By Susie Fishbein, Kosher by Design Lightens Up
Although it is purchased from the freezer section, keep phyllo in the refrigerator until ready to use. It can last there, unopened, for up to a month, and is easier to work with than if defrosted right from the freezer. This is an elegant apple dessert that will wow your guests – perfect for special occasion meals.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Macintosh or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dark rum
12 – 14 sheets (1⁄2 of 16-ounce box) phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
1 1/2 ounces (usually 1/2 bar) good-quality semisweet chocolate, such as Schmerling Noblesse®, broken on the score marks into 1-inch squares
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heavily spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter or margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and orange juice and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring to distribute. Cook for 4 minutes, until apples are soft but not mushy.
In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the rum. Carefully add the rum to the pan; if the rum ignites flames, they will quickly die down. Cook until the mixture thickens and the apples are caramelized. Remove from heat.
Unwrap the phyllo dough. Working quickly, folds a sheet of phyllo in half lengthwise. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the sheet into the prepared pan so one end touches the middle and the other end comes up the side and hangs over the pan. Fold a second phyllo sheet lengthwise and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Lay it into the pan so that one end touches the center of the pan and the rest hangs over and overlaps the first sheet by 1-inch. Repeat with remaining phyllo, arranging the strips in a spoke-like fashion around the pan, until the pan is completely covered.
Pour the apples into the center of the pan. Starting with the last sheet of dough placed in the pan, lift the end and twist it towards the center of the filling. Coil and tuck the end under to form a rosette. The center filling should be visible. Repeat with remaining phyllo strips in the reverse order in which they were placed. When you are done, there should be a complete crown of rosettes and a 4-inch circle of filling visible. Tuck the chocolate pieces into the apple filling.
Bake for 30 minutes until pastry is golden. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slice and serve warm.
Yield: 10 servings
Recipes: Recipes, Desserts, Croustade, Apple, Parve or Dairy, Kosher