Nigel Slater’s recipe for apple and sultana pastries

Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 8. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Peel and core 750g of apples, then roughly chop them. Place the pieces in a medium-sized deep saucepan with 2 tbsp of water. Bring them to the boil, then lower the heat and let them cook over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, until fluffy. Stir them regularly so they don’t stick. Stir in 75g of sultanas, a half tsp of mixed spice and half a tsp of ground cinnamon and set aside to cool.

Roll 320g of pastry into a rectangle measuring 36 x 25cm. Turn so the longest edge is facing you. Spread the apple and spice mixture over the pastry leaving a 3cm rim of bare pastry around the edges.

Brush the edges with beaten egg, then roll the pastry up from right to left, pressing the egg-brushed edges firmly to seal, then cut the roll into 12 equal slices. Carefully lay each slice on the baking sheet, cut side up, then brush the pastry lightly with a little more beaten egg. Bake the pastries for 15 minutes, until risen and pale gold, then remove them from the oven.

Brush them all over with 4 tbsp of maple syrup, sprinkle over a tsp of poppy seeds and return to the oven for 7 minutes until dark golden, then transfer the pastries to a cooling rack and leave for 10 minutes before serving. Eat warm or cold, with or without cream. Makes 12 slim pastries

It is worth making sure that the apples are firm and cool before spreading them on the pastry. Hot, juicy apples will make the job of rolling difficult.

You can leave the pastries, sliced and ready to bake, in the fridge until you are ready. They will keep for several hours.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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