Baking & Desserts

Discover phyllo

Discover phyllo

Brie, Apple and Walnut Phyllo Triangles
Photography by Matthew Kimura
Image by: Brie, Apple and Walnut Phyllo Triangles <br> Photography by Matthew Kimura Author: Canadian Living

Baking & Desserts

Discover phyllo

What it is:
Fillo, filo or phyllo (from the Greek phyllon which means "leaf") is paper-thin sheet of dough made from water, flour and a bit of oil. When the sheets are layered and brushed lightly with melted butter or oil, they can be folded to become purses for sweet savoury fillings, stacked as mock puff pastry or spiced and cut into thin cookie-like wafers.

How to buy it:
Frozen phyllo dough is available in long rectangular boxes in most supermarkets. There are 18 to 20 sheets in each 1 lb (500 g) box. It must be thawed before using by refrigerating for up to 24 hours or letting stand at room temperature for about three hours.

How to use it:
Phyllo tends to dry out quickly so work as fast as possible and keep stack covered with damp towel. Rewrap unused phyllo and refrigerate it for up to two days. Leftover pastry is best suited to making wafers or items for which manipulation is required. Phyllo sheets that are dry, crumbly or severely torn are difficult to work with. If outer sheets of pastry are too torn to shape or roll, discard them and take new sheets farther down in the stack, otherwise filling may seep out during baking.

Slowly and gently pull phyllo sheets apart. If two sheets will not separate, leave together and brush with butter.

Baked phyllo is easier to cut with a sharp serrated knife.

Here are some great recipes featuring phyllo:
Coconut Curried Chicken Phyllo Rolls - Spicy and slightly sweet, these pretty morsels have a creamy consistency from the coconut milk.

Flaky Phyllo Cups - These cups are easy to make and freeze well, so consider making extra to use with other fillings, such as the one in Smoked Salmon Eclairs.

Anna Kapelos' Phyllo Fruit Slices - Our friend George Kapelos has shared many holiday occasions with our family, as well as this recipe from his late mother.

Chicken Phyllo Bundles with Herbed Sabayon - Made with chicken breasts, Dijon mustard and vermouth-infused herb mixture, this main dish is sure to please.

Shrimp Phyllo Nests - Crisp, golden appetizer cups look like little bird nests. Use them as a base for any number of toppings, such as smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Brie, Apple and Walnut Phyllo Triangles - A perfect fusion of Brie, apple and walnuts hides inside crisp, buttery phyllo pastry.

Phyllo Cups with Crab Salad, and Goat Cheese and Tomatoes - Savoury crabs go extremely well with goat cheese in this melt-in-your-mouth pastry.

Wild Mushrooms in Phyllo Crowns - Garlic cloves and thyme infuse the mushrooms and sweet peppers in this oven-baked recipe.

Page 1 of 2 -- Learn more ways to use phyllo with our recipe picks on page 2

Master the art of working with phyllo pastry by trying our Tested Till Perfect recipes:

Crab Salad in Phyllo Cups - Make the cups and salad in advance but stir the avocado into the salad just before serving.
Phyllo-Wrapped Apricot Cheesecake - Made with a dried apricot puree, this pastry-wrapped cheesecake is a definite crowd-pleaser!
Chicken Phyllo Bundles - Feta and Parmesan cheese, along with olive oil and spices, make this one of the tastiest stuffed chicken breast recipes ever.
Apple Walnut Phyllo Triangles - This perfect fusion of cheese, apple and walnuts hides inside crisp, buttery pastry in this recipe.
Phyllo-Topped Chicken Pot Pie  - As the winter darkness spills into day, the kitchen brightens with this cold-weather favourite.
Cheese Strudel - Cottage cheese and sour cream are the stars in this strudel recipe.
Apple Plum Raisin Strudel - This strudel combines the seasonal flavours of apples and plums and uses oil instead of butter to keep it non-dairy.
Mincemeat Strudel - Mixed with pears and baked with a hint of lemon, this mincemeat strudel is a savoury choice.
Rhubarb Strudel - Made with tapioca and rhubarb, this sweet strudel seals the deal.
Easy Cheesy Tomato Tart - While tomatoes, garlic and Dijon mustard provide the savoury notes for this phyllo tart, mozzarella and fontina cheese give it good balance.
Strawberry White Chocolate Tart with Mascarpone - Juicy berries, a crispy shell and a creamy filling make a great combination of textures in this irresistible dessert.
Salmon Strudels - This recipes makes an elegant phyllo-wrapped salmon fillet gussied up with wild rice, mushrooms and spinach.
Cherry Chocolate Baklava - Dried cherries, cinnamon and a sweet honey syrup makes this chocolate baklava a must-try dessert.
Mushroom Red Pepper Pleated Puffs - Roasted red peppers and mushrooms combine with Oka cheese to make this an excellent puff pastry dish.
Curried Lamb Triangles - Try another approach to curry with this ground lamb recipe.
Chicken and Mushroom Bundles - Fresh herbs and mushrooms bring out the best flavours in this wrapped chicken entree.
Raspberry White Chocolate Tart with Mascarpone - Phyllo pastry provides a unique crunch to fruit-based desserts.
Apple Cherry Strudel Roll - Serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Lime-Buttered Scallops - Fresh scallops are best for these phyllo baskets. Summer is a-callin'!
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Asparagus Strudel - This fabulous spring soup is scrumptious on its own, garnished simply with asparagus tips.
Portobello Asparagus Strudels - Asiago cheese and roasted red peppers complement the mushrooms well in this recipe, which can be made ahead for dinner parties.
Chocolate and Caramelized Banana Tarts - A crisp crust of phyllo envelops a bed of caramelized bananas and a chocolate filling for an irresistible match made in heaven.

Need more cooking tips? Ask other readers in our forums!

Page 2 of 2 - Discover the joys of cooking with phyllo on page 1.


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Baking & Desserts

Discover phyllo