For those of you who do not like fruit mince, I haven’t forgotten about you. How does a lightly spiced mini apple pie sound as an alternative? The apples are beautifully aromatic, with the aroma of oranges, warm spices and a hint of vanilla. By adding arrowroot starch to the liquid, it creates a lovely light sauce, which goes perfectly with the delicate flavoured orange pastry.
This pastry bakes up with a lovely appetising golden hue, unlike most gluten-free pastry, which is pale and insipid in colour. You can make the pastry the day before, and it will bake up nicely the next day. That way you can have freshly baked apple pies daily. These pies are also enjoyable on the second day after they are baked, although the pastry will have soften, due to the high moisture content of the apple filling.
All cup measurements are firmly packed. For accurate cup measurements, I sift the icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. If the pastry becomes too warm just pop it back in the refrigerator to chill again.
I hope you enjoy these spiced apple pies as much as my friends and family do.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe holiday season.
Important Note: we have quite warm to hot days here in Australia during the festive season, which can make handling and rolling pastry quite tricky. If it is a particularly warm day, first roll out the roll out the pastry as mentioned, before placing it back in the refrigerator and allowing it to chill for approximately 8-10 minutes, this will make cutting and working with the pastry a lot easier.
Makes 18 Mini Apple Pies
X1 quantity of orange pastry
Spiced Apple Filling
300g (10.6 ounces or 2½ cups) red eating apples, I used Pink Lady variety (the weight was taken after the apples were peeled and cored)
20g (0.7 ounces or 1½ tablespoon) coconut oil
45ml (3 tablespoons) orange juice
45ml (3 tablespoons) maple syrup
1½ teaspoon (7.5ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5ml) finely grated orange zest
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) ground cinnamon
A large pinch of ground cloves
2 teaspoons (10ml) arrowroot starch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Golden/raw caster sugar or superfine sugar for sprinkling over the tops of the pies
While you’re waiting for the pastry to chill, make a start on the apple filling. You want to quite finely chop the apples. In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil over a medium-low heat before adding the chopped apples. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add the orange juice, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. Stir until well combined. Cover and simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small container combine the arrowroot starch with 2 teaspoons of cold water and stir until well combined, before pouring it into the apple mixture. Stir continuously and once the apple mixture has thickened, take off the heat. Transfer to a dish and allow the mixture to cool completely before using it. The sauce will thicken some more upon cooling. When you stir through the cooled apples, the sauce will have a slightly stringy texture, but that’s ok.
Preheat the oven to 160C and grease two tart trays well. The measurements for my tart tray were, 7cm across 2½cm deep. I used a round cutter, which was just under 7½cm (measured across the middle at its widest point). The smaller round cutter, which will be for the lid of the pie, measured just over 6cm (measured across the middle at its widest point).
Work with one ball of dough at a time and leave the other in the refrigerator, until you’re ready to use it. The pastry is a little delicate to work with and if it’s a particularly warm day, please follow the instructions in the notes above. However, if you peel off the baking paper/parchment, then place it back on and then flip the pasty over and repeat with the other side, this method helps to loosen the pastry. It will also make it easier to remove the cut out pieces of dough from the baking paper/parchment.
Take just over ¾ of the dough and roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm-4mm in thickness. Cut out the circles and peel away all the surrounding dough and set aside, before gently peeling the tartlet case off the baking paper/parchment. They should come away quite easily. Gently press the pastry into the tartlet tin, releasing any trapped air bubbles.
Now add a slightly heaped tablespoon of the apple filling to each pastry case.
Using the same method as above, roll out the remaining dough to 3mm-4mm in thickness and cut out the smaller circles and place it over the top of each pie. Gently place your fingers over the top of each pie as you use a fork to seal the edges, otherwise the pastry tends to slide around a little bit in the greased tin. Next, use a small sharp knife to poke a hole in the middle of the pie to make an air vent to allow the steam to escape.
Lightly brush the tops with the lightly beaten egg before generously sprinkling them with sugar. As this recipe only makes 18 mini pies, it is necessary to ¾ fill the empty spaces with water to ensure even cooking.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until they are beautifully golden, then remove from the tin straight away. I use a small palette knife to remove the pies and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8