Little Spiced Apple Pies

November 20, 2015
These are inspired by traditional British mince pies, which are made with dried fruit, sugar, spices, and brandy. Mince pies are not part of the Scandinavian Christmas tradition. When I moved to the UK for the first time, I had difficulty understanding what mince pies were, because I thought it had something to do with meat! You cannot buy the “mincemeat” fruit filling in Scandinavia, so back home in Denmark I started making small apple pies inspired by the spicing in a British mince pie.


Makes 20 pies

For the pastry

7⁄8 cup [110 g] powdered sugar, plus more to dust (optional)

2 7⁄8 cups [340 g] all-purpose flour, plus more to dust

Pinch of salt

1 cup [225 g] butter, chopped and chilled

1 egg, lightly beaten, plus more to glaze


For the filling

14 oz [400 g] tart eating apples

½ cup [100 g] superfine sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 ½ Tsp [50 ml] calvados


For the pastry, sift the powdered sugar, flour, and salt together, then mix in the butter, either in a food processor or by rubbing it in with your fingers, until it has the consistency of crumbs. Add the egg and mix the dough until it is firm and smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight if that’s more convenient.


Peel the apples, core them, and cut into small cubes, then tip into a saucepan with the sugar and spices and simmer 10 minutes. Add the calvados and let it simmer 5 minutes more, then let cool.