Friday, October 22, 2021

A Tart Apple


This involves Brandy and Apples. A delicious treat indeed says Yankee Magazine Senior Food Editor Amy Traverso, who wrote the newly-revised Apple Lover's Cookbook. She came by Tonia's Kitchen to share a great idea for French Apple Tarts with Phyllo dough. This being in the French tradition,, Amy told Tonia she uses black pepper, along with ginger to create this special dessert. Dressing the Phyllo dough gives it a very inviting appearance that looks fancy, but is actually very easy to create.

For the apple filling:

  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 5 medium apples (peeled, cored and sliced in to 1/2 inch slices)

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or a lighter 18 or 10% cream mixed with 2 tsp. of cornstarch)
  • Optional: splash of brandy (or whiskey or rum)

For assembly:

  • 5-6 sheets phyllo dough (thawed)
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter


  • Prepare the filling: Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Cut your peeled apples in to quarters, remove the core, then slice into 1/2-inch slices. Add apple slices to your pan and cook, stirring, until apples are tender. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add brown sugar and cream. Stir to combine. Allow mixture to cook, bubbling, until sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (or make ahead and refrigerate until ready to assemble).

  • To make tart: Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter and have a pastry brush ready. Have a damp, clean tea towel handy. Brush your pie plate with a bit of melted butter. Remove thawed phyllo from fridge. Take one full sheet and brush lightly with melted butter. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with damp towel while you aren't working with it. Drape the phyllo sheet over the pie plate. Don't try to press it down at this point, as it may tear. Butter another sheet of phyllo and lay it over the bottom sheet at an angle to the first one. Repeat with a third sheet of phyllo, buttering and then laying it over the pie plate at an angle to the first two. At this point, you should have covered all of the pie plate. If not, add another layer.
  • Gently press down in the center of the pie plate to make a cavity. Using kitchen scissors, trim the excess phyllo to within 1 inch of the edge of the pie plate. Reserve scraps. Add your cooled or refrigerated apple filling to the pie plate. Fold the edges of the phyllo in towards the filling to make a neat edge. Brush with melted butter. Take the reserved phyllo scraps and one piece at a time, scrunch them up and place on top of the filling until the top is covered (you may need to use an additional sheet of buttered phyllo to cover it all). Dap lightly over the scrunched up phyllo with butter. Place pie plate on to a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. Be sure to watch closely near the end to ensure the phyllo doesn't burn. It should be a lovely over-all golden color. As the filling is already cooked, you don't need to worry about the apples being cooked. Just be sure the phyllo is cooked and golden.
  • Transfer pie plate to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating. Lovely served with vanilla ice cream.