It is a glorious day, the sun is shining and it is starting to warm up outside. I started the day by taking the dogs for a walk with Mumsy. The walk normally takes around 20 minutes however today it took nearer 45 minutes. You might think that this was due to our aged dog, Shadow, needing to take it slowly, but, this was not the case. Today it was Mumsy holding us all up. She had somehow managed to sneak past me carrying her secateurs – which meant she would gently prune “her plants and shrubs” as we went, taking cuttings if something nice caught her eye. Fortunately no cuttings were taken, however she went ‘off piste’ a fair amount to inspect various shrubs and cut back brambles that were affecting no-one. Regardless of the pace of the walk it was a very pleasant start to the day.
I pottered around the garden of the rest of the morning, helping tidy up as I went. I came across a hedgehog as I was clearing away some planks and concrete blocks that had been used to support a water-butt. I called Mumsy over to take a look, she was delighted at the discovery and suggested that we (by we she meant me) should create a shelter for it. So having just put the concrete blocks away in a neat pile, I had to retrieve them to construct a shelter with a sloping roof as requested by Mumsy. Rest assured, this hedgehog has deluxe accommodation to hibernate in throughout the winter months should it wish to remain in residence.
Over the last couple of days the passion flower has started to come out and today it looked spectacular. Sadly our plant does not produce the fruit that you eat, however it looked so glorious that it seemed a shame not to photograph it especially as the Bumblebees are all over it at the moment.
Anyway enough waffle, time to talk food. Yesterday I made some mini apple and sultana pies as some of the apples we stored had started to turn so they had to be used quickly. In an effort to control portions I made mini/individual pies in a muffin tin. I like pastry to be rolled very thin 1-2mm thick so the pastry stretched to 7 pies, however if you prefer slightly thicker then you will probably only be able to get 5-6 pies out of the pastry. I served the pies last night with crème fraiche for ease, however tonight I am going to enjoy the last one with custard and I can’t wait!
Mini Apple Pies
|For the pastry:
||For the filling:
- Prepare your filling by chopping half of the apples into small chunks and grating the other half.
- Place the apples, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a saucepan with a lid and cook on a very low heat until most of the apple has broken down before adding the sultanas and sugar as needed.
- Set the apple to one side and leave to cool whilst you prepare the pastry.
- Place the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the butter and margarine into cubes, add to the dry mix.
- Using your fingers crumb together the mixture (don’t worry if you have a few small bits of butter that haven’t broken down).
- Then add some water (a little bit at a time) until the pastry comes together and you can make a ball. Wrap the pastry in some cling-film and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the pastry has been chilled, remove from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to your preferred thickness.
- Using a cutter or whatever you have to hand (I used a small bowl and a tumbler) cut out the tops and bottoms for your pies.
- Carefully place your pastry bottoms in the muffin trays before filling your pies with the apple.
- Use a little of the egg wash to help stick on the tops to your pies.
- Glaze your pies with the egg-wash then make a small hole in the top (to allow the steam to escape when they are cooking).
- Place in a preheated oven at 190C fan for 11-14 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before eating.