Apple Purses in Buttered Cider Rum Sauce

Did you pick too many apples?

Our wonderful apple season is in full swing, and after a delightful trip to the orchard this week, apple dishes began to dance around in my head as I stared at my abundant haul. The weather was sunny but crisp, definitely fall air. The leaf peepers were out in full force this Indigenous Peoples Weekend, so it was a good time to stay inside and bake.

I thought about my mother’s apple dumplings. Peeled and cored apples, encased in buttery pastry, and baked adorned with little pastry leaf decorations. They were always delicious, but I also remembered that sometimes the apples were not quite cooked when the pastry was done; Mom would scramble to cover them so they didn’t burn. So I thought a couple of changes might be in order, first of all, I cut up the apples so they would cook faster.

Lighten the fat load

I also wanted to lighten up the saturated fat load on this dish, so I substituted phyllo pastry sheets for the puff, and used olive oil rather than melted butter between the layers. In the past, I’ve found whole wheat phyllo, but no luck this time so I had to settle for white. If you can find the whole wheat, it looks and tastes pretty much the same as the white. If you haven’t used phyllo dough before, these ultra thin sheets of dough can be a bit tricky to use, and you should expect a few to break. But if you keep them covered with a dry towel and work slowly, you will do fine.

We’ll make this one again

The result was a lighter version of my mothers, with fully cooked apples, and with all the flavor and crust crunch factor of the original. It’s still a dessert, it is still sweet, but not too much and with just a bit less guilt. A celebration of our season at the end of a lovely meal. Five of us at the table got very quiet when the dessert was served. A couple sunk in the baking process, I left them in the oven a minute too long, but the flavor and texture were there and we didn’t mind a bit of the wonky.

So many apple possibilities!

Use a firm baking apple such as Cortland, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or Empire, or mix a couple of varieties for a more unique flavor. Avoid apples such as McIntosh, or you will end up with an applesauce filling!

Let the apples shine

I’ve used just a touch of cinnamon so the apples themselves will shine, with a little enhancement from rum throughout the dessert.

These little parcels were almost as fun to look at as mom’s dumplings, and still memorable.

Apple Purses in Buttered Cider Rum Sauce

  • 1 pkg. phyllo dough, whole wheat if possible
  • 4 large, firm apples, about an abundant quart chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Thaw the dough in the refrigerator, try to remember to do it the day before.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core the apples, then chop or slice thickly. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice, dark rum, the sugars, and cinnamon, and mix everything up so the apples are well coated.

Gently open the phyllo, and place a kitchen towel over the sheets so they don’t dry out. No need to moisten the towel, this might make the dough start to stick to itself.

Remove one sheet and lightly spray with some olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with a bit more brown sugar.

Then sprinkle the dough with just a few more pinches of brown sugar.

Repeat until you have four layers, then slice the rectangle of dough in half on the long side to make two near squares.

Spoon about 2/3 a cup of the apple mixture into the middle of each of these portions. With oiled fingers, bring up the four corners and squeeze around the apple bulge until you have a little purse. The tops of the corners will flare out. Don’t worry, it will stay sealed. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet.

Continue making four more purses, then spritz with a little more oil.

Bake for 20 minutes and check. They will need another 10 minutes or so, but turn the pan at this point so they brown evenly and use your judgement when to check again. Don’t forget to set your timer.

When they are well browned, remove from the oven and let cool. Serve in a little puddle of Buttered Cider Rum Sauce below, with perhaps a scoop of vegan or dairy vanilla ice cream on the side. I chose a coconut based vanilla, and it was delicious.

  Buttered Cider Rum Sauce

Since my adventure at the orchard included purchasing some freshly pressed apple cider, a sauce was definitely going to be part of this dish. 

  • 2 cups sweet apple cider
  • ½ brown sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum
  • 2 tbsp. vegan or dairy butter
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

In a small saucepan combine the 2 cups cider, brown sugar, anise. Bring to a boil, slow to a simmer, and let reduce for about 20 minutes to concentrate the flavor.

In a small bowl combine the 1/4 cup cider and corn starch and whisk.

Bring the cider back to a boil, then whisk in the cider/cornstarch mixture. Once thickened, remove from the heat, and add the rum butter, and vanilla. Mix until the butter melts, and set aside to cool slightly. It will continue to thicken as it rests.

© Copyright 2019 and 2022– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with  active link and direction to this original post.

The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.

Supporter of:  Slow Food       Fair Trade USA       Northeast Organic Farmers Association     EcoWatch    Let’s Save Our Planet No Kid Hungry   Hunger Free Vermont

85 Comments Add yours

  1. TaMara says:

    Oh, twist my arm! These look amazing and I’ll have to make some. Yum.

    1. Have fun with it TaMara! Fun to make and eat.

  2. I love all kinds of apple puddings but that sauce makes it all the more special.

    1. Thank you! The sauce was well received at the dinner table?

  3. gabychops says:

    Thank you, apples are always the best.


    1. They are such a wonderful treat this time of year.

  4. Maggie says:

    I wonder if I could use Honeycrisp apples for this? Looks delicious!

    1. Thank you! Honeycrisp generally hold their shape when baking, so they should be fine here.

      1. Maggie says:

        Yay! Thank you!

  5. Jenna says:

    What a beautiful and yummy sounding Fall dessert! I think subbing phyllo for puff pastry is brilliant!

    1. Thanks Jenna! I was really pleased how these turned out!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love apple desserts!

    1. ‘Tis the season for all their tasty delights!

  7. Wow this looks absolutely delicious!!

    1. Thank you! We absolutely adored them, and they were fun to make.

  8. Americaoncoffee says:

    Wow’ Your apple recipes are a delicious, cozy platter for the season, ❤️🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎

    1. I’d save you one, but they disappeared quite quickly my friend!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        You would have made an exception, if to preserve a share for me, if it were possible. One day I believe that molecules will take a new form and termed cyber meals. I am anticipating. 🤔😋 Happy Monday Dorothy.

      2. That would be amazing! Then we all could try each other’s treats immediately!

  9. Ronit says:

    Filo purses are a favorite dessert of mine, and I’m always on the look for more recipes. Love your version here, and the cider-rum sauce sounds amazing. On my list “to make soon”! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! The farmers market is always so inspiring to me. Only one more week left before it closes until spring!!! 😢

  10. Ally Bean says:

    What a clever name for this dessert. They look adorable and with that sauce, YUM! Another great recipe.

  11. Bernadette says:

    Yum! The sauce recipe is delicious. I’ll bet it would be good on a slice of apple cake.

    1. Thank you! You could drizzle that sauce on a lot of things Bernie!

  12. Michael says:

    This all is looking great! Thanks for sharing, Dorothy. The only downside is that you have to have produced it before you can enjoy it. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

    1. Yes, but this one is fun to make Michael!

  13. Nancy says:

    Aren’t these a beautiful fall treat! And how about that sauce! Mmm Mmm!

    1. There will be sauce left over, but it won’t go to waste…
      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I’d like to attempt to make those. Maybe I will on my Thanksgiving break. (Not sure how they’ll turn out, though). I really enjoy reading your blog. . .everything always looks so delicious! Have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. Thank you Jenny! Phyllo dough is a great ingredient to play with, so have some fun with it! It will turn out fine. When you first work with it, you could get a lot of broken pieces. But save those and make a layer from them, adding a bit of extra oil.

      1. Sure will try! I might even send you a photo . . .if it turns out good (or bad!). I just love to try new things. . .It’s fun . . Have a great week.

  15. Sherry M says:

    these sound wonderful and look fabulous! I do like phyllo pastry – so crunchy!

    1. Thanks Sherry! I love that crispiness too, so good

  16. I am drooling Dorothy! I bet these are a huge hit. Since we save calories not using butter then I can have two right? Lol

    1. Of course, two would be great. Double the flavor!

  17. foodzesty says:

    Wow!! Dorothy this sounds delicious!!! I love apples 🙂

    1. Thank you! There are so many wonderful ones to try!

      1. foodzesty says:

        I love anything made with apples 🙂

      2. And there are so many possibilities!

      3. foodzesty says:

        There definitely is Dorothy 🙂

  18. That is one delicious looking dessert.

    1. Thanks Judy! It was yummy, and tons of fun to make.

  19. Gail says:

    Dorothy, kudos for such an eye-catching, mouth-watering, scrumptious apple dessert. Extra sauce for me! 🍎🍂🥃

    1. You got it friend!

  20. Jessica says:

    Love that you used olive oil!

    1. They tasted so good, and we didn’t miss all that butter at all!

      1. Jessica says:

        I am thinking of giving up butter. Olive oil seems to get a lot of praise.

      2. Since my husband’s heart attack last fall, we’ve been reducing our animal fat intake, and butter was the first to get replaced with olive oil and a bit of vegan butter.

      3. Jessica says:

        Oh my gosh, I didn’t know he had one!! Glad you found alternatives. I haven’t tried vegan butter yet. Haven’t found a brand where all the ingredients match what I can eat, ha.

      4. The only one I’ve found that tastes good is Miyokos. It is organic, made with cashews and coconut and has no artificial ingredients or palm oil.

      5. Jessica says:

        Awesome! Thank you!

  21. sunisanthosh says:

    Thank you for this amazing apple purses.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you appreciate them!

  22. Beautiful dessert.

    1. Thanks Jovina! It was as pretty to look at as it was tasty!

  23. C.A. Post says:

    As delicious as the apples look, can I just stop by for a cup of the rum sauce!? 😋
    ❤️& 🙏, c.a.

    1. Any time my friend! There’s always extra!

  24. Chef Mimi says:

    Oh goodness these are beautiful! What a wonderful idea.

    1. Thank you! Everyone was delighted when I served them their little purse, and I didn’t worry about my husband happily indulging! I don’t know why I didn’t do this before.

  25. Julia says:

    This sounds delicious and your pictures are lovely. I can almost feel the crunch as you bite into one.

    1. Oh they were very satisfyingly crunchy! A hit indeed!

  26. nancyc says:

    What a great dessert for fall! The Buttered Cider Rum Sauce sounds soooo good! 🙂

  27. Dorothy, this sounds completely amazing. A great recipe, thank you.

    1. Thank you Robbie! We certainly delighted in it!

  28. terrie gura says:

    These are so pretty, Dorothy! A sophisticated and fancy little apple dumpling. 🙂
    That buttered cider rum sauce sounds amazing too, and I might have to give it a go next time I make my grandmother’s bread pudding.

    1. Thanks Terrie! It would be great on a bread pudding!

  29. NativeNM says:

    Oh these little apple purses are too cute! I have never worked with phyllo dough but you give good instructions and make it look easy. This is a keeper!

    1. Thanks Jan! it is so much fun to work with the dough, I think you’ll have a blast!

  30. Christy B says:

    A lighter version that is a beautiful nod to your mom’s baking 🙂

  31. Looks so good. Adorable Apple Purses!

    1. Thank you so much! We thought they were delightful!

  32. Rehoboth says:

    Nice Post

  33. Rehoboth says:

    Wonderful Post

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is such a cozy fall recipe! How I miss reading your post! Looking forward to catching up. 🙂

    1. Thank you! It sure made the house smell good!

  35. Wow! These sound so good! 🙂

    1. Thank you! We loved them!

  36. Love this one too!

  37. Americaoncoffee says:

    This type of pastry can keep you in bed with the fictitious belief of being at a bednbreakfast. 😋☕️☕️🍳🥞

    1. Yes, while lingering over a lovely pot of coffee!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        YES!!! A Cozy pampering🥰!

Please leave your valued comment here...