Filo Fruit Tart

Rick Stein went to Thessaloniki and adored the fresh peaches which were in season, and made a lovely pie (his BBC series of Long Weekends might not still be available to view).

It’s autumn now, so I’ve substituted apples and pears, but any fresh (or tinned/frozen) fruit would be absolutely fine. This is the easiest posh pud I’ve ever made.

Serves: up to 10

Ingredients

  • 1 x 200g packet of filo pastry sheets
  • 1 lemon: juice only
  • 6 eating apples (Cox, Braeburn, etc but not Bramley); peel if you like
  • 2 ripe pears (Conference or similar are good); peel if you like
  • 125g unsalted butter (you can use margarine if you like)
  • A 1″ piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (about 5 seconds’ grating of fresh nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Kit

  • 1 small saucepan (a milkpan will do)
  • A chopping board and sharp knife
  • A fine grater
  • 1 large saucepan/pot (if not using tinned fruit)
  • A 9x12″ / 23x30cm standard traybake tin
  • A pastry brush
  • A cooling rack
  • An icing sugar duster (optional)

Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Set your oven rack slightly above the middle (i.e., closer to the top).
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat whilst you core and roughly chop all of the fruit.
    (If using tinned or [defrosted] frozen fruit, drain and chop into bite-sized pieces as necessary).
  3. Crunchy apples need to be cooked down a bit. Put the apple pieces in a large saucepan, add some of the melted butter, and squeeze over the lemon juice. Grate over the ginger root, add the spices, and cook over a medium-low heat for up to 8 minutes until softened.
  4. Whilst the apples are cooking, lightly brush your traybake tin with melted butter, over the bottom and along the sides.
  5. Take 1/2 of the filo pastry sheets, one at a time, and lay them in your traybake tin brushing each with butter, ensuring the tin is evenly covered and the filo goes up the sides.
  6. Spread the fruit over the pastry base.
  7. Brush the remaining filo sheets with butter, and scrunch them over the top (this is easier if you tear them into strips). When done, brush the top liberally with the rest of the melted butter.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking. When the filo is nicely browned, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  9. When the tart is fully cooled, dust with icing sugar if you like; or, leave the sweet fruit to do its magic on its own.

Filo Notes
I buy frozen filo packets. When they’re defrosted, they tend to fall apart too easily. Don’t worry about that – for the base of the pie, just layer the (buttered) bits/strips across the base of your traybake tin. The topping will be scrunched, so it’s actually better that you don’t have full sheets to do this.

Customising
You could use any fresh, tinned, or [defrosted] frozen fruit that you like. Harder fresh fruit (such as apples) need a bit of cooking prior; if your pears or plums are also hard, do cook them with the apples.

Tinned and [defrosted] frozen fruit is softer than fresh, so require no pre-cooking; if using only those and no fresh fruit, sprinkle/grate the spices & ginger over the fruit in the traybake tin before scrunching over the filo topping.

I recently made this with 3 Cox’s apples, 4 plums, and leftover mixed [defrosted] frozen fruit. I grated 2″ of ginger root over the apples and plums whilst cooking on the hob, and added 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves. (I also used Stork margarine instead of butter.)

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