Day 9 calls for Apple Pies in our view! Why not treat your loved ones to a sugar free spin on this classic favourite at Christmas? It’s a great weakness for lots of dessert lovers! Even better still, these ones are mini so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to transport a hefty pie from one place to another in one piece – they’re the perfect gift size.
If the person you’re baking your gifts for isn’t fond of sultanas or cinnamon, you can simply remove them from the recipe. They will still taste delicious! Don’t forget these are sugar-free, so they are also great for your diet restricted friends. Follow the apple pie recipe below for the perfect treat.
For the pastry
160g (6oz) plain flour
A pinch of salt
80g (3oz) cold butter, diced
1 tablespoon xylitol
3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling
10g (½oz) butter
10g (½oz) xylitol
2–3 dessert apples, peeled and cored, approximately 200g (7oz) prepared weight
A generous 10g (½oz) sultanas
Teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
You will need 2 fluted cutters: 1 x 7½cm (3in) and 1 x 6cm (2½in) and a greased 12-cup tart tin
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan ovens) or equivalent
1. Sieve the flour and salt carefully into the bowl of your food processor and add the butter. Whizz into fine crumbs.
2. Add the xylitol and whizz again briefly.
3. Add the water and whizz until the mixture is starting to come together.
4. Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and knead it lightly until it forms a ball.
5. Roll it out gently with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of just less than ½cm (¼in).
6. Cut out 12 circles with the larger cutter (for the pies) and 12 circles with the smaller cutter (for the lids).
7. Put the larger circles into the prepared tart tins and firm them down gently.
8. Set the smaller circles aside while you make the filling.
9. Melt the butter and add the xylitol and the cinnamon (if using) once the butter is starting to soften. Cut the apple into small chunks and stir into the melted butter with the sultanas until all the pieces are coated.
10. Put a lid on the pan and cook gently until the apple is just starting to soften and the sultanas are starting to plump up.
11. Divide the apple filling equally between the pastry cases.
12. Brush the edges of the tarts with water and put the lids on.
13. Press each lid down very, very gently.
14. Make a little hole or slit in the top of each lid.
15. Bake for 12–15 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden.
16. Remove the pies from the tin with a small palette knife, when cool enough to handle, and finish cooling on a wire rack.
This recipe makes 12, so you could box or wrap them with clear cellophane in groups of 4, to make multiple gifts to hand around. Or, alternatively, keep a few for yourself!
Since apple pie is such a classic, you can be sure that most people will enjoy. Wrap them up with a red bow and a Christmas label and there you have it – a wonderful homemade Christmas gift!