Monday, July 23, 2012

Apple and Pear Pies beware the hungry cat

Remember how I received this fabulous Mystery Box? Well, here's something else I made with the ingredients, although how the final product ended up also became a Mystery.

These little Apple and Pear Pies are an irresistible combination of delicious and adorable. While they are a fiddly to make - lots of rolling of pastry and waiting for it to chill - the end result will give you that feeling of being a domestic goddess. That's how I felt, at least, when the pies came out of the oven. 

Some time was spent admiring these golden morsels (does that sound like Nigella or what??) before we tucked in and ate a couple of them for afternoon tea. A few more were had for dessert (with whipped cream!).  A single pie remained, which I had dibs on. So, wrapped in foil, it waited for me to take the next day. 
Until *da-Da-DAH!* it became the focus of "The Mystery of the Purloined Pie".

What happened next? Read on to find out...

Apple and Pear Pies
makes 12

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
2 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks (from Mystery Box)
30g unsalted butter
10 fresh dates, pitted, roughly chopped (from Mystery Box)
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar, plus extra, to dust
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (from Mystery Box) or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tblsp milk, to brush

2 cups plain flour
50g ground almonds
1/4 cup caster sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
250g cold unsalted butter, chopped
1/4 cup chilled water 

1.  For pastry: put all the pastry ingredients, except the water, in a food processor and process until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the chilled water and process until mixture just comes together. Divide pastry into 12 pieces, shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2.  For the filling: Peel pears, core and cut into 1.5cm pieces. Melt butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add pears, apples, dates, sugar and vanilla, and cook for 5 minutes or until pears and apples are tender. Add cornflour and stir to combine and cook until very thick. Cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
3.  Roll out the pastry discs on lightly floured baking paper until 3mm thick, then cut into 11.5cm rounds. Gather scraps together and refrigerate. Grease a 12-hole (1/3-cup) muffin tin, line with pastry rounds, then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll out pastry scraps, cut out 12 x 7cm rounds, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4.  Place a heavy-based oven tray in the oven and preheat oven to 200°C.
5.  Mix the cinnamon with the breadcrumbs and spoon into the pie cases, then top with apple and pear filling. Place a pastry round on top, fold in edges to seal, then cut a slit in the top. Brush tops lightly with milk, dust with extra sugar, place pies on heated oven tray and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from the tin.

recipe adapted from
Ripe pears, crunchy apples and luscious dates make up the filling.
The pastry is shaped into discs before refrigerating.

Cut the pastry to fit into the holes of a muffin tin. Then, fill with the apple/pear/date mixture and top with a pastry hat.

These are just like mince pies in shape, but are much lighter and easier to eat, in my opinion.

There was one pie left over which I securely wrapped in aluminium foil, to be taken to work the next day for morning tea. But I forgot to take it and it was left on the kitchen benchtop.

Then this was encountered when one of us got home...

Forensics was immediately called to photograph evidence of the crime (though they forgot to adjust the camera settings, which is why the photo is a bit crappy).

After some investigation, the pie-stealing culprit was revealed. No guesses who it was.
Looks like Tabitha cat had enough of the pie after a couple of bites, but rest assured that uneaten pies will no longer be left unattended in this household!


  1. Ha Ha, looks like Miss Tabitha has good food taste. She obviously likes pastry (as do I).

  2. This is hilarious!! Tabitha looks like she enjoyed that little pie! These look adorable and I love the look of that crumbly pastry!

  3. Haha so cheeky! Unwrapping foil and everything? Tabitha's totes got skills!

  4. Classic! You'd better be careful as Tabitha may start looking like podgy Henry. Your pies look amazing!

  5. They are such cuties! I would almost not want to eat them because of how adorable they are. Almost.

    Whoever could have stolen it!!??!!

  6. Your pies look fantastic! Love the colour the pastry got.. and that filling - I really enjoy that you can see you've still got chunks of apple and pear, as opposed to just mush.

  7. Apples and pears all together in a pie...they sure look awesome...I absolutely love the mini size. Tabitha sure enjoyed it hehehe!
    Enjoy your week Bel :)

  8. Fancy Tabitha liking apple pie! They're awfully cute in muffin size, and I like the sound of the added dates.

  9. haha, she is...BUSTED! Licking of the lips is not a good to hide it! LOL But hey, from what I see, it was so worth it.

  10. LOL Tabitha....I really love your sweetie.
    These mini pies look gorgeous, no wonder she loves it.

  11. Hehe I never knew that cats ate fruit pies too! But if I were a cat, you'd bet I'd be hopping up to steal a bite or two :P

  12. Gorgeous little pies, since she started, I hope you let Tabitha finish the pie or are fruit pies no good for cats?

  13. Nice looking pies and packed full of yummy filling!
    Great post

  14. Oh my goodness! I was licking my lips just like your little kitty there. I've been thinking about pies all week. You must've read my mind.

  15. My husband Pete would just love these little pies and so would I :)

  16. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)