Monday, September 27, 2010


This is a really nice dessert made phyllo dough and topped with pears, apples and cinnamon. There are some walnuts in it too, and butter and sugar of course. This recipe appears in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living. 

The picture of the dessert in the magazine looks very appetizing. It jumps out at you, makes you feel as though you can reach out and touch the real thing: dessert!  While looking at that picture you get the urge to rush into the kitchen and get to work peeling apples and buttering phyllo dough.  Then, before you know it, you'll have delicately sweet pears and tangy juicy apples topping a piece of crunchy, cinnamony, phyllo dough. I was hoping that my photographic skills would be adequate to convey what I am describing to you.  However, I found out, to my chagrin, that I can't paint fruit canvases the way Martha Stewart's photographer can. Sigh!  I wish I had half the skill.  
I made my pear and apple phyllo crisp.  The aroma of baking with cinnamon and fruit filled the house.  The dessert itself was very, very good!  
This was the picture from the magazine.  Just imagine a full page glossy spread that makes you feel as though you can reach out and pick up a slice....                                 

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, or a combination of both, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
8 sheers frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 small pears, peeled (some Seckel pears would be perfect)
2 baking apples, peeled


  • Preheat oven to 400° F, with a rack in the top position.
  • Combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with 1 phyllo sheet. Brush the phyllo with butter and add another phyllo sheet on top. Brush with that with butter too.
  • In these next phyllo layers we will be using the nut mixture:  Brush the third phyllo with butter and sprinkle it with some of the nut mixture. Repeat another 3 times, buttering the phyllo layers and adding the nuts.  
  • Finally, top with another phyllo sheet and just brush it with butter.  By now you should be all out of the nut mixture. Top with the remaining phyllo sheet and brush that with some butter too. Make sure that you have brushed the edges of the phyllo sheets with butter, so that they won't dry up during baking.  (The original recipe called for a lot more butter.  These days using lots of butter on phyllo is not necessary. Brush sparingly, don't soak the phyllo in butter.  If you want to cut some of the butter amount even further, you can substitute part of it with a vegetable oil such as canola.  Do not use olive oil, however).
  • By now you should have about 1 tablespoon of butter left. Cut the the pears and apples into slices 1/8 inch thick and discard the seeds. Arrange them on top of the phyllo.  Brush the fruit with the remaining butter, sprinkle with sugar and dust with cinnamon.
  • Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until the phyllo is golden brown and the fruit is soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and cut into 8 pieces.  
  • The dessert should be eaten the same day it's made, because phyllo tends to loose its crispness by the next day.  


  1. Ana, It still looks really good. I melted the stick of butter but I didn't use it all, you are right that it really is a lot of butter. I changed mine in that I cut it into about 16 pieces. It really was good though and I can't wait to make it again.

  2. I made it and loved it. I'm thinking it would be a great addition to Thanksgiving... however I'll need to make it ahead of time. Any suggestions on how to reheat?

  3. Hello, Anonymous, good to hear from you. Glad you liked this dessert. You should have seen how gorgeous the picture of it looked in the magazine. Anyway, it’s been my experience that phyllo tends to get soggy if it sits around. You want this to be nice and crispy and warm when you serve it. I would recommend that you prepare the phyllo layers, leave them uncooked, cover them well with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. You can also slice the fruit, maybe sprinkle just a little lemon juice on it so it doesn’t turn brown, then keep it the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will be easy to finish assembling and baking it on the day that you need it. The whole processes -assembling and baking - should take half an hour. I hope this works for you. If you make it, please let me know how it worked. Happy Thanksgiving!