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These are always a hit in our household as the inviting dough hides the fragrant sweet apple inside!
For the dough
300g self-raising flour
175g butter, diced and chilled
3-4 Tbsp plain yoghurt
Icing sugar for dusting
Butter for greasing
For the filling
4 large apples, peeled and coarsely grated
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips. (This can also be done in the food processor.) Add the yoghurt and mix lightly until the dough just begins to come together. It should feel crumbly. Do not be tempted to knead; just gather all the crumbs from the side of the bowl into a ball, pressing them together with your hands.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the grated apples, lemon juice and sugar into a small pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat and add the spice and nuts if using. Stir to evenly mix and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180degC.
Lightly grease two baking trays with a little butter.
Divide the dough into 20 evenly sized balls. Roll each piece into a ball, then press your thumb into the ball to make a large hollow, spoon the filling into the hollows and press the dough over it to seal. Pat them down very gently. Put the balls seam side down on the prepared trays and bake for about 35 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and sift over icing sugar and a little cinnamon, then let cool.
They can be kept for 2-3 days or frozen.
• Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.