The taste of cinnamon is synonymous with Christmas - that is simply a fact of life. Since I'm very much in the holiday spirit (and have been since about the beginning of November), I decided to bake something a little bit festive. Granted, apple and cinnamon isn't exactly the most festive combination, but the flavours work so well together. These little pastries can be a great alternative to mince pies, or can be served up as a Christmas party snack.
For the pastry...
(You could use shop-bought pastry for this recipe, but I went ahead and made my own)
225 grams of plain flour
110 grams of butter
80 grams of sugar
A little bit of milk
For the filling...
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 apples (plain or cooking apples - it doesn't matter)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 a tablespoon of water
Preheat the oven to about 180 to 200 degrees celsius
If you are using shop-bought pastry, skip the next couple of steps
To make the pastry, add the butter and flour to a mixing bowl and crumb the two together using your hands. When this is done, combine the sugar into the crumbed mixture - you can use a spoon or your hands to do this.
Add in the egg and some milk to soften the mixture into a ball of pastry dough - once this is done, leave it in the fridge for a while (I left it in the fridge for about an hour and a half, but if you have more time then leave it in for longer).
Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out into a large rectangle and cut out little discs using either a cookie cutter or a pastry cutting tool. Each pastry requires two discs, one for the base and one to act as a lid, so make sure you cut out twice the amount of pastries that you want. Lay out half of the discs onto a pre-lined baking tray.
Next, finely chop the apples and add them into a saucepan. To add some sharpness (and to prevent the apples from browning), add in the juice of one lemon. Add in the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a drop of water and let the mixture simmer over a low heat for four to five minutes. The mixture will be done when the apples have softened.
Place the apple mixture onto half of the pastry discs. Beat an egg in a mug and brush the egg wash over the other half of the pastry discs. Place the egg-washed pastry on top of the apple covered discs with the washed side facing down. Pinch the corners of the pastries to seal the mixture inside.
Brush the egg wash on top of the pastries, and then bake them in the oven for about five to ten minutes. Make sure you check on them frequently, as they can burn quite quickly.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this Christmassy recipe - let me know in the comments if you decide to try baking these. They are quite time consuming to make, but trust me, they really are worth the effort.