Deep Filled Apple Pies
These little pies are simply delicious and with my tips you will have perfect results every time. The usual problems are the dreaded soggy base, filling bubbling over and then the pies not coming out of the deep tin. Follow this recipe and method and you will be showing off your beautiful bakes to your friends.
Start by preparing the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples into a large saucepan containing the knob of butter. Pop a lid onto the pan and place over a low heat until the juices start to run and the apples start to cook and go mushy. Take the lid off and leave the apples cooking until they reduce down to a thick pulp with no juices. Taste the puree and add sufficient apricot jam to add enough sweetness. Transfer to a bowl and leave to go completely cold uncovered.
To make the pastry. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment then add the cubed chilled butter and blitz briefly (about 10 seconds) until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Place the egg yolk and measured cold water in a small jug and mix together then with the motor running pour in the liquid in a thin steady stream. Leave the motor running until the dough comes together into a ball. Remove from the machine, wrap in a beeswax wrap or greaseproof paper and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour to rest and firm up.
When ready to roll out the dough. I like to roll out between two sheets of plastic that I wash and use again and again. Roll out evenly to a thickness of a £1 coin (1/8 th inch) then use the large cutter to cut out 12 rounds and 12 lids. You will need to use the trimmings. Peel off one sheet of plastic and if the pastry seems difficult to cut or sticks to the plastic then pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes. The dough needs to be sufficiently chilled to make the cutting out and removing from the plastic really easy.
Lay the pastry shells over the muffin tin holes and use the end of your rolling pin to gently ease them into the bottom. If you use your fingers you may tear the dough.
Once the tin is lined with pastry then fill about ¾ full with the cold apple filling and top off with the lids. A small hole cutter (or the wide end of a piping nozzle) should be used to make little air holes in the pies. There is no need to dampen the edges of the pies, just lay the lids on the top.
Pop the tray of unbaked pies into the fridge and put the oven on to 190 degrees centigrade (fan). There is no need to apply an egg wash – there is sufficient egg and sugar in the pastry for browning.
When the oven has come to temperature pop the chilled pies straight in and bake for 16-18 minutes until the lids are just starting to colour. Leave the pies to go completely cold in the tin then lay over a clean tea towel, followed by a cooling rack and gently turn the whole lot upside down.
Lift off the muffin tin and the pies will be released.
Dust off with icing sugar.
1. The pies will not boil over if the apple filling is thick and cold.
2. The pies will release easily if they are left to cool in the tin and the tin has been brushed with lining paste.
3. The pastry bases will be well baked if the pastry is not too thick.
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