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Apple Tartlets

From Italian Cooking and Living, February/March 2001

Grana padano lends a savory note to this unusual dessert.

For the phyllo pastry:

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated grana padano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 4 apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated grana padano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the garnish:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jelly
  • one 2-ounce slice grana padano

Make the phyllo pastry: Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the bread crumbs, sugar, grana, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Cut the phyllo pastry into 24 6" squares; reserve the remaining phyllo pastry for another use. Brush the phyllo squares with the butter, and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Stack 4 of the phyllo squares and nestle the stack in an oversize nonstick muffin pan with the sides hanging over the top edges of the cavity of the muffin pan. Repeat with the remaining phyllo squares; you will have 6 stacks.

Make the filling: Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Divide among the phyllo stacks in the muffin pan. Bake 20 minutes. Unmold onto 6 plates. Meanwhile, make the garnish: Heat the jelly over medium heat until it is melted, about 5 minutes. Cut the grana into long, thin shards with a vegetable peeler. Glaze each of the tartlets with the jelly, and top with the grana shards, criss-crossing them prettily. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6

Decorating tip: We made a rose with apple peel to garnish the plate. To do so, remove a long strip of peel from a red apple with a vegetable peeler. Cut into five 1/2" squares and one 5" strip. Cut each of the squares into a teardrop shape; arrange these "petals" on the edge of a plate. Roll the strip around itself into a coil, and set it over the "petals". Repeat for each plate.



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