“Can we make caramel apples?”

The little boy is reveling in a crisp fall afternoon. He wants dipped apples or — better yet — an apple crostata.

I want the couch and “The New York Times” crossword puzzle.

He’s having none of it.

“I’ll make the caramel,” he says. “You can slice some apples.”

Fifteen minutes later we have a bowl full of apple slices swimming in silky, vanilla-scented caramel.

“You know,” I tell him, “we have a package of phyllo dough in the freezer.”

We thaw it for an hour or so, ’til it’s nice and pliant, then line a square dish with four or five sheets. We toss in the caramel and apple slices, top them with a few more phyllo sheets, and bake everything in a 400-degree oven. Dessert — silky, sweet, slightly crunchy — emerges 30 minutes later.

And I still have time for the crossword.

Caramel Apples In Phyllo

apples inphyllo

This takes a surprisingly short time to make. We used our standard caramel recipe, substituting vanilla extract for the usual almond.

  • Half a recipe of caramel
  • 3 apples, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Phyllo dough, thawed
  • Raw sugar

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 9-inch pan with butter, then line it with four sheets of phyllo dough, leaving an overhang.

Mix the sliced apples into the caramel. Spoon the mixture onto the phyllo dough.

Fold the overhang over the apples. Take two more sheets of phyllo. Fold them in half and lay them on top of the caramel apples. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.