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.
6 sheets filo pastry, 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 in) each, about 180 g (6¼ oz) in total
45 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
150 g (5½ oz) mixed dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins, currants and diced peel
4 tbsp brandy
1 cooking apple, about 250 g (8½ oz)
30 g (1 oz) preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
25 g (scant 1 oz) chopped walnuts
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
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To make the filling, place the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy and stir. Cover and leave to soak for 1 hour or until the brandy has been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Peel, core and coarsely grate the apple. Add to the soaked dried fruit together with the ginger, walnuts and lemon zest. Mix well together.
Lay the sheets of filo out, stacking them on top of each other. Cut the stack into six 15 cm (6 in) squares, trimming off the excess pastry. You will have 36 squares. Brush each square very lightly with melted butter and layer them, with the corners offset, to make 12 stacks of 3 squares each.
Place about 1 tbsp of the fruit mixture on each stack, then gather up the edges and pinch together at the top to enclose the filling.
Place the pastries on a non-stick baking sheet and brush lightly with the remaining butter. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.
Each serving provides
A, C, copper
Some more ideas
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.