Continuing with my “apple theme” since October is Apple Month, I made an Apple Ruffled Milk Pie. This super-fancy, Autumn dessert is made with an apple-spice custard and is built on a foundation of Phyllo dough.
Phyllo (or Filo) means “leaf” in Greek and is a very thin unleavened dough used in some Middle Eastern dishes. Phyllo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of the pastry brushed with butter or olive oil and then baked. If you’ve ever had baklava, it is probably the earliest dish made using phyllo dough. Baklava is referenced as early as the 13th century (which is very cool for a vintage recipe junkie like me!).
Now, I suppose that we could make phyllo dough by hand, however this would require a crazy amount of time and skill. Phyllo pastry producing machines were perfected in the 1970s and because of that very reason, perfect phyllo is readily available at the grocery store (thank goodness).
Phyllo can be layered, rolled, folded, or ruffled with various fillings. This recipe for Apple Ruffled Milk Pie calls for 1/2 a package of store-bought Phyllo. The phyllo sheets are brushed with melted butter and “ruffled” together to create a spiraled-flower design in the bottom of a cake pan. I then made a custard and added chopped apple for some texture. The custard is poured on top of the golden-baked phyllo and the pie is put back in the oven. Once it is baked, it is sprinkled generously with powdered sugar and eaten warm. I would consider this a “comfort” dessert that gives your tummy that warm feeling, like rice pudding.
I made a quick video to demonstrate the how-to 🙂
This is a worthy “ooo” and “ahhh” beautiful dessert. PLEASE don’t be too intimated to try it yourself. It calls for basic ingredients (and readily-available-in-every-grocery-store Phyllo) and the results are well worth the extra time required to “ruffle” the pastry sheets. Your family and friends will be praising your baking skills and no one has to know how easy it was to put together.
- 6 T butter, melted
- 1-8 oz roll Phyllo dough (about 20 sheets)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 3 cups milk, whole
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped fine
- confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush a 12-inch round cake pan with some of the melted butter; set aside
- Open the phyllo sheets, place on a flat surface and cover with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Place 1 sheet of phyllo on work surface, lightly brush with butter and then with your hands loosely ruffle the sheet to create a long cylindrical shape. Place upright in center of the cake pan and spiral, creating a "rose shape". Repeat process with each sheet, working outward until bottom of pan is covered.
- Brush any remaining butter over the phyllo.
- Sprinkle phyllo with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While phyllo is baking, heat milk in a saucepan to scalding. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together.
- Gradually add the scalded milk while whisking constantly.
- Whisk in the vanilla.
- Add the chopped apple.
- Spoon mixture over the baked phyllo, evenly covering the surface and ensuring the apple pieces are spread out.
- Bake 25-30 minutes.
- Dust generously with confectioner's sugar.
- Serve warm.
(recipe inspired by Martha Bakes)