Fall is coming. Boston’s been on the cold side. The stores are starting to fill up with back-to-school supplies. This means one thing to me: Apple-picking season is on its way. And I couldn’t be happier.
I have a handful of apple recipes I love. Here’s one of my favorites. It’s amazingly simple to make—and incredibly impressive looking when it comes out of the oven.
Your finished tart will be a layer of gooey, apple-y goodness sandwiched between crisp layers of golden, buttery phyllo dough. A pinch of ginger rounds out the flavor with just the right amount of bite.
For the fruit, use any kind of apple you like (or a mix of a few different kinds) that will hold up when baked. I like Cortlands or Granny Smiths. Not sure which apples bake well? Check out this comparison chart, from Ohio’s Bauman Orchards.
For more information on how to handle phyllo dough, see my phyllo dough primer.
Buttery Greek Apple Tart
5 medium-sized apples
1 package fresh phyllo dough (frozen is OK…just be sure to thaw it completely in the fridge)
1 stick butter, melted
2 Tbls. Calvados
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar (for sprinkling on the phyllo dough)
1 Tbls. sugar (for mixing with the apples)
1/2 a lemon
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Prepare the apples
Start by peeling and coring your apples. Thinly slice them into a mixing bowl. Squeeze your lemon over them and toss to coat. Stick them in the fridge while you deal with the phyllo.
Butter the phyllo
You’re going to assemble the tart right on the baking pan. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on your pan and use a pastry brush to paint every inch of it with the melted butter. Sprinkle the whole sheet with sugar.
Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first sheet. Paint on your butter and sugar. Do this 4 more times, until you have a stack of 6 sheets that have been buttered and sugared.
While you work, keep all the sheets of phyllo dough you’re not currently using completely covered with a few damp paper towels so they don’t dry out.
Assemble your tart
Get your sliced apples out of the fridge. Toss them in the bowl with the ground ginger, Calvados, and 1 Tbls. of sugar. Note: if you’re not crazy about ginger or Calvados, simply leave them out, or substitute something you’ll like better.
Arrange them in a pile in the middle of your phyllo dough. Brush the top of the apples with butter.
Place one sheet of phyllo on top of the apples. Butter and sugar it just like you did with the layers on the bottom. Repeat until you have 6 layers on top.
Seal and bake
Now that the tart is assembled, you need to seal up the edges to make sure that the filling stays inside where it belongs. (If this were a pie, this is the part where you crimp the edges of the crust together.)
With your pastry brush, paint a thick line of butter along each edge of the top layer. Roll each side up, making sure you have all the layers included.
Paint your finished tart one last time with butter. Be sure to get a good amount of butter on the rolled-up edges.
Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and serve.