Apple Phyllo Crisp with Salted Caramel Drizzle

 
This apple crisp recipe is from Martha Stewart’s blog, October 2010, and the salted caramel sauce recipe is from Two Peas and Their Pod blog, both adapted slightly by Chef Alli.

Crisp
½ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
1/3 cup plain fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
½ tsp. cinnamon
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough (11 ½ by 15 inches, each), thawed
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp. fresh orange zest
5 Granny Smith Apples, peeled
 
Thank goodness it TASTES better than it LOOKS in this photo!
To prepare the crisp, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. with rack in top position.  Combine pecans, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and top with 2 phyllo sheets; brush top sheet with butter and sprinkle one quarter of the pecan mixture evenly over the top; repeat twice more.  Top with remaining 2 phyllo sheets; slice apples 1/8 inch thick, discarding seeds, arranging apple slices in a single layer on top of phyllo, leaving space between fruit and a ¼-inch border around the edges.  Add orange zest to remaining melted butter and brush mixture over the apples; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  Bake, uncovered, rotating sheet halfway through, until phyllo is golden brown and fruit is soft, approx. 20-25 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Cut into 8 pieces and serve drizzled with salted caramel sauce, recipe below. 
To-Die-For Salted Caramel Sauce
2 cups granulated sugar
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 Tbs. fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes (or substitute kosher salt, if needed, it works fine)
Begin by having all ingredients measured out and ready to go – once you start the caramel sauce, you must pay close, close attention so that you don’t scorch it!  In a heavy-bottomed 2-3 quart saucepan over high heat, heat sugar whisking constantly.  When sugar begins to melt and clump, keep whisking until sugar is completely melted.  (Once sugar is completely melted, swirl the pan to move the sugar around.) Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color, watching very closely – this is where it’s likely to burn.  Cook until caramel reaches 350 degrees F., then add the butter, stirring until butter is completely melted. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring until the cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth.  Whisk in the fleur de sel or sea salt flakes.  Let caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the saucepan.  Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature.  Store caramel sauce in the fridge for up to one month.  
 
Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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