Iberico pork fat apple pie
For the pockets
250g plain flour (I prefer bread flour for this)
7g dried yeast
30g Iberico pork fat (or lard)
5g sea salt (approx 1 tsp)
125 ml lukewarm water (approx.)
½ tsp apple cider vinegar (or white, cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar)
oil or lard for frying - enough to fill a frying pan 1 inch deep
For the filling
4 Bramley apples – peeled, cored and roughly chopped
100g dry cider
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
pinch of sea salt
2 cinnamon sticks
For the cinnamon dust
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
Makes 10 large pockets
Put the flour and fat (lard or oil) in a bowl. On one side put the yeast, and on the other the salt. Add the water slowly, mixing it in. You may not need it all. Once the mixture is holding together as a dough, you can stop adding the water. Add a little flour if it is too wet (although try to avoid this by adding the water slowly).
Knead the mixture for 5-10 minutes until it feels more elastic and is softer. Place in a bowl covered with a damp clean tea towel or some cling film.
While this is rising, make the apple compote filling. Combine the apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, cider and stick them into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.
As soon as the liquid is boiling, remove the apples with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the cinnamon in the pan and reduce the liquid by half.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the cubed butter to the reduced liquid and create a caramel by stirring the butter into the mix.
Add apples to the caramel, stir and cover for a couple of minutes until they are just soft, but still retaining their shape, then season them with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside to cool.
Make the cinnamon dust by combining the sugar and spices in a spice grinder and set aside till the pockets are hot and ready.
When the dough has double in size (this will depend on the temperature of the room, always faster in an airing cupboard or by a radiator). Knock it back (punch the air out of the dough), then roll on a floured surface until it is approximately 3 mm thick.
Cut into rectangles approximately 2 inches x 1 inch. Although feel free to play around with sizes.
Test the oil by adding scraps of dough, once the dough puffs up it is ready. Fry for a couple of minutes each side, turning very carefully. Drain carefully onto paper towels.
Break open one of the pockets and fill with the apple compote. Dust with the cinnamon dust and eat immediately.
You could also fill the gnocco fritto with some Mortadella, sliced cheese, or Iberico Ham for a savoury option.