- Using the melted butter, coat the pie pan.
- Lay two strips of parchment paper, about 2" wide each and long enough to overhang the pan by another 2", in an "x" across the pie pan and gently press them in. Also butter the parchment paper.
- Set the oven to 350 F.
- Lay out the phyllo dough flat. Cover your work surface with foil (you only need enough for a little more than half the size of a phyllo sheet). Carefully separate out one of the phyllo sheets and lay one half of it on the foil area. Gently brush butter over half the sheet. (If you wish to sweeten the crust, you can sprinkle some of the sugar over the buttered area.) Fold the other half of the sheet over it and lightly press them together.
- Drape the halved phyllo sheet in the pie pan and gently ruffle it as you press it in - the ruffles not only add visual interest, but will keep the phyllo sheets from compressing and baking into one single mass (particularly on the bottom). You can choose to fold the corners that overhang the pan's edge under themselves, or leave them extending out (just keep in mind that extended corners tend to be very delicate and burn easily - be prepared to cover them with a heat shield during baking if necessary). Gently brush butter over the top of this layer.
- Keep layering and buttering the sheets until the entire pie pan is covered. Continue until you have used up the phyllo sheets.
- Bake the phyllo crust for about 10 minutes, check if it needs to be turned in the oven, and then continue for another 5-10 minutes until it turns golden (keep a close eye on it so that it does not burn). Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then using the parchment strips, lift the crust from the pan onto a wire rack to prevent the bottom from being steamed into softness.
- When filling, it's best to let everything cool down (the crust and the filling) to room temperature so that steam isn't trapped between the filling and the crust.
I tried this method initially by baking the filling inside the raw phyllo and having both bake at the same time, but this both compressed the bottom too much and made it not as crunchy. Also, since phyllo is prone to getting soaked by wet fillings, you can experiment with "lining" the bottom with something like a mix of ricotta cheese and flour to help buffer the liquids.