Pastis Gascon (Flaky Apple Pie -- Gascogny)

Total Time
1hr
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is among the most typical of Gascon desserts; it is not overly sweet. The classic uses a labor-intensive, eggy dough; this version is greatly simplified by the use of phyllo dough. You need to start the day before, because the apples should soak in Armagnac for about a day (the marinating time is NOT included in the prep time).

Directions

  1. The day before you plan to serve the pastis, marinate the sliced apples in three tablespoons of Armagnac.
  2. When ready to prepare, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in one teaspoon of the orange water (you will use the rest later) and one tablespoon of Armagnac; when smooth, remove from heat and reserve.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
  4. Lay out the phyllo dough on your workspace and cover it with a damp cloth.
  5. Using a pastry brush, butter the bottom and sides of a 10" pie plate with the butter mixture.
  6. Drape a sheet of the phyllo over the bottom of the pie dish with the edges hanging over the sides evenly and brush with the butter mixture (Make sure to butter the entire sheet, including the corners--but don't soak the sheets--butter lightly).
  7. Continue to do this with additional sheets of the dough, turning each so that the sheets overhang the pie dish all around; reserving two sheets for the top (Make sure to keep the un-used phyllo covered with the damp cloth).
  8. Pour the apples and Armagnac into the dough-covered pie dish and sprinkle the apples with the three tablespoons of sugar and the remaining 2 teaspoons of orange flower water.
  9. Fold the hanging edges of the pastry over the apples.
  10. Fold the remaining two sheets of pastry in half, butter them on both sides, and place them over the apples.
  11. Tuck any overlap into the sides of the pie and brush with the rremaining butter.
  12. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the inside is bubbly and the top golden.
  13. Serve warm.