Well this is pretty late to post I’m afraid as I had intended to put these up just before Halloween but, due to life being pretty busy at the moment, it’s taken me until now to finally find the time.
Although Halloween is a time for baking, sweets and treats I always seem to find that each involves large amounts of, normally orange, fondant. How nasty! This set me to work of finding something that could be shared out easily, was liked by children but still encompassed everything we think of when contemplating all hallows eve.
After playing around with a few ideas, I settled on these small apple pies with a rich and indulgent salted caramel filling. They really don’t take too long to make, as long as you have a nice tin for baking. The one you would use for jam tarts is perfect for this I found.
So, sorry it’s late for its intended purpose but I’m sure you don’t need an excuse to bake them!
Ingredients for Shortbread Pastry
250g plain flour
90g icing sugar
200g cold butter
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for filling
2 large apples, cored, peeled and chopped finely
2tsp fresh lemon juice
1tbsp white sugar
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp mixed spice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Ingredients for Salted Caramel
125g unsalted butter
110g packed dark brown sugar (I used dark)
120 ml double cream
1/2tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
First make you pastry by sifting the flour, icing sugar and salt together, and then working the butter in to form a sturdy dough. Don’t add any extra liquid to the dough and this will make it harder to work with later and may make the finished pastry tougher then you would like. Wrap in cling-film and leave in the fridge whilst you prepare the apples.
Peel and dice the apples into very small chunks. Remember that the smaller you dice them, the more you can fit into each pie! Mix the chopped apples with the rest of the filling ingredients and place to the side.
Take a large, heavy bottom, saucepan and add all the caramel sauce ingredients to it. Place over a medium heat and whisk until boiling. Cook for a further 5 mins, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Add more salt if needed, whisking after each addition.
Roll out your pastry onto a well floured surface until 1\4” thick. Using a round cutter, cut out enough circles for the base of your pie tins, use a slightly smaller cutter for the lids, re-rolling the pastry if needed (although do your best not to overwork it). Using the end of a piping nozzle or any other small cutter cut a piece out of each of the lids.
Line your pie tins with the pastry bottoms then fill with the apple mixture. You want to be fairly generous here, giving the tops a good dome. Place the lid on top of the pie and crimp with either your fingers or a fork to seal the pies together.
Using a teaspoon, drizzle some salted caramel into each pie through the whole in the lid. Don’t worry if you get some spillage as it will bubble up as it cooks anyway.
Cook each tray of pies in the centre of a oven pre-heated to 180c for 20 to 25mins. Once cooked, remove from the oven and drizzle with more of the salted caramel sauce.
Leave to cool then use to placate hungry trick or treaters or to eat all to yourself with lashings of vanilla ice cream!