I’m Not Afraid of Phyllo Anymore!

I’ve been out the kitchen for a while enjoying the birth of my sweet new baby granddaughter. Her name is Analena, and she’s just as beautiful as her name! I could hold her for hours ( and I have) and never tire. We just can’t get enough of her!

But now I’m back in the kitchen enjoying the bounty of summer with all the apricots and peaches that are in the markets, and thinking of different ways to use up all my tomatoes!
I’ve always had a fear of phyllo, because every time I worked with it disaster struck, it would tear and be a big mess. But I wanted to conquer it once and for all because phyllo can be a great alternative to a pastry crust. Its light, flaky and crispy and as long as you don’t drench it in melted butter or olive oil it can be a perfect low fat choice for the crust of a tart. I thawed mine in the frig for 24 hours, I think that was key.

I roasted my apricots in the oven at 400F with just a sprinkling of brown sugar until soft, about 20 minutes. Mixed 1lb of ricotta with 2 eggs, orange zest, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of cornstarch,1/4 cup of sugar ( or Splenda), and a heaping TBL of apricot preserves. Sprayed my tart pan with butter spray, which will cut down big time on the calories along with butter spraying each of my 7 layers of phyllo which I placed one by one in the tart pan. Spread my ricotta on the phyllo dough and positioned the apricots on top. Baked it for about 1/2 hour in a 375F oven, you want it golden brown and crispy, so just keep checking. While still warm, glaze the top with thinned out apricot preserves. Drizzle some honey on your slice!
For the tomato tart I used my red and yellow heirlooms that I cut into a 1/4″ slice. I let them drain out a little because they were super juicy. Mixed 1lb of ricotta with 1 egg, grated romano cheese, grated asiago, and fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper. This time I sprayed my tart pan with olive oil spray, along with each sheet of phyllo, I used 7 sheets. Layered the tomatoes around the top, and baked until golden and crispy, about the same time and temperature as above. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are you might have to cook it longer, I did.

These tarts are best if eaten the same day, but if you have leftovers like I did, don’t worry if your phyllo becomes soggy. I just put my leftover pieces on a baking sheet in a 400F oven and it all became nice and crispy again!
Phyllo is now my friend and I can’t wait to use it again!

Enjoy your weekend, and Buon Appetito!