Shredded phyllo with clotted cream

May 31, 2010  •  Category: ,


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 ofashta (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).


73 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Patty Price says:

    I’ve never seen this before, oh boy does it look good, where do you find the shredded phyllo?

  2. SYLVIA says:

    This is absoulutly divine, and luxury dessert. Light crunchy on the outside, and creamy flavorfilled on the inside, just perfect. I am gonig to try making them in the globe silicone baking pans, where to you order them from Joumana those red ones the ones you also used for your potatoes way back. This recipe looks great for a sit down dinner. I will serve it this way from now on. Thank you for an elite recipe.

  3. Juliana says:

    Wow, what a nice looking phyllo pastry…it sure looks awesome with the cheese on top. Love the crunchy texture of the phyllo with creamy cheese 🙂

  4. Anita says:

    That looks so delicious .. I love the little nest you made with the mold.

  5. Chetana says:

    Ohhh now I get it….had seen dis in a middle eastern store but cudn’t figure out wat it was….hey thks for sharing.
    Infact we Indians too hv a sweet/mithai sumthing close to tis…called suthar feni…tis one wud sure pls my tastebuds.

  6. FOODESSA says:

    It’s great that we can make these in part ahead of time. I’ve used phyllo before, however, I have yet to try the shredded one.
    These would be adorable for my next Easter pastry decorations ;o)
    Thanks for sharing and flavourful wishes, Claudia

  7. The Little Teochew says:

    My goodness, what a pretty creation! Now I know I can pair clotted cream with something else other than scones. Brilliant use of phyllo!

  8. Oui, Chef says:

    Joumana – Your wonderful blog is fast becoming one of my favorites! I’m half inclined to donate my middle eastern cookbooks to the local library and let you guide me through your wonderful cuisine. Would you ever eat this dish with a little fresh fruit tossed on top? If so, what would be in keeping with Lebanese tradition? Thanks for the tip on the 7 hour lamb, it sounds fantastic. I think I may be giving it a try this weekend. Cheers – S

  9. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    Thanks for the tips on how to make this successfully! I have never used the shredded pastry.

  10. Paz says:

    Oh! This looks and sounds heavenly. I’d love a bite right this minute, please. 😉


  11. Christine @ Fresh says:

    My goodness! I remember a coworker from the office bringing a plate of these dessert nests, and I ate more than my fair share. They were delicious, and I was so embarrassed about going up for seconds, thirds and fourths. LOL!

  12. Ivy says:

    This sounds fantastic.

  13. Eleonora says:

    Merci beaucoup à toi de nous faire découvrir une autre cuisine et j’adore. Merci de ton passage sur le blog et je l’espère à bientôt ! Bonne journée !

  14. citronetvanille says:

    Ah oui, j’ai déjà vu ces petits nids sucrés, mais honnêtement la pâtisserie orientale m’intimide je crois que c’est l’effet compliqué qu’ils dégagent. J’adore ta crème toute blanche comme un nuage, et ces petits fils qui ressemblent à des vermicelles ne sont que de la pâte filo! Quelle idée de génie! Tout me donne faim chez toi!

  15. Angie's Recipes says:

    That looks fabulous! The whole pastry case is like a bird nest.

  16. Cherine says:

    One of my favorite dessert!! Your ossmaliyeh looks fantastic!

  17. anncoo says:

    Oh my…this is perfect! Must try to make this..looks so yummy.

  18. Miriam says:

    Woooww, I love kadaifi!

  19. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I love middle eastern deserts, I bet this one is delicious. Actually, I like anything with clotted cream 😉
    *kisses* HH

  20. Katerina says:

    It is amazing how mediterranean countries have so many ingredients in common. I love kadaifi pastry. We wrap it with almonds, bake it and serve with syrup. This looks irresistible.

  21. Priya says:

    Beautiful and very new dish for me..

  22. Rosa says:

    OMG, that dessert looks heavenly!



  23. kouky says:

    bonjour Joumana!! hummm délicieux dessert ou gourmandise!! chez nous on prépare ça avec des noix. mais j’aime beaucoup cette version avec la achta qui me semble moins lourde et plus fraiche!! merci infiniment pour ce partage!! bises! kouky

  24. Sushma Mallya says:

    All your dishes are so unique and beautifully presented…this might be really tasty too

  25. PJ says:

    Looks awesome.I don’t get phyllo dough here so will try this with an Indian ingredient-Vermicelli that resembles the shredded counterpart.The nest looks sooo cute..

  26. Joanne says:

    These look like little nests of deliciousness! I really want to try some of that cream!

  27. peter says:

    An easy dessert brought together with imagination and an eye for simple pleasures. The crunchy texture of the kataifi and the ashta cream sounds like a wonderful; contrast.

  28. john@heneedsfood says:

    This is so stunning! A nest of tasty sweet goodness. I want five now, please?!

  29. grace says:

    what cute little nests! and bonus–they’re tasty too. i don’t believe i’ve ever had clotted cream–it’s not a southern staple, that’s for sure–but i’ll bet it’s a delicious topper. great post!

  30. deana says:

    They must just explode in your mouth with all that crispy goodness… oh my! I have never worked with ashta or kadaifi before… but would love to try! I think this would be great to have with m’semmen!

  31. TastyTrix says:

    Well, I have had shredded phyllo in a Greek dessert, but nothing like this. So stunning!

  32. Rachana Kothari says:

    Wow!!!! Such a gorgeous dessert… Crunchy and creamy 🙂

  33. Simply Life says:

    oh wow, I’ve never seen anything like that! Looks great!

  34. MaryMoh says:

    Looks very delicious. I can imagine the beautiful crunch biting into each one, combined with the cream. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Sue says:

    They look like delicate little nests. Perfect for a summer evening dessert. I’m going to have to try this one.

  36. spice says:

    Hi Joumana, how r u doing…i’m here after so many days, i should say weeks… usual I love these and my kids also gonna love this…..little individual nests…wow!

  37. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    How beautiful! Like little birds’ nests.

  38. Mary says:

    I’ve never seen the likes of these before. They really do look beautiful. I live in an area of high humidity and wonderful how these would hold up against the damp. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  39. sab says:

    another wonderful recipe..must be crispy and tasty

  40. Suman says:

    WOW…that looks divine…so tempting..thanks for sharing this recipe!

  41. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Don’t you ever wonder how these pastries came to be? The shredded phyllo – so intricate and inventive… and then, everything possibly unhealthy on it… butter -YUM – sugar syrup YUM – crispy in the oven YUM and then with rich soft creamy luxurious thick cream. How could one go wrong… soooooooo yummy. But, so rich and sweet. I don’t think I will make it, but I really want to eat it! if I make it, I know I will be eating them all!

  42. Kristen says:

    I have seen these before but have never tried one, now I am really craving some!

  43. Sook says:

    What a fantastic idea to shred the phyllo dough! I would definitely have to try that!

  44. Crystal says:

    How do you stay so slim with this wonderful dessert?! I suppose I could finely shred phyllo pastry sheets as I haven’t seen shredded phyllo here in France…

    • Joumana says:

      Crystal: these shredded phyllo sheets are made by a special machine that spews out the dough through tiny holes into a very hot burner; I would not advise you to shred phyllo sheets yourself, it won’t work; if you have an ethnic or gourmet Epicerie nearby, they may carry it since a lot of groups use this dough, including Greeks and I think Turkish also, or you can order it online through Amazon and others.

  45. Nadji says:

    Un petit nid délicieusement fourré. Que demander de plus?!

  46. Stevie says:

    How can you stay so thin making these incredible desserts all of the time? I’d be huge!

  47. Magdalena says:

    Shredded phyllo? Oh My Good ! Looks like Chinese noodles with eggs on top. What an amazing dessert and unusual idea:) Kind regards ….

  48. Lea Ann says:

    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!

  49. Faith says:

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

  50. Jen_from_NJ says:

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

  51. Erica says:

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

  52. Mimi says:

    Creamy and crunchy! A beautiful dessert.

  53. elra says:

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

  54. Maria says:

    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!

  55. Esther Cervantes says:

    This I have to try. It looks wonderful!

  56. Lentil Breakdown says:

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

  57. nisha says:


  58. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    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.

  59. Alina says:

    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…

  60. Louise says:

    What a FUN dish! Another keeper…

    Thanks for sharing…

  61. Grapefruit says:

    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.

  62. HistoryOf GreekFood says:

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

  63. Cristina says:

    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!

  64. Joanne T Ferguson says:

    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!

    • Joumana says:

      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)

  65. gula welat says:

    bonne idée ca.. j’essairai

  66. yasmin says:

    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 .

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