Phyllo (sometimes spelled fillo) means leaf in Greek and the sheets of dough are as thin as leaves. I buy it frozen in Middle Eastern markets and if I’m lucky it also shows up in Berkeley Bowl and other large markets. I use it to make Spanakopita, and there’s usually enough leftover sheets to make Apple Strudel for dessert. I caramelize the apples before rolling them into the phyllo dough.
Ingredients: (makes 3 rolls)
- 3 medium apples (Gala or other cooking apples are good)
- 6 Tb butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tb cinnamon
- 2 tsp lemon zest, from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tb bread crumbs or 2 slices of toast, torn into pieces
- 1/3 – 1/2 package phyllo dough (9 sheets), defrosted
- 1 Tb powdered sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 375′
Peel and core apples and chop them finely.
If you don’t have breadcrumbs, place the torn toast in the blender. Run on high and you will have made breadcrumbs! Divide them in half.
Melt butter in a large skillet. Pour out 1/4 cup and set aside. Add apples to the skillet and stir until they are coated. Stir in cinnamon and brown sugar and cook until the liquid is thick and sticky. Stir in 1/2 the breadcrumbs, pecans, lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat.
Divide the remaining breadcrumbs into 3 groups.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a pastry board or clean surface. Lightly brush with melted butter. (If the butter has thickened, reheat it in the microwave.) Place another sheet and repeat, and then a third sheet. Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs in a rectangle at about 2 inches from the sides and top.
Scoop 1/3 of the apple mixture and spread on top of the breadcrumbs. Fold the top and sides over. Then roll it up by folding it over the apple filling.
Brush the butter over the sealed bottom and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter the top and sprinkle a little cinnamon on it.
Let bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. Sift a little powdered sugar on top just before serving.