Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sugar Free Apple Pies for babies, toddlers and grown ups

A great way to not need to add sugar or reduce sugar in baked goods is to use fruit.  When fruit is ripe there is really no need to go on sweetening it, especially if you have a bit of dried fruit too.

From talking to parents I find that so many get really het up on what they should do if a child refuses part of their meal or holds out for dessert.  I think you have to do the thing which works for you but I'd also advocate making sure the meal is pretty balanced anyway, e.g. having fruit as a dessert or choosing a no added sugar option rather than a sticky cake or chocolate.

Anyway, it's the way I've always approached it and from my sample of one I now have a pretty open minded toddler when it comes to food who was asking for more broccoli yesterday but saying "no" to sweet potato.  Fair enough, I just go with it.  I sometimes feel like kids are born with personalities and my son has definitely inherited my stubborn streak.  There are times when I stand my ground but if I don't allow him some control and choices in his food, he digs his heels in and it gets worse.  Likewise though just because he's refused something once, doesn't mean he won't be offered it again.  This only reinforces fussy behaviour in my opinion.

A great way to get kids trying something they think they don't like is to change the way you offer it, so perhaps mashed sweet potato next time rather than roasted?  He went off broccoli for a while so I used to give him broccoli nuggets and well he's now back to loving it.

So if you do have a fussy child, don't give up, don't stop trying but do make lovely little things like these mini apple pies.  Not only will your child probably wolf them down but also parents think they're pretty good too!

Mini Apple Pies for Babies, Toddlers and Grown ups - makes about 6-8


1 Dessert apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1oz, 30g Sultanas (golden raisins)
3 tbsp Apple juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
A generous pinch of mixed spice (apple pie spice)
1/2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

90g, 3oz Plain flour (all purpose flour)
25g, A scant 1oz Cornflour (cornstarch)
70g, 2.5oz Butter (use non dairy margarine to make vegan)

Milk for brushing (optional)


Put the apple, sultanas, juice, vanilla and spice in a sauce pan.  Simmer until the apple is starting to soften.  Mix the 1/2 tsp cornflour with a tsp of cold water then mix in so the juice is thickened and coats the fruit.  Allow the filling to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200oC / 180oC (fan) / 400F / Gas mark 6.

Use a food processor or a bowl to rub the butter into the flours to resemble breadcrumbs.  Add in cold water, maybe 1-2 tbsp until the pastry starts to come together when you grab a handful.

Bring it together on a clean worktop or board, then flour the surface and roll out until a couple of mm / 1/10th inch thick.

Use a round cookie cutter and cut out circles.  Press them into a fairy cake tin.  (Outside the UK you probably will only have access to cupcake or muffin tins which are much bigger.  Either make bigger pies or go for a mini muffin tin.  They will be more straight sided but should still work.)

Put a tsp of filling into each pastry case then top with a pastry shape of your choosing.

(If there's any pastry left you could reroll it and make jam tarts.  But remember shortcrust pastry doesn't "like" being handled a lot so don't reroll repeatedly.)

Brush with a little cold milk and bake for approx 10 mins or until the pastry is crisp and browning.  Put onto a wire rack, dust with icing sugar if you're wanting to be slightly naughty and either serve warm or cold with cream.

Best eaten the same day or warmed through if eaten on the second day.

Hmm, eat me!


  1. Whoo yummy :)

    Thanks for sharing with us at Creative Mondays...

  2. They are so cute! I've been watching my sugar intake. These are great!

  3. so pretty! I love the fact that its sugar free. Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays {do you have a link back page}:o) Can't wait to see what you bring next week. Emily @ Nap-Time Creations
    oh, and I just posted looking for some help with my blog... maybe you can offer some advice?

    1. Hi Emily, thank you so much for commenting but would you be able to remove the link? I prefer not to have links in comments.


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