Created for one of our Greek menus, this beautiful preparation makes the apples look as if they are wearing classical drapery.
½cupwater or brandy
Heat the water or brandy in a small saucepan to simmering. Add the raisins, cover, and let stand about ½ hour.
For the almond filling, beat the butter in a mixer bowl until smooth and creamy. Add ¼cup sugar and salt and beat until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the almonds, cookies, rum, vanilla, and orange zest if using. Refrigerate until cold.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the filo sheets crosswise in half. Cover the filo with plastic wrap or a damp towel to keep it from drying. Brush 1 half-sheet lightly with melted butter. Top with a second sheet, brush with butter, and repeat with a third sheet. Place an apple in the center and push several raisins down to the bottom of the cored cavity to plug it. Fill the cavity to the top with the almond filling and sprinkle the apple lightly with 1tablespoon sugar. Join the four corners of the filo rectangle at the top of the apple and press to seal. Brush the filo package with melted butter and place on a rack on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining apples and filo dough.
Bake20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F and bake until a skewer penetrates the apples easily, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cover with a foil tent if the filo browns too quickly. Serve warm with whipped cream or crème fraîche.