Looking for a baked fruit dessert without butter, lots of sugar, or artificial ingredients? Try this recipe for Apple-Raisin Pockets. Just wrap the appealing, apple-pie-like filling with a healthy dough based on bread instead of pie crust.
Use the dairy-free, slightly sweet dough below. For a more sophisticated flavor combination that is also vegan, use the Whisk Pizza Dough or Speedy Grilled Pizza Dough from Wildly Affordable Organic. Whisk Pizza Dough does not require a bread machine or kneading, but does rest at least one night in the refrigerator. All these options are lower in fat and higher in whole-grain goodness than pie dough.
Make-ahead or small-family tip: I like to make all the dough at once, then roll out and bake three batches of Apple-Raisin Pockets over a two-week period, using fresh apples each time. This makes the active time of the first batch only 40 minutes and the active time for the other two batches about 30 minutes each.
Active time: 1 hour. Total time: 3 hours. Serves 12.
Slightly Sweet Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (120 grams)
1/4 cup wheat germ (32 grams)
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (one packet)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons corn oil or other neutral oil
1 1/3 cup warm water (about 115°F)
extra flour for rolling out dough
Apple-Raisin Filling for 12 people (6 pockets)
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar (6 tablespoons or 75 grams)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 medium Granny Smith apples or other tart apples
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons raisins (6 tablespoons)
Apple-Raisin Filling for 4 people (2 pockets)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 medium Granny Smith apples or other tart apples
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons raisins
- Put all ingredients for Slightly Sweet Dough in a bread machine and mix on the dough setting. Let rise until doubled, about two hours. (Or make a half recipe of Whisk Pizza Dough or a whole recipe of Speedy Grilled Pizza Dough from Wildly Affordable Organic.) At this point, you can refrigerate dough for up to two weeks in a lightly covered bowl. Take dough out of refrigerator about thirty minutes before continuing with step 2.
- About thirty minutes before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 400°F, with a bread stone on the bottom rack if you have one.
- Cut each apple into quarters and cut out the core. Slice each quarter into four long slices, then cut slices across three or four times.
- Mix sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium pot, add water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, then add apples. Cook apples uncovered until fork-tender, about eight minutes. Add raisins.
- Meanwhile, divide dough into 12 pieces (about 120 grams each) or if working in batches, divide one-third of the dough half and refrigerate any remaining dough. Roll out each piece between two pieces of well-floured parchment paper or on a clean, well-floured counter. Spread apple mixture on bottom half of dough circle and fold dough over apple mixture.
- Pinch edges of dough together to seal, then cut three slits in the top of the Apple-Raisin Pocket to allow steam to escape while it bakes. Open the slits a bit so they don't seal as the dough rises.
- Bake Apple-Raisin Pockets on parchment paper and a bread stone or cookie sheet for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and juice just starts to bubble out of the slits. (The picture below shows Apple Pockets that were baked about 3 minutes more than ideal.) Brush off any extra flour and cool for at least 5 minutes.
- To serve, cut each pocket in half. Serve warm or at room temperature. Best fresh from the oven, but any extra keeps covered at room temperature for about three days.
Tips and notes:
This recipe uses some steps that you may be tempted to skip. Do so at your own risk: you may wind up with Soggy Hollow Pocket Syndrome:
- Adding water to the pan lets you start cooking the apples without burning them.
- Cooking the apples until soften and somewhat smaller means they don't do all their shrinking beneath a baked-in-place dough roof.
- Adding raisins at the end allows them to serve as natural sponges as the apples produce more liquid during baking.
- Making larger pockets and cutting them in half reduces the work and gives you more fruit than dough in nearly every bite.
Instead of Granny Smith apples, try other tart baking apples such as Arkansas Black or Braeburn. If you use sweeter baking apples such as Gala, Fuji, or Golden Delicious, reduce the sugar a little. Don't use Red Delicious apples, which bake down to mush.