Since my brother got back from Greece, he's been begging me to make something with Phyllo dough. Anything. Well, anything except Spanakopita. You should hear him say it- it sounds like a curse. So when I found boxes of Phyllo dough for only a buck at Safeway, I knew it was time. I thawed the beast Alton Brown style (one minute in the microwave, thank you) and went to work. I'll admit there were a few casualties, but I'm not sure that it was the thawing or my total inexperience.
I melted some butter, greased up the mini pie pans, and layered quarter sheets of phyllo (that I cut with kitchen shears for ultra precision, ahem) around the circle with a little bit of butter in between. Meanwhile, I used my sweet apple corer/peeler/slicer to make quick work of four apples. I threw them in a glass bowl, added a bit of water and cinnamon, covered with saran wrap, and nuked for five minutes. When they came out all soft and delicious, I added a bit of sugar and stirred. I dumped some apples into the little shells, pulled all the phyllo pieces to the middle for a quick topping, and drizzled a bit of extra butter on top. I figured I might as well not throw it away. After a few in the oven, these babies came out beautiful and tempting. And I was only 30 minutes in (counting the baking!)
While the final product isn't exactly Greek (sorry Bro) the taste of apples and butter is definitely one of my favorites. I know there's butter in the pastry, but there's hardly any added to the dish, and it just tasted SO good. I'm thinking of making a big version of these cute little minis. It's tender, flavorful, and doesn't even require ice cream on the side. Though I'm sure not even the Greeks would mind a little scoop of vanilla.
Phyllo Apple Pies
from Anne Strawberry
makes six mini pies
4 Medium Apples (I like something a little tart, like Fujis)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
6 Sheets of Phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons butter, melted (plus or minus)
Preheat the oven to 375.
Peel, core, and slice the apples as you would for apple pie. Place in glass bowl with cinnamon and water, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for five minutes. Carefully remove plastic and stir in sugar. Set aside.
Cut phyllo sheets into quarters and brush pie pans with a little butter. Layer one piece of pastry at a time, then brush on a bit of butter, and put in another piece at a slight angle, repeating until you've made it around the circle (about four pieces per dish- more if you'd like the crust thicker).
Place 1/4 cup of apple mixture inside each prepared pie dish. Pull the pastry sheets together toward the center, pinching and tucking until it looks about right. Drizzle a tiny bit of butter on top. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or with ice cream.