Wintery Filo Parcels
This is (only) the second time that I felt the need to post something here that I’ve also posted on my German blog. These wintery filo parcels are one of those things that came about quite spontaneously, and they turned out really well. That’s how I justify this double-posting. But let me start at the beginning.
I just finished another book where one of the main characters is a café owner. If you’re wondering what kinds of books I read – this was pure chick lit, I admit that freely. Around Christmas time this person came up with some ingredients that sounded really good - cranberries, apples, chopped nuts, and melted butter. And even though I don’t even know what she intended to make from them, I immediately knew what I was going to make.
Reading melted butter made me think of filo pastry, because it needs severe buttering due to its brittle consistency. [Even though I've been known to use an oil spray before, I used lots of butter here. Because it just helps the consistency. And it tastes better...] The cranberries and apples made me think of cardamom and cinnamon. Add to that some dark muscavado sugar and golden syrup – yes, I could almost see and taste it!
I was so excited that unfortunately I forgot to add chopped nuts, which I am sure would have made this even better. Next time, then… Because there will definitely be a next time (and not just because I have tons of leftover filo pastry in the fridge…).
A note on the measurements: I had approximately 200 g of cranberries in the freezer, which made about the same volume as the cut up apples. As for the spices, I think everyone should decide for themselves as tastes differ, but as a pointer: for the amount of fruit I used I added 1 tbsp muscavado sugar, 2 pinches (= 2 x 1 ml measuring spoon) cardamom and 1 pinch (= 1 x 1 ml measuring spoon) cinnamon. The golden syrup I added on a rule of thumb estimate. Taste and add more of everything, if required. My parcels could have been a touch sweeter as the cranberries were quite sour.
Wintery Filo Parcels
frozen cranberries, thawed
Peel apples and cut into smallish cubes. In a bowl, combine apples with cranberries, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and golden syrup. Mix well, then spread out on a small baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C (fan oven).
Melt some butter in a small pot (do not let it boil!).
Meanwhile, prepare the filo pastry by thickly buttering either whole sheets, or pieces. [I didn't mind it being so brittle as I lined my muffin moulds with partly larger pieces and partly strips.] Use some of the melted butter to brush the muffin moulds really well.
Line muffin moulds with the buttered filo pastry, making sure to leave some hanging over the edges.
Fill the pastry lined moulds with the cranberry-apple mix, top with some more golden syrup, then twist the overlaps with your hand and press them down onto the middle so the parcels are closed.
Bake for another 10 – 12 minutes at 200°C (fan oven) until the parcels are slightly browned.
Carefully lift the filo parcels out of their moulds, then arrange on a serving platter or in individual flat paper cases (IKEA) and serve decorated with icing sugar.
As mentioned above, this was another spontaneous experiment that was well worth it. The sour cranberries with the sweetish apples, together with the cardamom-cinnamon-sugar mix complement each other really well. This is something that can quickly and easily be whipped up for guests, with all kinds of seasonal fruit and spices.