It’s Bramley Apple Week! I bet you didn’t even know that Bramley apples had a week. It might seem a little strange to have an entire week dedicated to apples (and one particular variety of apples, at that), but Bramley apples are almost a British institution. They were first sold in England in the 19th century, and are commonly used in the classic British apple pie.
My Granny made the best apple pie in the world, so rather than attempting (and failing) to recreate her recipe, I thought I’d put my own twist on it, and make little pie bites instead. I’ve kind of gone for the sweet / savoury thing. They’re not exactly a dessert, but there’s definitely a hint of sweetness about them – just enough to offset the tart apples. They’re probably best served as a fun little canapé at a party – they’re just a couple of mouthfuls each.
(or one if you’re feeling ambitious)
Along with the Bramley apples, I used some soft goat’s cheese, since apple and goat’s cheese are best buds. I also added some fresh thyme – the whole thyme+fruit+cheese thing worked so well in my blackberry and goat’s cheese tarts that I thought I’d give it another go.
It was a reeeeally successful combination once again, by the way. The goat’s cheese cooked right down into the melt-in-your-mouth apple, and the thyme gave a lovely earthy scent. Delish.
If you’re too lazy to make full-sized pies (helloooo), these little pie bites are the thing for you. You don’t need to be a master baker – just cut the pastry into vague triangles, add your fillings, and roll them up. We’re going for rustic here (my favourite get-out clause), so don’t be too fussy about them. You’ll see that when I say vague triangles, I really mean it…
If you have any scraps of pastry left over after cutting your triangles, you can either re-roll it and cut more triangles, or you could do what I did (a.k.a. the easier option), and just bodge the scraps into slightly less beautiful pie bites.
Will you be busting out the Bramley apples this week?
- Flour for dusting
- 225 g shortcrust pastry ~1 cup
- 1 Bramley apple
- 40 g soft goat’s cheese
- leaves A few sprigs fresh thyme only
- 2 tsp sugar white or brown
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a rough rectangle. Cut it into around ten triangles - the wide ends of the triangles should be approximately the same width as a wedge of apple, and they should be around 15cm long (see photos above).
Peel the apple, and cut it into 1cm wedges. Add a wedge of apple to the wide end of each of your pastry triangles. Top with some soft goat’s cheese and a pinch of fresh thyme leaves.
Dip a clean finger in some milk or water, and wet the exposed pastry, from the apple right up to the tip - this will help it to stick together. Starting from the wide end, roll each piece of apple and goat’s cheese up in the pastry until you reach the tip of the triangle. Press together gently to seal, and fold in any loose corners.
Place each roll on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Again with a clean finger, wet the top of each roll, and sprinkle on a little sugar.
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until golden brown.