Irene and Sachi enjoyed a power packed playdate 2 weeks back and Mariah ( Irene’s beautiful mum) offered to handle them both alone!
That left me with an entire afternoon of free time and i made the most of it! Caring for two energy packed kids is not an easy task and i found Mariah slightly bedraggled when i went to pick my tot up. She offered me a cup of tea and a slice of apple cake,which set the course of our conversation and this recipe was the outcome.
What i liked about it, is that it is something you could put together at the very last moment as long as you have some apples and puff pastry lying in your freezer. Also its really kiddie friendly, which means you can actually have a bunch of children help you with it and still have a lot of fun.
This is to you Mariah, fellow mommy and my dear friend.
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
4 Small to medium apples
2 cups soft brown sugar
Chopped nuts of your choice. I used walnuts, pistachios and raisins
Ready puff pastry dough. This is easily available in the markets.
(Making puff pastry at home is great but is very time consuming, which is why i am normally stocked up on a few of these packets. They always make quick and wholesome appetisers or desserts.)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise powder. A few pinches. ( Cinnamon goes best with apples, but you can easily minus the other two spices. Saffron and cardamom are other additions you could make according to your tastes.)
2 spoons of salted Butter.
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Core the apples. You should be able to have a hollow and see through it.
3) In a dry bowl, mix the brown sugar, nuts, raisins, butter and half of the spice powder. Mix well.
4) On a dry surface knead the pastry dough and make balls.
5) Roll out each ball like a tortilla. Use powdered sugar for dusting whenever needed.
6) Place a cored apple in the centre of the tortilla. Stuff the hollow in the centre with the brown sugar mix. Press and pack well, and place a spoonful of the same on top of the apple.
7) Cover the rest of the apple with the tortilla. Make sure there are no openings or the sugar will ooze out as it melts. The entire thing should look like a ball.
8) Place on a buttered or paper lined baking tray. Finish the rest of the apples the same way.
9) Dust with more powdered sugar and spice mix. ( Use Cinnamon sparingly as more of it will impart a bitter taste and ruin the dish. Use your instincts)
10) Place into the oven until the puff pastry turns crisp. Brush with butter (optional ) and pop back in the oven for 40 minutes or so. The pie’s are done when a toothpick goes through and through easily.
Serve warm with a scoop of Vanilla or Caramel ice cream and/ or a swirl of fresh whipped cream
NOTE: You would notice this recipe involves no eggs and very little butter as opposed to the traditional apple pie. It would be safe to say its much lower in calories than the regular slice of pie. You can of course use more butter and plain white sugar instead of the raw brown variety, if you want to. I am also planning on baking Pears the same way.
Also these pie’s are pretty deceptive and plain looking until you actually try them. When i served them to my family, everyone looked at them suspiciously until they pierced it with their forks and the aroma of baked apples, spice and gooey caramel oozed out. Heaven!