Ancient Greek Apples
A Thanksgiving celebration begs for an apple dessert and whether you’re heading to the farms to pick them yourself or getting them from your local grocer, our month-long gala of this fall fruit will give you lots of recipes to make the most out of your holiday dessert. These Greek recipes have been passed down through the generations and have “milo” (meaning “apple”) in their names, so there you go!
Apples fill this rustic phyllo crust—lower in fat than traditional pastry—that’s easy, delicious, and an elegant dessert-tray centerpiece. Perfect for Thanksgiving or for making after apple picking.
KOUZINA TIP: Choose apples that are semi-firm so they hold their shape while baking. Folding over the phyllo edges is freestyle and doesn’t have to be perfect—the definition of rustic beauty!
PREP TIME 20 minutes
COOKING TIME 8 minutes
BAKING TIME 30 minutes
SERVES 6 to 8
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
5 medium (about 2 1/2 pounds) semi-firm apples (such as Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Braeburn), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Greek thyme honey, warmed, divided
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut up, divided
2 tablespoons Greek brandy
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (or pecans), lightly toasted (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing pie plate and phyllo
6 sheets #5 or #4 (14-by-18-inch) phyllo dough, thawed, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Make apple filling: In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss together the apple slices, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons honey, and the lemon juice. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 teaspoons butter. Add the apples and the liquid in the bowl and simmer until apples are just fork tender but still holding their shape, 5 to 6 minutes (do not overcook). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple slices to a large heatproof bowl, leaving liquid in skillet. Add brandy to the skillet and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour-spice mixture until combined and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute more. Immediately pour over apples, sprinkle with raisins (if using), and gently toss to combine. Let stand until completely cooled, about 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate. Center 1 sheet of phyllo in pie plate, gently fitting into the corners (keep remaining sheets covered with a clean kitchen towel to prevent drying). Brush phyllo sheet with olive oil all the way to the overhanging edges. Repeat with remaining sheets and olive oil, brushing the top sheet. Trim the corners of the phyllo crust to form a round with a 3- to 4-inch overhang; reserve scraps.
3. Fill crust with the apple mixture, mounding slightly in the center. Top evenly with the remaining 1 tablespoon warm honey and 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle with nuts (if using). Fold the phyllo edges over the apples, covering by 2 to 3 inches, pleating the phyllo as you go (to shape). Brush phyllo edges with olive oil. Crinkle the reserved phyllo scraps and place evenly over the apples, if desired.
4. Bake about 30 minutes, until phyllo is completely golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to warm, about 15 minutes. (Can be made ahead. Cool completely, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 days.) Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Recipe © copyright Kukla's Kouzina: A Gourmet Journey~Greek Island Style, kuklaskouzina.com
I hope you enjoyed our second week of apple recipes that will put a finishing sweet note on your Thanksgiving!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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