A Shortcut Apple and Pear Pie That Will Deliver Cozy Flavors Fast

published Feb 25, 2022
Eat
Shortcut Apple and Pear Phyllo Pie Recipe

For a no-fuss Thanksgiving pie, look to store-bought phyllo dough.

Serves6 to 8

Prep30 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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slice of pear apple pie on a yellow plate with honey being drizzled over the top. On thanksgiving table with blue tablecloth
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

This is a shortcut pie situation for when you want something homemade, but would rather not spend all day baking. While I’m all about using a store-bought crust to save time, I love the crunchy and light layers of phyllo dough as a substitute for a traditional pie crust. It also feels very therapeutic to brush the sheets during the layering process and can be a fun group activity if you’re hosting friends or family. 

Phyllo is actually quite easy to work with (and very forgiving, as you will see) — you just have to know a couple of things.

  • Make sure to keep the sheets covered with a lightly dampened cloth as you work so that they don’t dry out, which will make them tough to work with.
  • Brushing it with oil or butter also keeps it from drying out, adds flavor, and makes it crispy.
  • If you rip it or make a hole, then simply patch it up or layer on top, as it won’t matter here.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

In this recipe, we brush the phyllo with a mixture of olive oil and butter and bake until golden and crispy. Inside the pie are soft and tender pears and apples seasoned with fresh ginger and cinnamon, with a light layer of ricotta for a touch of creaminess. Drizzling it with honey before serving adds a final touch of sweetness, but a scoop of ice cream would also work well, too.  

Shortcut Apple and Pear Phyllo Pie Recipe

For a no-fuss Thanksgiving pie, look to store-bought phyllo dough.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 7

    (8x13-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

  • 1/2 cup

    ricotta cheese

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Gala apples, or a combination (about 3 medium)

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    ripe but firm Bosc or Bartlett pears, (about 3 large)

  • 1

    (3/4-inch) piece ginger

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon

    room-temperature water

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 5 teaspoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter or ghee

  • Honey or agave nectar, for serving

Instructions

  1. Thaw 7 sheets frozen phyllo dough according to package instructions, making sure to keep them covered so they don’t dry out. Let 1/2 cup ricotta cheese sit at room temperature.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to a large saucepan as you complete it: Core and cut 1 1/2 pounds apples into 3/4-inch chunks (about 5 cups, no need to peel), core and chop 1 1/2 pounds pears into 3/4-inch chunks (about 5 cups, no need to peel), and peel and finely grate or mince 1 (3/4-inch) piece ginger (about 2 teaspoons).

  3. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon room-temperature water, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to medium, uncover, and cook until the apples and pears are soft and tender to the bite but still retain their shape, about 15 minutes.

  4. Add 1/4 cup rolled oats and mix to combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool while you heat the oven.

  5. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF.

  6. Place the 7 sheets of phyllo on a dry work surface. Remove 1 sheet of phyllo from the stack. Lightly dampen a clean kitchen towel and place over the remaining phyllo. Drizzle the sheet of phyllo with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and use a pastry brush to smooth it across the surface until the sheet is coated.

  7. Lay the sheet oiled side down in a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate, gently smoothing it to fit the inside of the pan and letting some of the sheet hang over the sides. Repeat oiling and layering 4 more sheets on top of the first, overlapping them as needed to completely cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with the damp cloth.

  8. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee in the microwave or on the stovetop. Brush the inside and sides of the phyllo in the pie plate with half the melted butter or ghee. Add the ricotta to the pie plate and smooth it out into an even layer. Transfer the pear and apple mixture over the ricotta and smooth into an even layer.

  9. Brush the remaining 2 pieces of phyllo dough with olive oil (you can use the same brush). Working quickly so that they don’t dry out, place them oil-side down on top of the pie to loosely cover the top, breaking them apart to fit as needed. Fold in the overhanging pieces, scrunching them in. Brush the top and scrunched pieces with the remaining melted butter. Use a fork to pierce a couple of holes in the phyllo, then scrunch again to make it look pretty.

  10. Bake until the phyllo is crispy and golden brown, 20 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Drizzle slices with honey or agave syrup before serving.

Recipe Notes

Substitution: You can use melted butter or ghee instead of olive oil.

Make ahead: The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before using. The pie can also be baked the day before, loosely covered, and refrigerated. Rewarm before serving if desired to re-crisp the phyllo.

Storage: Leftover pie can be loosely covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Yasmin Fahr’s Shortcut Apple and Pear Phyllo Pie