Apple Pie and Mince Pies
Since the New Year has started I have been struggling to get off the sugar, flour and butter wagon and do it healthy. As a result I have been a bit crabby (LOL). Its not easy you know, for a person who has been popping cookies, gorging on cake and licking chocolate off every spoon and bowl the whole of December, to suddenly chuck the sweet life in January. Finally last week I decided to ease into my old self again and try out a slightly healthy version of the apple pie. A warm apple pie on a chilly evening or any chilly-time of the day is such a treat and if you know that it comes with oats and wheat flour in the crust and not too much sugar, then it is all the more welcome. Junior was a happy man to know his mom was back and sugar-sane again, but I detected a hint of sulkiness in Senior and thought I better treat him to a Mince pie since apple pies are too delicate for his hearty taste-buds.
I have taken a basic rough puff pastry recipe and added some ground oats and wheat flour, used low fat butter and a little olive oil. The oil was added to tame the flour and make it behave, since it was dry and crumbly and wouldn’t come together. The apple filling is sweetened with minimal sugar, I used lots of raisins instead and cashews.
The mince pie filling is made from chicken mince with an addition of raisins and cashews as an ode to the Christmas Pies which I drooled over on other blogs. The filling was sweet and savoury with a mild hint of chilly and though I didn’t taste it I assume it was good……it didn’t last too long!
The crusts need to be baked before they are filled and baked again. They need a good long bake or else they will end up doughy and raw. Finally, with this post I have got the New Year rolling with the Life of Two Pies (which didn’t last too long!!)
Makes 1 x 7” Pie
Rough Puff Pastry Crust
200 grams Butter, chilled (low-fat)
¼ cup oil
80 grams ground oats
100 grams whole wheat flour
100 grams plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup chilled water
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Sift the flours and salt into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter. Using a knife cut the butter until coated with the flour.
- Sprinkle over lemon juice, oil and half the water. Cut into the flour with a dinner knife until mixed but not breaking up the butter. Add a little more water if the mixture looks too dry.
- With lightly floured fingers bring the mixture together to form a rough ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and bring it gently together and pat into a rectangle. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and on a floured surface roll out the dough to form a rectangle, 18×6 inches. The dugh may look rough and difficult to manage at this stage but as you go along folding and rolling it will come together.
- Fold the lower third up and the top third down. Give a quarter turn and seal the edges. Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 mins.
- Continue rolling and folding, chilling the dough 4 times, giving it a quarter turn each time you fold.
- Roll the pastry into a round of 3 mm thickness, line your tin (7 inch false bottomed pie tin) with the pastry . Trim the edges. Fork it all over and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190o C for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is a light golden and firm.
6 medium sized apples/ 4 large ( peeled, cored and sliced)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup cashews
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon oil/ butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
- In a large pan heat oil or butter, add the apples and stir fry on medium heat.
- Add the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir
- Let the apples cook for 5 minutes to dry out the water content but make sure the pieces remain whole and do not turn mushy.
- Add the raisins and cashews.
- Cool the mixture before using.
- Preheat oven to 190oC
- Lightly brush the inside of the pre-cooked shell with beaten egg (this is optional). Spoon the mixture into the shell. Using left over pastry to make strips and form a lattice over the pie. Brush with egg.
- Bake at 190oC until the top is golden brown and cooked (approx 30 minutes)