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 right now, so I’ve substituted apples and pears, but any fresh (or even tinned) 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
  • 1/2 lemon: juice only
  • 6 eating apples (Cox, Braeburn, etc but not Bramley)
  • 2 ripe pears (Conference or similar are good)
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • A 1″ piece of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 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
  • 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).
  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 fruit, chop into bite-sized pieces as necessary).
  3. If using fresh apples, they need to be cooked down a bit. Put the apple pieces in a large saucepan, add some butter, and squeeze over the lemon juice. Add the spices and cook over a medium 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, brushing each with butter, and lay them into your traybake tin ensuring it’s evenly covered and they line the sides.
  6. Spread the fruit over the pastry base.
  7. Brush the remaining filo sheets with butter, and scrunch them over the top. 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 than you don’t have full sheets to do this.

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

Tinned fruit’s obviously softer so requires no pre-cooking; if using tinned, sprinkle/grate the spices & ginger over the fruit in the traybake tin before scrunching over the filo topping.

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