I have been making these very quick apple pies laced with orange zest, honey and ginger for a while. They are sweet and refreshing and gently cooked in an almond pastry.
Generally speaking, I am not a great pie maker; especially since it is very definitely on my diet black list! But others in the family love them, so I make these not just for Christmas as a perfect alternative for mince pies, but at anytime someone wants a real treat.
There are no clever twists and turns here, this is very straightforward pie making. However, I do strongly recommend non-stick pans for these sorts of pies – if they leak, they can glue themselves to anything and you will really appreciate the non-stick. After all, you don’t want to go all safe on the amount of stuffing. So, on to the recipe…
Rub together the flour, sugar, ground almonds and butter to make a fine crumb.
Beat one whole egg and one yolk and add to the flour, bringing it together to form a dough.Don't over work it! Pastry suffers from being kneaded heavily, just pull it together till it is mixed.
Wrap it tightly in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
Skin and seed the apple. Use an eating apple, but you want one that has a nice lively taste, not the bland things we often buy. Chop into very small cubes.
Finely chop the ginger and mix with the apple, lemon and orange zest. Taste.
Now, add the honey bit by bit, making sure you get it to a sweetness that you like. Honey can vary a lot, so use my quantity as a guide and find your own level. A nice perfumed honey will work wonderfully.
Set the mixture aside.
Roll out the pasty and cut bases and lids to fit your tray. Butter the tray well (even with non-stick).
Fill the bases well – don’t be thrifty - and cover with the lids however you wish. Baste with a little milk or egg/water mixture.
Bake in the oven at about 180º for 15 to 20 minutes till golden brown.
Try and let them cool before you eat them all, or your family might riot.