the_plan: (Welcome to the Kitchen)
This one was inspired by's June Cooking Club Challenge, which was in turn inspired by an episode of Top Chef Canada. So with that in mind, and with a nod to Canada Day this week - I took a classic Greek breakfast pastry made with phyllo pastry and Canadianized it by glazing it with maple syrup (instead of the traditional powdered sugar).


2 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup semolina (farina)
1 cup butter, cut into bits
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 454 gr boxes phyllo pastry, thawed, covered with dampened towel
melted butter
maple syrup

Slice vanilla bean pod open and scape the seeds out, add seeds and pod to the milk. Heat milk in medium pot until hot but not boiling.

Beat eggs until frothy; beat in sugar until thick and foamy, about 4 minutes. Remove milk from the heat and whisk slowly into egg mixture.

Return the custard mixture back to pot and set on medium-low heat; cook, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in semolina slowly whisking the whole time.

Reduce heat to low, stir constantly, until custard is thick and smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Add the pieces cut up butter, continue to whisk until butter is fully melted and beat into the mixture. Add the zest of one lemon, and squeeze in the juice too. Whisk to combine

Cover custard surface with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Unroll your package of phyllo, keep a damp kitchen towel handy to cover the waiting sheets while you build your pastry.

Place first sheet of phyllo on a work surface, with narrow end facing you. Brush lightly with melted butter. Lay a second sheet on top of the first. Brush again with melted butter. Continue until you have a layer of approximately 8-10 sheets of phyllo.

Place approximately 2/3 cup of custard into the centre of your prepared phyllo, spread out to approximately 1 1/2 inches from the long sides and 3 inches from the short sides (vaguely squarish).

Fold right and left sides (long sides) of phyllo from the edge of the custard towards centre. Fold the top and bottom (short sides) of the phyllo from the edge of the custard towards the centre - till they meet and slightly overlap.

Brush top with butter. Gently lift the pastry and turn and place folded side down on a buttered baking sheet. Brush the top with butter.

Continue to make phyllo and custard packets until you run out of pastry, or custard or both.

Bake until golden-brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Drizzle warm pastry with maple syrup and spread gently over the top with pastry brush

Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Cut into 9 or so equal squares using a pizza wheel or mezzaluna. Use a wide spatula to transfer the cut pieces to a plate. Serve warm.


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July 2011

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