The task of making a super flaky tart crust sometimes seems like an act of wizardry. Sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s actually just paper-thin sheets of phyllo dough. In this classic French take on the apple tart, tender brandied apples sit pretty in a crust of 4 layers of phyllo dough and are topped with more layers of phyllo shingles. Lest the irresistibly flaky phyllo layers outshine the apples, they are cooked slowly with butter and sugar until caramelized, then doused with Armagnac and lit aflame. This tart is so good it’s—quite literally—lit.
Start out assembling the tart by greasing a 10-inch springform pan with butter. Lay out first phyllo sheet on a work surface and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar. Fit it into the pan, with the corners hanging over the edges, and repeat with 3 more layers. Spread apples over, then cut remained phyllo sheets into quarters, pinch at the center so the corners are facing up, and place over tart. Drizzle remaining butter over top, and bake until golden and crisp. The result is a dessert that may upstage your main course.