This story originally appeared in The Nosher.
Ruffle milk pie is a Greek dessert made with a simple custard base and rose-like coils of phyllo dough. It’s a type of galatopita (Greek for pie made with milk) that is very similar to the Middle Eastern dessert muakacha (Arabic for wrinkle), which is also known as a crinkle cake.
Crinkle cakes had a viral TikTok moment last year, and it’s obvious why ruffle pies have become so popular: they’re easy to make and result in a gorgeous, golden brown dessert with crispy pastry ruffles and a tender bottom layer of sweet, custard-soaked dough.
With the addition of tart apples and floral honey, ruffle milk pie becomes a celebration of the flavors of fall and the High Holiday season.
Apple and Honey Ruffle Milk Pie
10 large sheets of phyllo dough (13-14”x18”), thawed
6 tablespoons butter, melted (or vegan butter)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or creamy non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small apple or ½ medium apple, sliced very thin
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line and grease a 9” cake pan with parchment. Metal cake pans are best for this recipe, but you can also use a ceramic or glass deep dish pie pan, or a 9” springform pan.
Make sure that your phyllo dough is fully thawed according to the package instructions. Phyllo dough dries out very quickly, and in order to prevent that, lightly dampen a clean kitchen towel.
Unroll the dough, and lie it flat on a clean surface. Cover it with the damp towel to keep it from drying out. Take out one sheet of phyllo dough at a time, and keep the rest covered. Generously brush the sheet of phyllo with the melted butter. Scrunch the dough lengthwise on either side toward the center, so that the buttered phyllo sheet forms a long fan-like ruffle of dough.
Starting on one end, loosely spiral the dough into a coil; it will form a rose-like shape. Make sure not to coil the dough too tightly, you want ruffles and height in this pie. Place one spiral of dough into the center of the greased and lined 9-inch pan.
Continue the process and make a total of 9 more spirals of phyllo dough, or 10 in total. If you’re using smaller sheets of phyllo dough, you may need to add a few additional pieces of dough to fill the pan. Arrange the coiled sheets of phyllo into the pan, and make sure not to flatten any of the dough, adjust to fill out the pan as needed. If you have any leftover melted butter, brush it over the top of the phyllo spirals.
Cut the apple on either side of the core, then thinly slice the apple into half-moon shapes, about 1/8-inch thick or less. Gently tuck in slices of apple between ruffles of phyllo dough. Make sure not to press down on the dough, and instead gently nestle in the apple. Use as much apple as desired, about 1 small apple, or half of a medium apple.
Bake for 20 minutes, the phyllo dough will start to just slightly brown on top.
While it is in the oven prepare the custard. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
Once the pie has baked for 20 minutes, pour the custard evenly over the phyllo spirals. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and puffed up, and the custard has fully set.
While the pie is baking with the custard, prepare a honey syrup by combining the honey and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until a syrup has formed and the mixture has slightly thickened.
While the pie is still hot, drizzle the honey syrup over it. Be careful to leave some golden brown ruffles untouched by honey, so that they remain extra crispy. Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Pie is best served at room temperature, and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If storing in the fridge, bring the pie up to room temperature before serving, or reheat for 10-15 minutes, covered, at 350°F.
Garnish with powdered sugar or whipped cream if desired.