Rather like the classic French pastry, Chaussons aux Pommes (or even the British Apple Turnover), these hand pies are made with puff pastry, and filled with meltingly soft fruit. Slightly tart rhubarb and cooking apples, some sugar and sweet spices, broken down with a little heat and then filled into these freeform pastry cases. They will draw you in, the nibbed sugar encouraging a top down approach to biting into it, the filling perhaps providing a covert introduction to rhubarb to little ones, who might otherwise reject this very seasonal and British fruit.
Cooking the fruit off a little first to a jammy consistency also reduces moisture and keeps the pastry crisp as it bakes. Add a spoon of flour to thicken it and soak up any excess moisture.
Do get the kids involved in sprinkling the toppings. Kids love sprinkling stuff, albeit licking their fingers as they go, but it is good to be getting them involved, being part of the creative process, and having a sense of ownership and control – something they do not often get to feel!
Sourcing nibbed sugar – if you cannot find it at your local supermarket then you can easily find it online – we sourced a packet from Bakery Bits that has lasted us many pannetones and similar fruit filled pastries. A little will go a long way.
A simple fruit pie, perfect for lunchboxes and early summer picnics. Make them small like we have here or upsize them for grown ups
- 2 stalks rhubarb, chopped into 1cm cubes
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 120g (Half Cup) granulated sugar
- 2 cooking apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Half a vanilla pod
- 1 tablespoon Plain (all purpose) flour
- 500g (17.6 oz) puff pastry - ready made is perfectly good
- 1 small egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk to make an egg wash
- 2 tablespoons nibbed (pearl) sugar
- Put the chopped rhubarb into a large frying pan, sprinkle over the lemon juice, zest and sugar.
- Cook the fruit over a medium heat for around 15 minutes until it softens, the fibre breaks down.
- At first lots of water will come out of the fruit. Let this simmer off a bit, but you do not want to cook it so long that it becomes too mushy.
- Add the apple, cinnamon and vanilla. Allow the apple and spices to mix in by heating for a further couple of minutes.
- Add the flour and stir it through to thicken the sauce.
- Allow the fruit to cool whilst to prepare the pastry.
- Heat oven to 200Deg C (190Deg Fan, 400DegF).
- Roll pastry to a thickness of 3 to 5mm.
- Cut into circles of 5cm (2 inch) size - or larger if you prefer
- Place a teaspoon of filling on alternate circles of pastry
- Brush the remaining pastry circles with egg wash and lay this egg wash side down onto the fruit-topped circles.
- Seal the edges, brush the tops with more egg wash and sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle. Be generous with the nibbed sugar.
- Bake for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container.
This recipe makes around 24 tarts. Perfect for treats and for sharing.
Linking this to Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season Linky
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Other mini pies from the interweb
Rhubarb turnovers from Urvashi
Summer fruit tartlets from Ren
Maids of Honour from Jac
Plum and almond galettes from Sarah