This is my version of traditional apple pies, but with a healthy twist. This make is suitable as an alternative for people who like to lose a bit of weight, whilst still having a sweet treat.
You’ll notice, I’ve not use low-fat alternatives in this recipe and that’s because the current research shows that fat is often not the culprit in weight gain. Our bodies need fat (e.g. protein) to fill up and to give us energy. Similarly, I’ve not used sugar alternatives, as many unnatural sugars are much worse for our bodies than normal sugar.
The trick here is to make the recipe and freeze most of the apple pies and then take just one at the time to enjoy as a treat (and not to scoff all in one sitting!).
I’ve used half plain flour and half spelt flour to give the pastry a bit of bite and to keep the pasty on a healthy side. You can also use any gluten free flour (but make sure you use Xantham Gum to keep the flour together).
There are many variations you can make from this recipe. Choose a different flour (wholemeal, plain cake flour, spelt, kamut or other gluten free mixes), swap the type of butter you use (I’ve used 1/2 normal unsalted butter and 1/2 coconut butter to keep the pastry texture as close to the original recipe as possible). You can even choose to use a different filling. Any firmer fruit will be fine for this recipe, for example, plums, pears or mixture of apples, plums or any dried fruit.
I also have an extra tip for you when rolling out the pastry. Use a greaseproof paper and place the pastry in between two large sheets before rolling it out. This way, the pasty doesn’t stick and you don’t need to use more flour to make sure the pasty doesn’t stick.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and look forward to reading your comments!
Healthy Mini Apple Pies Recipe
- 175 g plain cake flour
- 175 g plain wholemeal flour (or spelt flour)
- 100 g coconut butter or oil
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 100 g light brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 egg white or water for the glaze
For the apple filling
- 3 apples, chopped in small cubes
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh or concentrated)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- First of all mix together the flour and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to rub both ingredients together until you have a breadcrumbs texture.
- Add the light brown sugar and the salt. Mix carefully together.
- Add the egg yolk and the vanilla essence. Stir together with a palette knife (or a normal knife).
- Add water, but only little bit at the time and keep stirring with a knife. The trick is to only add enough water so that the dough comes together, but it's not soggy. Don't worry if you don't use up all the water in the recipe.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and knead with your hands briefly. Don't overknead or over mix as this will make the dough heavy and too warm.
- Place the pastry dough in the fridge for about an hour, whilst you prepare your pies filling.
- Peel and chop the apples and add the orange juice. Sprinkle with sugar and the cinnamon.
- Depending on which type of apple you are using, you might like to soften the apple pie filling by simmering it on the hob for 5 min or so, or put in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F
- Roll out the pies pastry dough to about 5 mm (coin) thickness. Cut out circles, which should fit your pie tray (muffin or cupcake tray is fine too use too, but don't fill them right up as these trays are much deeper than a traditional pie trays) and make as many as the amount of pastry allows. Make sure you keep some for the tops.
- Fill each mini pie with the apple filling to about 5-7mm under the top of the pastry.
- Make the apple pies tops. You can get really creative here – make a whole circle to fully cover the pies or use strips of the pastry to create a lattice effect.
- Glaze the apple pies with the egg yolk or a bit of a milk and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden brown and then transfer on a cooling rack.
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