Saugatuck, Michigan


"It's the big kids who get everything! They push you out of line at the show
. . . they grab all the cake and ice cream at parties . . . I guess that's just the way life is. In the animal kingdom, we call it Survival of the Fattest."
--- Charles Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 7:1963-1964

Medieval French Apple Tart

"Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me." The Andrews Sisters, 1940

We've made a tradition of this Medieval Apple Tart, taught to us by a Frenchwoman, Madame Bouchard of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. Whenever we bake it, we are reminded of that afternoon in Madame Bouchard's country kitchen. She stretched and rolled her fresh strudel dough by hand while her husband peeled the apples. Later, while the tart baked, we shared an Armagnac. We've substituted phyllo pastry for the strudel, but the result is just as delicious. Lucky for us, we live in the Fruit Belt of Michigan where apples are abundant and delicious! One of our favorite places to pick Michigan apples is Crane Orchards in Fennville, just 10 minutes from Wickwood. This light, tender, and flaky version of a regional French croustade is made with thinly sliced apples and Grand Marnier. Serve it warm with a dollop of Crème Fraîche.

Serves: 4-6

• 12 phyllo leaves, fresh or thoroughly defrosted
• 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
• 1 cup sugar
• Approximately 6 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Calvados
• 6 medium-size tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1. Unwrap the phyllo sheets and cover them with a damp towel for 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 °F.

3. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 14-inch baking pan. Lay a phyllo sheet on the pan. Remember to re-cover the unused phyllo with the damp towel each time. Brush the phyllo with some of the melted butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the Grand Marnier. Repeat, using five more phyllo leaves.

4. Arrange the apples in the center of the top sheet of phyllo in a circular mound about 6 inches in diameter. Brush them with butter and sprinkle with some sugar and Grand Marnier.

5. Stack six or more phyllo sheets on top of the apples, repeating the buttering and sprinkling with sugar and Grand Marnier. The top (twelfth) sheet of phyllo should only be buttered.

6. Trim off the corners of the phyllo sheets so you have a large round, about 8 inches in diameter. Turn up the edges of the phyllo and pinch lightly to seal. Be tidy, but don't work too long on this; the tart should look rustic.

7. Set the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. If the pastry becomes too brown before this time, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

8. Serve the tart immediately, or reheat gently before serving.

Be yourself. No one can say you're doing it wrong." --- Charles M. Schulz


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The Inn


Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel 269.857.1465   |  
www.wickwoodinn.com   |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors