Mini Pork, Sage and Apple Pies

If you like pork pies but aren’t keen on the traditional jelly that they contain, try these.

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I’m one of those people who enjoys a little pork pie for lunch every now and then, but sometimes I find that the shops fill them more with the cheap jelly than actual meat. This recipe is therefore an ideal change to the supermarket snack, but it is also perfect for festive parties as the little pies are great finger food. You can serve these warm or cold so they can be made ahead if you want.

Each pastry-wrapped morsel is full of flavour from the pork and sage, with hints of sweetness from the apple pieces hidden in the mixture.

To make these quicker and easier I have used frozen shortcrust pastry. I’d be lost without it. If you want ideas of what to serve these with, I would suggest some of your favourite relish or pickle (I love Branston Pickle).

Ingredients – makes 12 mini pies:

  • 500g/1 lb pork mince (ground)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • a little black pepper, to season
  • 4 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed (my sheets are 25cm/10 inches square)
  • a little milk, to glaze

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
  • Spray a 12-hole standard muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Put the pork, onion, apple, sage and black pepper in a large bowl and use your clean hands to mix.
  • From your pastry sheets, cut out 12 rounds for the pie bases (about 10cm/4 inches diameter is a good size) and 12 rounds to form the pie tops (about 6cm / 2.5 inches).
  • Line each of the holes of the muffin pan with a larger pastry round, then fill each to the brim (tightly packed) with the pork mixture.
  • Top each pie with one of the smaller rounds and press around the edges to seal.
  • Cut a small slit in the centre of the top of each pie using a sharp knife – this lets the steam escape.
  • Glaze the pie tops with a little milk to help them brown.
  • Cook for 30 minutes. The pies will be golden.
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the edge of each pie to help release it from the pan.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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