Apple, Raisin and Cinnamon Pastries
This is a low fat treat for afternoon tea or dessert. Although pastry is usually off limits, filo pastry is relatively low fat if brushed lightly with sunflower oil rather than melted butter. You can either make individual pastries –which I think always looks special – or you can make a single pie.
For 6 pastries:
6 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and cut into chunks
A handful or two of raisins, steeped in Redbush tea
1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 packet of filo pastry
Start by making the filling.
Gently sauté the apple in a non-stick pan until it starts to caramelise lightly in its own sugars. You may need to add a drop or two of water to prevent it sticking. Keep a careful eye. You want the apple to be soft but still holding its shape. Add the cinnamon and mix gently.
While the apple is cooking, soak the raisins in Redbush tea. Leave to steep. If you don’t have any Redbush tea you could use some green tea or camomile. When the raisins are plumped up, drain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Add the raisins to the cooked apple.
Now start with the pastry.
The important thing to know about filo pastry – in case you are not familiar with it yet – is that it dries out very quickly. So before you even open the wrapping, dampen a clean tea towel and have it ready. Now pour a few spoons of sunflower oil into a bowl and have ready a pastry brush. Also prepare an oven tray lined with baking paper.
What you are going to do is this:
Open the wrapper and carefully unroll the filo. Keep it covered with the damp tea towel.
Remove 3 pieces, one at a time, and lay on a chopping board. Brush each layer with a little oil before laying the next piece on top.
Now cut the pastry into 3 squares. Place a tablespoon of apple and raisin mixture in the middle of each pastry square. Bring up to the middle and secure with a piece of kitchen string.
Repeat with the rest of the pastry or until your apple mixture is used up. If you have any pastry left over you can use it for another dish or freeze it.
Once all your pastry parcels are ready on the baking sheet, brush them lightly with a little oil.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 C/350 F for 15 – 20 minutes. Keep a careful eye that the pasty does not burn.
Allow to cool slightly and then carefully cut and remove the string.
Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar.
Put on the kettle, make a pot of tea and enjoy.