Autumn is the perfect weather for apple picking and eating warm meals to welcome the cooler temperature. Apple pie is a classic American dessert to go along with many other seasonal treats. We took the basic Bosnian cheese pita recipe and made our sweet version of apple “pie” with phyllo dough filled with apples, walnuts and cinnamon sugar. It’ll be hard to eat just one slice.
This recipe has directions for home-made phyllo dough or you can substitute with frozen phyllo sheets. You may need approximately 10 sheets, depending on the size of your sheet pan. This recipe is customizable for the amount of apples and phyllo dough that you have on hand.
Difficulty: Easy (if using store bought phyllo dough) to medium (if making phyllo dough from scratch) / Time: 45 minutes – 1.5 hours and up to 24 hours rest time if making phyllo from scratch Servings: 8 slices
approximately 10 frozen phyllo sheets thawed or make the dough below:
Dough from scratch:
325 grams / 2 and 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of oil
8 granny smith apples or similar tart and crunchy variety
1 and 1/2 cups of walnut grounded fine
1 and 1/2 cups of walnut coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of all purpose of flour
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of sugar + 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Powder sugar to sprinkle before serving
1 sheet pan that you have on hand
1. Make the dough (up to 24 hours in advance):
Skip step 1 and 2 if using frozen phyllo dough.
In a mixer with dough hook attachment, add 325g or 2 and 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the flour. With Kitchenaid (“KA”) setting on #2 or stir, add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of oil.
Turn the mixer to medium or KA #4 and knead for approximately 5 minutes until dough forms into a ball.
Remove dough from the mixer onto a floured surface. Add more flour to the dough if it’s still too sticky to handle. Knead for 1 minute until dough has a nice spring and form into a neat ball.
Placed into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 2-3 hours or best overnight.
2. Roll out the dough:
(Check out our Cheese Pita recipe for a tutorial video and in-depth writeup on how to stretch phyllo dough.)
Prepare a big table with a clean tablecloth. Flour the tablecloth so the dough doesn’t stick to it.
Place the dough in the center of the table and roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness. Brush with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Using your hands, carefully pull on the dough to stretch it out. Do one section until you feel that there is no more give, move onto the next. Do this until you have stretched the dough to the size of the table or if you start seeing holes at the edges. (See video here.)
*You may have to rest the dough for 10 minutes if there is no more give in between stretching. It usually takes me 2 rest time to fully stretch out the phyllo into thin sheets.
Trim along the edges to create a straight line. Let it dry for 10 minutes. The goal is to have the phyllo sheet be semi- dry, but still malleable and not crumble when you maneuver it.
3. Make the filling:
*I usually prepare the filling in between the 10 minutes rest time while I work on the phyllo dough.
Rough chop 1 and 1/2 cup of toasted walnut and finely chop another 1 and 1/2 cup. Mix the two types together to create a more complex texture.
Peel and shred 8 Granny Smith apples. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep it from browning too quickly.
Place it over a cheese cloth or kitchen towel to squeeze and drain out the excess liquid.
Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the filling. Mix to incorporate.
4. Assemble the phyllo pie:
Grease a large baking tray or line it with parchment paper.
Start from one side of the table, add the shredded apple filling in a straight line.
Pull the tablecloth up so gravity can help you roll the phyllo over the filling. Stop when the filling has been covered.
Cut the strip of phyllo with the filling and move it onto a baking tray. Make another phyllo strip and place it next to the first strip. Make sure the strips are touching each other so they will stick together.
Once you have assembled all the strips in the baking tray, brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top of the pie and generously sprinkle a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sugar to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 20-25 minutes until the pie turns golden brown.
Remove and let it cool a little bit before cutting into squares.
Dust powder sugar on top of the warm phyllo pie before serving. This apple phyllo pie is also delicious accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.