These little pies are filled with a luscious fruity mix, spiked with a little alcohol. They remind me of the fruit pies my Nan used to make: a real treat, especially when served warm with whipped cream. I’ve given you three fillings to choose from; each uses the full quantity of pastry.
Make the sweet shortcrust pastry following the instructions on page 000 and rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
To make any of the fillings, first prepare the fruit. Peel, quarter and core apples or pears; halve and stone apricots. Cut the fruit into 1cm pieces.
Melt the butter in a wide frying pan or deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the fruit, sugar, lemon zest (if applicable) and the alcohol. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the fruit is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Leave the fruit mix to go cold, mix in the mascarpone (if included), then chill the mixture.
Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2–3mm. Using an 8.5cm plain cutter, cut out 12 circles and use them to line a bun tray (the kind you would use for fairy cakes, not a deep muffin tray). Re-roll the pastry as necessary and cut out 12 smaller circles, 6cm in diameter, for the lids.
Spoon the filling into the pastry cases, taking care not to overfill them. Dampen the rim of the pastry with water and top each pie with a lid. Press a smaller cutter over the pie to seal the edge and trim away any excess pastry. Make a couple of small steam holes in the top of each pie. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature, within 24 hours of baking, or they’ll start to lose their crispness.
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