NSPancake season has got to be one of the best times for me; I try to eat one a day during the month of December. After missing out on last year, this year I will be working hard to visit as many bakeries as possible to try theirs. When mince pies fill you with so much joy, it’s frustrating to sit at the table only to discover that your colleagues don’t feel the same way about raisins and dried fruits. I have a little like that – they will take out the filling and just eat the pastry. It makes me sad, so I thought something had to be done. This is my take on the alternative mince pie for friends who don’t like it.
apple cherry pancakes
to equip 1 hour
Cold 4 hr 35 min
cook 40 minutes
110g fine sugar
260g plain flour
fine pinch of salt
125g cold unsalted buttercubed
430g Bramley apples, peeled and seeded, cubes
120gm golden fine sugar
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
20 ml sweet sherry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
melted butterfor lubrication
Demerara sugarto spray
For the pastries, put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer/food processor and mix well. Add the butter and mix until breadcrumbs form, then add the egg, sprinkle with water and mix again until a dough forms. Add another spray of water, if needed. Gently knead until smooth, then shape into a disk, wrap tightly and put in the refrigerator for four hours
Put the apples, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan, stir and cook over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the apples are translucent while keeping their shape and the sugar has dissolved. Add the sherry, then use a perforated spoon to transfer the fruit to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk the cornmeal with the remaining apple liquid in the skillet until the lumps are gone, then pour into the cooked apples, stirring to coat the fruit with the cornmeal mixture, then allow to cool completely.
To assemble muffins, generously grease 9 muffin holes in a deep muffin pan, and let cool 15 minutes.
Gently knead the cooled pastry, rolling it out until it reaches a thickness of 4-5 mm. Cut nine 10cm discs for the bases and nine 6cm discs for the lids, and re-roll the scraps as needed.
Press large pastry circles into muffin tins, making sure there are no holes. Pour the apple mixture and fill the jars up to a centimeter from the top. Place the eyelids and fold the edges to seal the pancakes. Cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190°C (170 fan)/375°F/gas 5. Pierce the top of each pie with a knife, sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes, then rub carefully and eat warm or at room temperature.
Fiona Beckett’s drinks match These pancakes contain sherry, so it makes sense to drink sherry With Them – sherry cream, for preference. Waitrose No. 1 Rich Cream Cherry (£11.99 full-size bottle, 20% off), which is made by biggest sherry producer Lustau, would be perfect.