Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (2024)

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Among the many sweet treats that grace our tables during this time of year, the Rustic Apple Tart stands out as a timeless classic.

As the leaves turn fiery hues and the crisp autumn breeze fills the air, there’s no better way to celebrate the fall season than by indulging in the warm, comforting flavors of homemade apple desserts.

And if you’re looking for a simple way to showcase the season’s bountiful apples, we have just the recipe for you.

It’s apple season! The perfect dessert for using many different types of apples.

Super Easy Apple Galette

This is like an apple pie but a thousand times easier to make. However, the texture of the finished dessert is different than an apple pie too. It’s such an easy dessert, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make it.

Phyllo dough doesn’t puff when it bakes, it crisps. The layers are thinner-than-paper-thin. Making the finished dessert pastry crunchy, flaky, and they shatter when cut or bitten.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (1)

I absolutely LOVE this rustic apple tart. Sometimes referred to as a galette, this sweet dessert is so easy to make and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love it. It’s like an apple pie, but about a thousand times easier to make.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is designed to be approachable, allowing you to capture the essence of autumn effortlessly.

Combine the natural sweetness of apples with delicate layers and the flaky goodness of phyllo pastry, resulting in a dessert that’s both rustic and refined.

Get ready to fill your home with the irresistible aroma of baked apples and cinnamon as we delve into this delightful culinary adventure.

Today I used Phyllo dough sheets 9” X 14”. The 1 pound package has two easy to use rolls. Each roll has 20 thin sheets of pastry. However, Phyllo dough has become increasingly popular for all kinds of cooking. You can find out more about buying options on the Spruce Eats.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (2)

Rustic Apple Tart Recipe

First, thaw the phyllo pastry sheets. Do this in the refrigerator the night before making this recipe. Or, let the phyllo dough sheets sit for a few hours at room temperature the day of making the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, peel, core, and slice the apples. Place them in a large bowl.

Add the lemon juice and mix to combine. This will help prevent the apples from turning brown.

Next add the granulated sugar and cinnamon mixing to combine. Set it aside. Option. You can swap out some or all the sugar for brown sugar.

Begin layering

Melt the light butter in the microwave for 25-30 seconds in a microwave safe container.

Use a 9 X 13 baking pan and spray with non-stick baking spray. Optionally, you can add a parchment paper liner and spray that with non-stick baking spray for easy removal and cutting the dessert.

Next add two sheets of phyllo dough and use a pastry brush to brush with melted butter. Add two more sheets and brush again with the melted butter. Then sprinkle a teaspoon of granulated sugar and cinnamon over the dough.

Continue adding the next two pastry sheets time brushing with melted butter and after every 4 sheets, sprinkle on a teaspoon of granulated sugar and cinnamon. (I used 12 sheets of pastry dough). Don’t add the sugar and cinnamon on the last set of 4 as you will be adding the apple mixture. However, I wanted a more substantial pastry and adding the granulated sugar and cinnamon creates a nice caramel. Which compliments the apples nicely.

When the final layer of dough is complete, add the apple mixture. However, make sure to stir to combine with any juices in the bowl. Pour the apples including the juice in the pan and gently spread over the dough layers.

Baking

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Until the apple slices are soft, and the pastry starts to crisp on the edges and turns a golden brown. You will also notice that the sugars are starting to caramelize on the edges.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 8, 2” X 6” rectangles.

If you Prefer a homemade pie crust, you can find out no-fail pie crust recipe.

Are puff pastry and phyllo dough the same?

No, puff pastry and phyllo dough are not the same; they are two distinct types of pastry dough with different characteristics and uses.

Puff Pastry: Puff pastry is made from a laminated dough that consists of layers of butter and dough. It puffs up dramatically when baked due to the layers of butter separating and creating steam, which causes the pastry to expand. Puff pastry is known for its rich, buttery flavor and its ability to create light, flaky, and airy textures in baked goods. It is commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as croissants, pastries, and beef Wellington.

Phyllo Dough (or Filo Dough): Phyllo dough, on the other hand, is a paper-thin dough that contains very little fat. It is typically made from flour, water, and a small amount of oil or vinegar. Phyllo dough is extremely thin and delicate, and it does not rise or puff like puff pastry. Instead, it becomes crisp and flaky when baked. Phyllo dough is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine for dishes like baklava, spanakopita, and various savory and sweet pastries.

In summary, puff pastry is rich and buttery, and it puffs up when baked, while phyllo dough is thin and crispy, and it remains flat when baked. They are used for different purposes in cooking and baking and are not interchangeable in most recipes.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (3)

Can phyllo dough be substituted for puff pastry?

Phyllo dough and puff pastry have distinct characteristics, and while they can be substituted for each other in some recipes, the results will not be the same. Whether you can substitute phyllo dough for puff pastry (or vice versa) depends on the specific dish you’re preparing and your willingness to accept differences in texture and taste. Here are some considerations:

Texture: Puff pastry puffs up and becomes buttery and flaky when baked, while phyllo dough becomes crispy and thin. If you substitute phyllo dough for puff pastry in a recipe that relies on puffing and flakiness, like a croissant or a pastry, you’ll get a very different texture.

Flavor: Puff pastry has a rich, buttery flavor due to the layers of butter within the dough. Phyllo dough has a more neutral taste. Substituting phyllo for puff pastry may result in a less buttery flavor in your dish.

Versatility: Phyllo dough is often used in both sweet and savory dishes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It’s especially suitable for making dishes like baklava or spanakopita. Puff pastry, on the other hand, is versatile and used in a wide range of recipes, from appetizers to desserts.

Recipe Adaptation: If you decide to substitute one for the other, you may need to adapt the recipe. For instance, if you’re using phyllo dough instead of puff pastry, you might need to layer multiple sheets to achieve a similar thickness and texture.

In some cases, you can successfully use one as a substitute for the other if you understand the differences and are willing to accept the altered outcome. However, for recipes where the texture and taste are crucial, it’s best to stick with the specified pastry dough to achieve the desired result.

How to Use Phyllo Dough Sheets?

To work with phyllo dough sheets, start by gently unfolding them and covering them with a damp towel. This step serves two purposes: it makes the sheets more pliable and less prone to tearing. However, if you do happen to encounter a tear, don’t fret. It won’t significantly affect your final dish. Simply reserve the finest sheet for the top layer of your culinary creation.

The beauty of working with phyllo sheets lies in their artful layering. To achieve this, apply a generous brushing of oil or melted butter between every individual phyllo layer.

In the case of this apple tart recipe, I’ve opted for the savory richness of melted butter. Begin by greasing the baking dish or spraying non-stick baking spray. Then add a single sheet of phyllo, brush it with butter, layer another phyllo sheet on top, and continue this process in repetition.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (4)

What Are the Best Apples for Apple Tart?

The best apples for making an apple tart are those that balance sweetness and tartness, hold their shape well when baked, and offer a pleasant texture. Here are some apple varieties that are commonly recommended for apple tarts:

Granny Smith Apples:

These are known for their tartness, which can provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the tart’s filling. They hold their shape well during baking, making them a popular choice for apple tarts.

Honeycrisp:

Honeycrisp apples are sweet and crisp, making them a delightful addition to an apple tart. They bring a refreshing sweetness and a pleasant crunch to the dessert.

Jonagold:

Jonagold apples have a balanced flavor profile, combining sweetness and tartness. They also hold up nicely when baked and provide a smooth, buttery texture.

Braeburn:

Braeburn apples are sweet and slightly tart, with a firm texture that works well in apple tarts. They add a nice complexity of flavor to the dessert.

Fuji:

Fuji apples are sweet and juicy, making them a tasty choice for apple tarts. They may soften more than some other varieties during baking, but their sweet flavor is a favorite among many.

Golden Delicious:

Golden Delicious apples are sweet and tender, with a mild, honey-like flavor. They work well in apple tarts when you prefer a softer texture.

Cortland:

Cortland apples are tart and crisp, making them suitable for tarts. They are less likely to brown quickly, which can be an advantage in dessert recipes.

Wolf River:

We had a friend give us Wolf River apples. They have a mild, sweet-tart flavor, making them a good balance between sweet and tart. These apples are known for their firm and dense flesh, which holds up well during baking.

Pink Lady:

Pink Lady apples tend to be sweeter than some other apple varieties, like Granny Smith, which are often used for a tart to provide tartness. To balance the sweetness, consider adding a bit of lemon juice to your apple filling mixture. Lemon juice not only adds a touch of tartness but also enhances the flavor of the apples.

It’s often a good idea to use a combination of apple varieties to achieve a well-balanced flavor and texture in your apple tart.

Experimenting with different apple varieties can also add depth and complexity to your dessert. Ultimately, the best apples for your apple tart will depend on your personal preferences and the specific flavor profile you want to achieve.

How Many Layers of Phyllo Dough Should I Use?

The number of layers of phyllo dough you should use in a recipe depends on the specific dish you’re making and the desired texture and thickness. Phyllo dough is extremely thin, so it’s common to use multiple layers to create a crispy and flaky pastry. Here are some general guidelines:

Savory or Sweet Pastries: For making individual savory or sweet pastries, like turnovers or samosas, you typically use 2 to 3 sheets of phyllo dough per pastry. This provides a delicate, crisp texture.

Tarts: For phyllo dough tarts, such as spinach and feta tart or fruit tarts, you might use 4 to 6 sheets of phyllo dough. This creates a slightly thicker base that can hold the filling without becoming too delicate.

Baklava and Strudels: For layered desserts like baklava or apple strudel, you might use 8 to 10 sheets of phyllo dough or more, alternating with layers of nuts, fruits, or sweet fillings. This creates a substantial, multi-layered texture.

Casserole Dishes: When using phyllo dough in a casserole dish, such as for a moussaka or a spanakopita casserole, you might use 8 to 12 sheets to create a sturdy base and top layer.

Keep in mind that you’ll typically brush each layer of phyllo dough with melted butter or oil to prevent sticking and to enhance the flavor and texture. The more layers you use, the more substantial and flakier the result will be, but it’s essential to strike a balance to avoid making the dish too dense or difficult to cut.

Ultimately, the number of phyllo dough layers you use should align with the specific recipe you’re following and the desired outcome for your dish. Experimenting with the layer count can help you achieve the perfect balance of crispness and substance for your culinary creation.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (5)

How to Store This Dessert?

Storing a dessert made with phyllo dough, such as baklava or a phyllo tart, requires some care to maintain its crispness and freshness. Here are the steps to properly store your phyllo dough dessert:

Cool to Room Temperature: Allow the dessert to cool completely at room temperature before attempting to store it. Hot or warm desserts can create condensation inside the storage container, making the pastry soggy.

Cut into Portions: If your dessert is in a large pan or dish, cut it into individual portions or slices before storing. This makes it easier to serve and prevents the need to cut through the delicate layers later, which can cause them to crumble.

Use an Airtight Container: Place the cut portions or the entire dessert in an airtight container. You can also use a cake or pastry box with a tight-fitting lid. Ensure that the container is clean and dry to prevent moisture buildup.

Layer with Parchment or Wax Paper: If you’re stacking multiple pieces, place sheets of parchment or wax paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together and getting soggy.

Store at Room Temperature:

Phyllo dough desserts are typically best stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. They do not need to be refrigerated. However, make sure the storage area is not too humid, as moisture can soften the pastry.

Eat Right Away: Phyllo dough desserts are at their best within the first few days. For maximum freshness and crispness, aim to consume them within 2 to 3 days of preparation.

Reheat if Needed:

If your dessert loses some of its crispness, you can reheat it briefly in the oven at a low temperature (around 300°F or 150°C) for a few minutes to restore its crunchiness. Be careful not to overheat, as phyllo dough can quickly become too crispy and dry.

Freezing (Optional):

If you want to store your phyllo dough dessert for an extended period, you can freeze it. Wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. To thaw, allow the dessert to come to room temperature, and then reheat in the oven to restore its texture.

Proper storage will help preserve the texture and flavor of your phyllo dough dessert, allowing you to enjoy it over several days or even weeks, depending on your storage method.

Rustic Pie Galette Recipe

This Baked Tart as rich apple flavors. In fact, you can swap out the apples and use just about any fresh fruit for this recipe.

What to Serve with a Sweet Phyllo Dough Pastry?

Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a classic accompaniment to sweet phyllo dough tarts. It adds a delightful creamy contrast.

Fresh Berries: A side of fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, can enhance the sweetness and provide a burst of freshness.

Yogurt or Crème Fraîche: Greek yogurt or crème fraîche can add a creamy and slightly tangy element that complements the sweetness of the tart.

Honey Drizzle: Drizzling a bit of honey over the tart or serving it in a small bowl on the side can enhance the dessert’s sweetness and add a touch of elegance.

Nuts: Chopped or toasted nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, can provide a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor to balance the sweetness.

Tea or Coffee: A cup of tea, coffee, or herbal infusion can be a perfect beverage to enjoy alongside your sweet phyllo dough tart.

The choice of side dishes will depend on the specific flavors of your phyllo dough tart and your personal preferences. Feel free to mix and match these suggestions to create a well-rounded meal or dessert that suits your taste and the occasion.

Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (6)

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Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe

Among the many sweet treats that grace our tables during this time of year, the Rustic Apple Tart stands out as a timeless classic. As the leaves turn fiery hues and the crisp autumn breeze fills the air, there’s no better way to celebrate the fall season than by indulging in the warm, comforting flavors of homemade apple desserts.

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time40 minutes mins

Total Time55 minutes mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: bakery recipe, easy recipe, fall recipe, fruit recipe, summer dessert

Servings: 12 Servings

Calories: 955kcal

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 12 Phyllo Dough Pastry Sheets
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar

Apple Filling

  • 5 Medium Apples Peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  • Today I used 12 Phyllo dough sheets 9” X 14”.

  • Thaw Pastry Dough

  • First, thaw the phyllo pastry sheets. Do this in the refrigerator the night before making this recipe. Or, let the phyllo dough sheets sit for a few hours at room temperature the day of making the recipe.

    12 Phyllo Dough Pastry Sheets

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Prepare Apples

  • Next, peel, core, and slice the apples. Place them in a large bowl.

    5 Medium Apples

  • Add the lemon juice and mix to combine. This will help prevent the apples from turning brown.

    2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

  • Next add the sugar and cinnamon mixing to combine. Set it aside.

    1 Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

  • Prepare Pastry Dough

  • Melt the light butter in the microwave for 25-30 seconds in a microwave safe container.

  • Use a 9 X 13 baking pan and spray with non-stick baking spray. Optionally, you can add a parchment paper liner and spray that with non-stick baking spray for easy removal and cutting the dessert.

  • Next add two sheets of phyllo dough and use a pastry brush to brush with melted butter. Add two more sheets and brush again with the melted butter. Then sprinkle a teaspoon of granulated sugar and cinnamon over the dough. Continue adding the next two pastry sheets time brushing with melted butter and after every 4 sheets, sprinkle on a teaspoon of granulated sugar and cinnamon. (I used 12 sheets of pastry dough). Don't add the sugar and cinnamon on the last set of 4 as you will be adding the apple mixture. However, I wanted a more substantial pastry and adding the granulated sugar and cinnamon creates a nice caramel. Which compliments the apples nicely.

    2 Teaspoons Cinnamon, 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar

  • When the final layer of dough is complete, add the apple mixture. However, make sure to stir to combine with any juices in the bowl. Pour the apples including the juice in the pan and gently spread over the dough layers.

  • Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Until the apple slices are soft, and the pastry starts to crisp on the edges and turns a golden brown. You will also notice that the sugars are starting to caramelize on the edges.

  • Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 8, 2” X 6” rectangles.

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Nutrition

Calories: 955kcal | Carbohydrates: 178g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1368mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 9mg

If you like simple desserts, here are a few others for you to try.

  • Easy Caramel Puff Corn
  • Mini Blueberry Tarts
  • How to Make Apple Pie Filling
  • Easy Pie Crust
  • Caramel Apple Pie Filling Recipe
Easy Rustic Apple Tart with Phyllo Dough Recipe (2024)

FAQs

How many layers of phyllo dough should I use? ›

Typically, phyllo dishes should have a finished thickness of 3 to 10 sheets per layer. (A one-pound box of phyllo contains about 20 sheets.) Tip: Phyllo pastries can often be very brittle when baked. We recommend using a serrated knife to cut the finished dish to prevent all of the filling from squishing out.

Can I use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry? ›

In some cases, you could use them interchangeably – like for a pie crust or strudel. But for things that are very fluffy and flaky- like Baklava – you'd definitely want to use Phyllo dough.

Why do you put vinegar in phyllo dough? ›

There are two key elements to promoting the extensibility necessary in the dough: adding vinegar to the dough, which weakens some of the gluten bonding, making it less elastic; and ample resting. Of course, it takes practice, just like working with any kind of dough.

What's the difference between puff pastry and phyllo pastry? ›

The main differences between puff pastry and phyllo dough are their fat content and preparation. Puff pastry is a laminated dough that gets its signature airy puff from layers of butter, while phyllo dough is comparatively low-fat. Phyllo dough is mostly flour and water and can dry out easily.

Do you have to butter each layer of phyllo? ›

To get that flaky effect, you need to brush some sort of fat between each layer of dough. Usually I use unsalted butter, which gives the finished product a beautiful golden color. For those who don't want to use dairy, you can substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the butter.

Do you thaw phyllo dough before using? ›

Bring phyllo dough to room temperature prior to use (about 2 hours). Phyllo must be completely thawed and at room temperature for best results. Unopened phyllo has a refrigerated shelf life of 4 weeks thus it can be on hand and ready to use whenever needed.

Which is healthier phyllo or puff pastry? ›

Even better, switch your pastry from shortcrust or puff to filo. This is the lowest-fat pastry by far, with 2.9g fat per 100g. This compares with 26.2g for puff or 31.4g for shortcrust. Filo is the lowest-calorie option too, and it's easy to use.

What temperature do you bake phyllo dough? ›

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare your thawed phyllo sheets by laying them flat and covering them with a very lightly damp towel to keep the phyllo from drying out and breaking. Assemble the phyllo pizza crust. Brush a large baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil so the phyllo does not stick.

Can I use crescent rolls instead of puff pastry? ›

Lucky for you, easy-bake crescents stand in for traditional puff pastry. It's a classic dessert with convenience!

What do you brush on phyllo dough when layering? ›

In order to get golden, individual layers, you need to brush each layer of phyllo with butter or oil. Use a pastry brush, and remember that each sheet will soak up around 1 Tbsp. of fat, so plan accordingly.

How do you crisp phyllo? ›

Lay 1 sheet of Phyllo on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Repeat to form a six-sheet stack of Phyllo. Bake the layered Phyllo for about 15 minutes or until fully browned and crisp throughout.

What nationality is phyllo dough? ›

Phyllo dough originated in Medieval Turkey in the 11th century. During the First World War, Istanbul households used to have many phyllo makers on staff, for making various types of phyllo dough. Today, this dough is available all over the world and is sold in the supermarket's frozen case.

Is Pepperidge Farm puff pastry the same as phyllo? ›

Puff pastry is laminated, which means butter is folded into the dough multiple times to create alternating layers of butter and dough. This results in lots of thin layers and an airy texture. Phyllo, meanwhile, is a paper-thin dough that's made with oil instead of butter.

What is another name for phyllo dough? ›

Name and etymology

The name filo (phonetic) or phyllo (transliteration) comes from Greek φύλλο 'leaf'. In Arabic, it is called ruqaq or ruqaqat; in the Maghreb, warqa (Arabic: ورقة) which is different from regular filo dough. In Turkish, it is called yufka 'thin'.

What is the difference between filo and phyllo? ›

What is Phyllo Pastry? Phyllo, Fillo, or Filo, which means "leaf" in Greek, is tissue paper-thin like sheets of dough made from flour, water and a bit of oil. However, Phyllo dough was not born in Greece rather in Istanbul during the Ottoman reign. The name "Phyllo" is Greek but the dough technique itself is Turkish.

How to layer phyllo sheets? ›

The magic of phyllo sheets comes in the layering. You'll brush oil or melted butter between each layer of phyllo. I'm using olive oil for this spinach pie. Oil the dish, add a sheet of phyllo, brush with oil, top with another phyllo sheet and repeat.

How many layers of puff pastry do you use? ›

A typical Puff Pastry can have a ranges of between 500 - 700 layers depending on the total of folds involved. You can fold the dough in a number of different ways and the two most common ways are called the " Single Fold / Letter Fold" and "Double Fold/ Book Fold".

Can you layer 2 sheets of puff pastry? ›

Yes, but you might want to use an eggwash or water to make sure the two layers stick together. Yep, there are recipes that call for exactly that.

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