Shredded phyllo with clotted cream (Ossmaliyeh bel Ashta)

This is a homestyle version of one of the most popular desserts served in traditional Lebanese restaurants and pastry shops in Beirut. It comes either in a large pie format or in individual servings.

It is composed of a super crispy base of fried or oven-toasted shredded phyllo  dough, topped with unsweetened ashta or clotted cream and served with a small pitcher of syrup.

To buy shredded phyllo online, click here. I buy it in the frozen section of my neighborhood mid-eastern store.


  • 1/2  pound of Kadaifi or shredded phyllo dough (1/2 package)
  • 6 ounces of  clarified butter
  • 1 batch of ashta (can substitute ricotta cheese)
  • 1 batch of syrup or honey


  1. Separated the strands of shredded phyllo with your fingers; dip them in the clarified butter until all the strands are moistened with butter. Form into the shape you want, either small nests or one large pie.
  2. I used the dome molds but a mini-muffin pan could be used just as easily. Heat the oven to 375F and bake them till well browned all over.
  3. Remove delicately from the molds and place on paper towels to get rid of the excess grease.
  4. Place on a serving platter, place a dollop of ashta on top of each nest and a smidgeon of orange blossom jam (or nothing). Serve with a pitcher of syrup or honey on the side.

NOTE: This dessert benefits from being prepared in advance: the nests of shredded phyllo can be formed in muffin tins (ungreased) and then left to dry out in the open for a day or two; then dipped in melted butter, placed back in the pan, and baked in the oven till extra crisp and golden-brown.

The syrup can be prepared in advance and the ashta or cream as well (the day before).

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  1. Posted June 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure this is best left to the professionals (like you) :-) I think I’ll look for it next time I’m at our local Lebonese restaurants. I’m adventurous, but not sure that adventurous. It looks really fabulous!

  2. Posted June 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    This is really beautiful! I bet my hubby would go crazy for these. I’ll have to pick up some kadaifi. ;)

  3. Posted June 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    I love the sweet bird’s nest look of this delicious dessert. Stunning!

  4. Posted June 1, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    This looks so delicious! Yet another excuse to eat dessert. Yum!

  5. Posted June 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Creamy and crunchy! A beautiful dessert.

  6. Posted June 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Scrumptious, I’ll never get tire of these dessert.

  7. Posted June 2, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    These little nests look divine! I made something similar quite a few years ago using shredded phyllo (kataifi) but with just syrup and chopped nuts. I didn’t brown the phyllo as needed however and so the texture was off. These look perfect however, and the clotted cream is heavenly!

  8. Posted June 2, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    This I have to try. It looks wonderful!

  9. Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Mmm, I’ll take your nesty crunch over a Nestle Crunch any day!

  10. Posted June 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink


  11. Posted June 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Making the Kadaifi in a muffin tin is a great idea. I’ll have to try than next time as my nests end up looking kind of “rustic” when I hand shape them.

  12. Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Awww I can imagine how sweet and delicious this dessert is! It looks beautiful too! Do you think there’s a way to make shredded phyllo at home? :-/ Your blog is almost making me cry :-/ There’re so many wonderful recipes I’ve never heard of, but I don’t have the ingredients…

  13. Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    What a FUN dish! Another keeper…

    Thanks for sharing…

  14. Posted June 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous ! And you’ve given me a perfect excuse to make the ashta AND this dessert. Thanks for sharing!
    Joumana – I haven’t checked your archives to see if you’ve already done it, but could you share a recipe for lebanese garlic sauce? You know the kind that is used as a dip with sis tavuk or fried chicken. I never get it quite right though I’ve tried many times to make it.

  15. Posted June 4, 2010 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Wonderful dessert, so simple and sophisticated! Thanks for the ashta recipe, too.

  16. Posted June 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful presentation, this shredded phyllo. It looks and sounds so versatile as to what you can top it with and serves as a good base for different flavors on top!

  17. Joanne T Ferguson
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Based on the photo, I have definately put this on my list of things to do and try! I was wondering approximately how much is a “batch”? Thank you!

  18. Joumana
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Joanne: a “batch” would be the quantity that I have indicated in the post, which is 2 cups of milk or milk and cream, plus the rest of the ingredients listed in the post; (when you click on ashta you get the recipe)

  19. Posted February 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    bonne idée ca.. j’essairai

  20. yasmin
    Posted April 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi , I made this recipe and it came out delicious !!!! everyone didn’t believe i have made it ! It is a smart way of making it at home for the whole family when you don’t want to buy it and it is even better the next day !
    But I have a question : the recipe says that the kadaifi has to be dipped in UNSALTED BUTTER , would I be able to use oil , or regular margarine if I would like ?
    Thanks a lot .

  21. Joumana
    Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    @Yasmin: Oil or margarine is fine, in fact I think that oil is what is used commercially. My pleasure.

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