Standard kiddy party fare seems all cakes and cupcakes, messy frosting and sugar rushes. But not this time! Handheld apple pies are an adorable modern twist on desserts that, when warmed, are a perfect cold-weather goody. Not to mention, they're fun for kids to eat.
Try this recipe from Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child by Annabel Karmel, a leading author on cooking for kids. Her light, crispy pastries are refreshing – and the cinnamon-apple filling is just the right amount of sweet to satisfy taste buds of all ages. And, she adds, there's more fruit than "gloop," making for a nice health boost.
Hints: Try other fruit fixin's for an easy-as-pie switcharoo, like cherries, blueberries or peach. More adventurous? Apple pie is amazing paired with a bit of cheddar cheese (serve it on the side). Milk is a classic pie companion beverage; serve it milkshake style, making it a wintry affair by adding a few squirts of chocolate syrup and a drop of peppermint extract.
- 2 large apples, peeled and cored (Karmel uses Pink Lady)
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 6 large sheets filo pastry
- 1 tsp. confectioners' sugar, to serve
- Grate the apples into a microwavable bowl. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon; then toss to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, punch a steam hole and microwave 3 to 4 minutes, until the apples are softening but not mushy. Alternatively, simmer the apples in a small saucepan for 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover and let stand until cool, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet with a little of the melted butter.
- Lay one filo sheet on a flat work surface and brush generously with the melted butter. Fold in half (short end to short end) and brush again with butter. Put a rounded tablespoonful of the apple filling at one of the short ends of the folded filo and spread out slightly, leaving a 3/4-inch border on either side.
- Fold in the two long sides (partially covering the filling at the bottom) and brush the folded-in margins with butter. Roll up from the filled end to make a cylinder.
- Set the pie, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a lightly dampened towel or paper towels. Repeat with the remaining filo, butter and apple.
- Brush the tops and sides of the pies with butter and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Allow the pies to cool for around 30 minutes; then dust with the confectioners' sugar. Makes six pies.
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For a party: Kids can grab their handheld pies and eat them on the go and munch them in front of a movie. Or, serve the pies at the table, adding a scoop of ice cream to everyone's plates. It'll be a cool twist.