Monday, June 20, 2011
Ginger-Honeyed Apple and Apricot Phyllo Crunch Pie.
This was the dessert I made for Father's Day - a riff on apple crisp and pie, tucked into crisp and buttery phyllo dough.
The original idea for this came from somehow finding two boxes of phyllo dough in the freezer but not having enough time to make baklava. My dad loves apple crisp and apple pie so I wanted to do a more summery version of it - there's very little sugar here, no cinnamon (a typically fall and winter spice, although my favorite) and I added the apricots to keep things fresh and different.
Phyllo dough isn't hard to work with at all, just make sure to keep it covered with a damp paper towel or even just a piece of wax paper when you have it out on the counter and you'll be fine. If the edges start to crisp up a little, just brush with a little water or some of the butter mixture you're using in between the layers of the pastry.
I found the recipe for the crunch/crisp while searching for inspiration on a site that happened to have the measurements in grams and ounces and if you don't have a kitchen scale, GET ONE! I find that using grams and ounces is actually easier (not to mention more accurate) than using cups, you don't have to wash every single little individual measuring cup, you just tare and weigh everything into one bowl! Kitchen scales are inexpensive and absolutely necessary for baking.
Ginger-Honeyed Apple and Apricot Phyllo Crunch Pie
Adapted from this site
54g light brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
105g all-purpose flour
21g quick-cooking oatmeal
35g toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick/4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and have a cookie sheet next to you. Measure all the ingredients except for the butter into a medium-sized bowl and mix them together. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter resembles small peas. Dump this mixture onto the cookie sheet and pack everything together lightly. Bake until golden brown around the edges and on top, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely, then break into small pieces and set aside.
Ginger-Honeyed Apples and Apricots:
4 large baking apples (I used Empire), peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into slivers
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes before adding the apples, brown sugar, honey, and salt. Don't stir the apples right away, let them get a nice browned exterior on one side and then after about 2-3 minutes, turn them to get the other sides caramelized as well. Once the apples are cooked down, add in the ginger and dried apricots, remove from the heat and let cool.
8-12 sheets of phyllo dough
About 8 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil, or a combination of the two
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9" tart (or pie) pan and begin layering the phyllo dough into the pan. Gently press the sheets of dough onto the bottom and brush each layer with some of the melted butter and oil on top of each before placing the next one on top. Use about 4 or 5 layers going one way (the long or short way), then 4 or 5 layers going the other way. Crumble some of the crunch into the bottom of the layers, then scrape the apple mixture over, then more of the crunch. Gather the phyllo dough from around the edges of the pan and scrunch them on top. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until it's golden brown. I used the rest of the crunch and crumbled it on top halfway through the baking time for a decorative touch.
Let the pie cool slightly, then dig in!