This is hardly a recipe - more a simple assembly job, for a cheap and easy midweek treat. It serves 4 and if you shop around could end up costing under £1 a head. Supermarket sausage meat is very cheap, at around £2 for a 500g pack, but can be fatty and make the bottom of the plait rather greasy. I paid almost double that at a good farm shop but the quality of the meat made it into a real treat - and it still came in at around £1.50 a head.
You will need
1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry (You could save even more money by buying a block or making your own, but the ready rolled is exactly the right size for this and a great time saver)
500g pork sausage meat
1 onion, finely chopped
½ tablespoon sunflower oil
1 eating apple
1 beaten egg (optional - you can use milk but it won't look as shiny)
Preheat the oven to 200 C, 180 fan, gas mark 6.
Fry the onion in oil until soft and golden.
Grease a baking tray or line it with non-stick paper and unroll the pastry on to it. Spread the sausage meat lengthwise over the central third of the pastry, leaving about 4 cm clear at each end, then scatter the chopped onion over the top. Peel and slice the apple and arrange the slices over the pork and onions.
Now take a sharp knife and cut diagonal lines from the edge almost to the filling, about 2cm apart, along each edge. Make sure the lines on each side form a chevron shape, so you'll be able to form a plait, and that you have the same number of strips on each side. Brush the tips of the strips with egg or milk, then tuck the end pieces over the meat and lift the strips over, alternately, to form your plait.
Brush the finished plait all over with egg and then bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to make sure the pastry isn't getting too brown - if it is, cover with a piece of foil, because you want to be sure the sausage meat cooks through.
Delicious served hot or cold. All it really needs with it is a simple salad.