Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This month has flown by so very quickly and then we’re onto Christmas. Sigh…. Is it just me or do the days go by quicker with each passing day when you have kids? I remember a time when days went on forever and summers felt like they lasted years. I must admit, sometimes I envy my kids.
Anyway, since the holidays are creeping up on us so quickly, I decided to start making seasonal pies, desserts, and dishes to prepare and get myself in the holiday spirit. Besides, this is my favorite time of the year. This past week I made this layered apple pie with a phyllo crust. I must say, I really did like it alot. Since there is no top crust, the apples get roasted while baking and that really helps to bring out a deep apple flavor. The phyllo crust is wonderfully flaky. It’s all around a pretty yummy pie.
This recipe calls for whole apples, peel, core and all, sliced very thin on a mandoline. Apparently when you slice the apple so thin, the core becomes soft and edible during baking, but I honestly don’t own a mandoline so I just thinly sliced my apples like I usually would and I did remove the core. I did leave the apple skin on to stay as true to the recipe as possible and they did soften just fine after baking, but my husband, Bill, told me that next time he would prefer that I remove the skin. He still really liked the pie, but he’s just used to eating apple pies without the skin so he prefers it that way. I don’t think removing the skin would take anything away from this pie.
I made this using store bought phyllo sheets, though if you like to or want to make your own, go for it. Having two small boys, I just find making phyllo to be time consuming so I tend to go the quicker route when using such a delicate pastry. Maybe someday when the kids aren’t around I’ll give it a go. The pie does take two hours to gently bake at a lower temperature so the apples can cook through and the phyllo doesn’t get burned since it’s such a thin pastry, but I think it’s well worth the wait. Just don’t forget the side of vanilla ice cream or gelato.
LAYERED APPLE PIE WITH PHYLLO CRUST
- Yield: Makes 1 (9″) pie
- Active Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, plus cooling
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 10 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed (each about 13×18 inches)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 pounds Gala apples, preferably small (about 6)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush pie pan with about 1 Tbsp. butter.
- Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Place 2 phyllo sheets on a work surface with the long side facing you; keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap. Using pastry brush, lightly brush entire surface with butter, then sprinkle 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar on right half of phyllo. Fold left half of both sheets over to enclose sugar. Brush surface lightly with butter. Press folded phyllo, buttered side down, into center and edges of prepared pan, leaving an equal overhang on two opposite sides. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, rotating where the overhang lies to create a star-like pattern.
- Pour lemon juice into a large bowl. Very thinly slice apples crosswise into rounds with mandoline (about 1 mm thick), transferring to lemon juice and tossing gently to coat as you go.
- Layer apple slices in phyllo-lined pan, overlapping in concentric circles to form a single even layer. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar. Repeat with remaining apple slices, sprinkling with 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar between each layer and pressing firmly with clean hands to compact. Repeat until pan is full, then sprinkle top with 2 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar (you may have leftover cinnamon sugar depending on the size of your apples; save for another use).
- Place pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet and tent with 2 pieces of overlapping foil, making sure phyllo crust is fully covered. Bake pie 2 hours. Remove foil and continue to bake until crust is golden brown, 15–20 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Using a clean pastry brush, brush juices from the edges of filling over top to create a shiny glaze. Let cool completely (apples will collapse and set as pie cools; this is okay) before serving.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.