Of all the desserts made with phyllo dough, this one is my favorite. It’s because of the filling. A luscious cream made with semolina and flavored with lemon and vanilla. Why did it take it so long to put it up here? I don’t make it very often. There is a time consuming element, although, frankly, it’s not that bad. You need to brush about 10 phyllo dough sheets with butter, one by one. The credits for the recipe go to the post by geosx21 at sintagestispareas, with some small modifications, especially the amount of sugar.
Servings: 30 (small as shown in photo) Calories per serving: 266
- one packet of phyllo dough, about 10 sheets or more
- 6 tablespoons butter to brush the phyllo dough sheets
- 3 tablespoons butter for the cream
- 1 cup semolina (fine, not coarse)
- 1.5 cup sugar
- 700ml milk
- 300ml heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest from one lemon
- 4 eggs
- for the syrup: 400ml water, 400grams sugar, three strips of lemon skin and a tablespoon of lemon juice
How to make: Start with the syrup so it has time to cool down. In a saucepan combine the water, sugar, lemon skin and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then put aside.
Preparing the pan: butter the bottom of the pan. Butter and layer five sheets of phyllo dough. Let excess phillo dough fall over the sides of the pan. You will turn them over at the end over the cream. When you add the cream, you will butter and layer on top, one at a time, another 5 sheets of phyllo dough.
Preparing the cream: In a big saucepan, combine the semolina, sugar, milk, heavy cream, butter, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Keep stirring with a whisk until the cream starts thickening. Be sure to stir with a whisk (and not a wooden spoon) to break any semolina lumps. While the cream is warming up, separate the yolks from the white part of four eggs. Beat the yolks in a bowl with a fork. Use a mixer to beat the white parts until they form peaks and then fold in the yolks. Gently with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Now, gently again, fold the eggs in the cream, using a spatula or wooden spoon. The heat should be really low. When the eggs are folded, take the saucepan off the heat.
Putting it together: Add the cream in the pan with the five buttered and layered sheets of phyllo dough at the bottom. Turn the sides of the phyllo that were hanging over on top of the cream. Layer five more phyllo dough sheets, buttered, one at a time. I find it easier to butter the sheets on the table and then place them on top. Use your judgment to fold the edges inwards so it looks good. When done, use a knife to slightly to cut the lines of the pieces. Sprinkle with water generously and bake at 180C/360F for an hour until the top becomes golden.
Take the pan off the oven and while it’s still hot, add the cold syrup on top. Take your time to add the syrup slowly covering the entire surface of the dessert. Let it cool down. Do not cover the pan while the dessert is still hot.
Enjoy friends. Best dessert!