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
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove delicately from the molds and place on paper towels to get rid of the excess grease.
- 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).