August 15, 2012 11:41:16 AM
As all-American desserts go, it's hard to beat apple pie. We decided to create an apple dessert that lets us have our pie and our healthy habits, too.
With pie, the real dietary downfall is the crust, which typically is laden with butter or shortening. So we decided to remake the classic into a much lighter handheld flaky pastry.
For the crust, we went with phyllo dough, the papery thin pastry used in baklava. Usually, it is brushed with melted butter to help it bake into thin layers. For ease and less fat, we went with a few quick mists of cooking spray, instead.
We filled the phyllo sheets with sautéed apples, then rolled them into little cigars. You could just as easily fold them into triangles if that suits you better. To do this, just place the filling at one end, then fold like a flag.
One thing about working with phyllo dough -- if you let it dry out, it tears easily. So be sure to take out just the amount you need to work with at any given moment. To keep the rest moist, cover with plastic wrap, then a damp, but not wet, kitchen towel. Any phyllo you don't need should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, then placed in a zip-close bag and refrigerated.
APPLE PHYLLO CIGARS
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes 8 cigars
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced
Small pinch salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 sheets phyllo dough
Butter-flavored or plain cooking spray