squeeze of lemon juice, the zest and juice of the satsumas and the cloves into a medium saucepan. Cook on a medium heat to bring the poaching liquor to the boil and then reduce the heat so that the liquid is barely simmering and cook for a further five to ten minutes, regularly turning the apples, or until the apples are slightly soft but still have reasonable amount of bite. The time this will take will depend on the variety of apples.
Once the apples have cooked, place them into a bowl and refrigerate. Continue to cook the poaching syrup on a high heat in order to reduce it by half and then pour it over the apples and leave this to cool. This refrigeration time will develop the flavours and it’s great if you need to make the mini apple pies in advance, as you can leave the apples cooling in the fridge for as long as you like.
Preheat the oven to 210°C (fan oven)/ 220°C/ gas mark 7
Whilst the apples cool, you can make your pastry. This flaky pastry is the same as the pastry I used for my pesto palmiers, but here it’s sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The crisp pastry gives a nice textural contrast to the soft poached apples. Sieve the flour into a bowl and then grate the frozen butter, regularly dipping it into the flour, into another bowl. Tip any remaining flour into the grated, flour covered butter and then gradually add small amounts of water until the pastry comes together. Place the pastry into cling film and chill in the fridge for thirty minutes.
Once your pastry is chilled, roll out the pastry on a floured surface into a rectangle about ten centimetres by twenty centimetres. When you have the pastry rolled, cut in half to give two squares and then in half diagonally to give four triangles. Mix together the granulated sugar and the remaining teaspoon of sugar to make a cinnamon sugar and use this to coat the apple halves, setting the syrup to one side for later. Place the pastry triangles on top of the apple halves and tuck the pastry edges underneath, sprinkling them with a little more of the cinnamon sugar and placing them onto a greased baking tray.
Bake the apple pies for twenty to twenty five minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While the apples cook, reheat the poaching syrup and reduce it down to a thick syrup to serve with the apple pies. Serve a pastry covered apple half per portion, drizzle with a little of the syrup and serve with crème fresh or sweetened mascarpone.