Makes 12 croustades
These individual apple tarts hail from the southwest of France, where bakers sprinkle each layer of phyllo with sugar for sweet, slightly caramelized results. Try the technique with other fruits such as pears, apricots, peaches, mangoes, or pineapple.
- ¼ cup Armagnac, cognac, or rum
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. vegan margarine, divided
- 5 large tart apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (5 cups)
- ½ cup sugar, divided
- 18 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed (one-half 16-oz. pkg.)
1. Pour Armagnac over raisins in bowl. Set aside to plump 15 minutes.
2. Heat 2 Tbs. margarine in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, and sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add raisins and Armagnac, and cook 2 minutes, or until alcohol has evaporated. Transfer to bowl, and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Cool.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt remaining 1/2 cup margarine. Brush 12-cup muffin pan (1/2 cup size) with melted margarine.
4. Unroll phyllo, and keep under damp towel to retain moisture. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface. Brush with margarine, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Top with second phyllo sheet, brush with margarine, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Repeat until you have 6 layers of phyllo sheets, but do not sprinkle top sheet with sugar. Cut phyllo stacks into 4 squares. Press 1 square into 1 muffin mold, letting edges hang over. Fill phyllo “crust” with 1/3 cup apple mixture. Brush edges with margarine, and fold over apple mixture. Brush top with margarine to “glue” top together. Repeat with remaining squares. Repeat layering and assembly with remaining phyllo sheets, margarine, sugar, and apple mixture.
5. Bake croustades 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool 10 minutes in muffin pan, then carefully unmold, and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
April/May 2012 p.64