"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe."

      ~ Carl Sagan

 Materia Bloga, the Philosopher's Spoon Blog, is updated every week or so with new recipes, new insights, new discoveries and new inspiration. You can read the latest post by clicking on the link below or catch up on previous posts by scrolling down the page or by clicking under the Recent Posts or Archives sections. 

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Steep the teabags in a cupful of hot water for 6 minutes. Discard tea bags and set tea aside (you will need 1/2 cup for the recipe).

In a large saucepan, over med-high heat, melt butter. Add diced apples and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the tea with the lemon juice, both sugars and the salt. Stir to dissolve sugars. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until apples are tender. Remove from heat and stir in tapioca starch. Cool completely. Refrigerate filling until ready to use.

Remove puff pastry from freezer and defrost for about 20 minutes (or according to pkg directions). Make sure pastry is still very cold when you roll it out. Remove filling from fridge, if made the night before.

Preheat oven to 375°F
On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry sheet into a 9-inch square.  Cut each square into 4 smaller squares, making 8 squares total. Lightly butter the cups of a 12 cup muffin pan. Press a pastry square into each cup, forming a crust. Use moistened fingers to crimp edges. Don't worry about making them look perfect. The rustic look is part of the charm. Just make sure crusts do not touch each other in pan. Fill each crust with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling. Sprinkle tops of pies and crusts with a little sugar.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Cool 20 minutes before removing pies from pan.

Makes 8 individual pies.

Here is a sample recipe from the latest book, Cooking and Mysticism: Year One of the Philosopher's Spoon Blog.  New recipes are posted regularly with every blog post:

Little Chai Tea Apple Pies

Chai tea bags lend the perfect flavor to these miniature apple pies.  I like to make the filling the night before I bake the pies.  Serve these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

2 bags Chai spiced tea

Water for boiling

3 Gala apples, cored, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

(approximately 3 and 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons butter (plus a bit more for greasing pan)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup organic sugar

1/4 cup organic golden brown sugar

A pinch of salt

1 tablespoon organic tapioca starch

One 16oz  package puff pastry sheets
Flour for dusting

Additional organic sugar for sprinkling