About this recipe: Here are some luxurious little ‘moneybag’ filo pastries filled with a ginger-spiced mixture of dried fruit, apple and walnuts. The dried fruits are first soaked in brandy, although you can replace the alcohol with fresh orange juice if you prefer. Try these at Christmas-time as a lower-fat alternative to mince pies.
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For an unusual scented flavour, replace the brandy with cold Earl Grey tea, or with a fruit tea such as apple and ginger. * To make date and apricot parcels, place 115 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots and 115 g (4 oz) stoned dates, both finely chopped, in a bowl with 4 tbsp orange juice. Stir, then leave to soak for 1 hour. Add the finely grated zest of ½ orange, 25 g (scant 1 oz) chopped pistachio nuts, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ¼ tsp orange flower water. Cut 2 stacked sheets of filo pastry into 3 long strips, then cut each strip across in half to measure about 10 x 25 cm (4 x 10 in). Melt 20 g (¾ oz) butter and brush lightly over the 12 pastry strips. Place a rounded tbsp of the filling at one end of each strip. Fold one corner over the filling to make a triangular shape, then keep folding over down the length of the strip to make a triangular pastry. Brush lightly with the remaining butter, place on a baking sheet and bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown.
Dried fruit is naturally sweet with fructose, so no sugar is needed in this filling. Dried fruit is also a source of nutrients including dietary fibre, iron, calcium, phosphorus and some B vitamins. * Herbalists use ginger for its anti-sickness properties and as an aid to digestion. It is also thought to protect against infections of the digestive and respiratory systems.