Spurred on during a conversation when isolating with COVID I got talking about making my own McDonald's apple pie but in a cheats way. Obviously if you're going to cheat you're not going to make your own pastry, so the only thing I need to do was work on the filling. I've seen a number of recipes just use freshly sliced apples, and whilst I like a bit of a bite, I think you get so much more from the flavour if some pre-baking is involved. Besides for a classic apple pie you need to follow one of the two rules, either cook the apples first or at least cook their juices, otherwise you end up with a waterlogged pie. Originally I tried cooking all of the apples but I went to the other extreme of having baby food, so I ended up trying one apple pre-baked and the other not. Now I know I've said pre-baking and these are meant to be a cheats version, but the pre-baking which is required in this recipe is microwaving. Zapping the sugared and spiced apple first softens it enough to release some juices but not turn them into puree. You can then sandwich them between the fresh apple and spoon a little liquid over the top before sealing them in pastry. I have to admit ready roll pastry isn't very forgiving when it comes to stretchiness so you may need to trim and patch. If you do then use the egg wash as glue. I've not seen many, if any, air fryer cooker recipes where bakes are flipped half way through baking. I know it's not always easy, I wouldn't flip over a cake, but specifically with pastry you do need an even bake as no one wants raw rough, besides it helps seal everything in and gives a nice crunch. Finally, the leftover egg glaze, don't chuck it. If you add it to an instant custard, microwave and stir regularly, you can make a nice and cheap egg custard which is perfect when poured into a bowl with one of the pockets placed on top.
Hands-on Time 7 minutes plus cooling
Baking Time 22 minutes
2 Green apples
1 tbsp Caster sugar
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 sheet Ready rolled puff pastry (320-375g packet)
Icing sugar for dusting
Peel, halve, and remove the core from one apple.
Slice the apply halves thinly and place into a microwaveable dish.
Sprinkle over the sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon and toss using your hands to coat all slices.
Pop the dish into the microwave for 1 minute (these timings are based on an 800w microwave).
Using a spoon, gently turn the slices over and pop them back in for another minute.
Remove the dish and leave it to stand for a few minutes so the apple can cool.
Peel, halve, and remove the core from the other apple before thinly slicing.
Take the pastry sheet and divide into 2 strips using a clean knife. You want to cut each strip into two rectangles but not evenly sized. You want the piece you’re using for the base to be a little smaller than the piece which will be the top.
Set aside the larger rectangles.
Place the smaller rectangles onto a piece of baking parchment. If you won’t be able to put both in your fryer at the same time, then separate the parchment now. Lay the apples onto the pastry, alternating between fresh and cooked apple. For the cooked apple try and shake any juice off. You may find you have a few slices left over, obviously eat them.
Spoon a little juice over the apples, you don’t want it to pool down over the pastry though.
Beat an egg in a bowl using the spoon or the pastry brush, and brush the outside edges of the pastry bases.
Take the larger rectangles, gently stretch them a little and place them over the apples. Cup your hands and gently press the pastry down to seal the apples in.
Using the handle of the spoon or a fork, press around the edges of the pastry to ensure it’s nice and sealed.
If you are baking one at a time, pop one pastry into the fridge.
Brush the one you’re going to bake all over with the egg.
Pop the pastry into your fryer at 180°C and bake for 10 minutes.
When the time has passed, carefully remove it and flip the pastry over. You may need to use a flat edged spatula if it’s a little struck to the parchment.
Brush the bottom of the pastry with more egg and bake again for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the fryer. You should now have a wonderfully golden pastry on both sides.
Flip them right way up and either leave a little and serve warm, or leave to completely cool down. Repeat the above steps if you are baking one at a time.
Dust with icing sugar.