Simple tips with phyllo pastry… by Anna Montali
- Phyllo pastry is tissue-thin sheets of dough used predominantly in Greek and Middle Eastern pastries and pies. It is used in multiple layers of butter-coated pastry to create a flaky crust.
- The pastry is found in the frozen section at grocery stores and comes in large sheets rolled into a compact roll of about 30 sheets.
- It needs to stay covered and should be thawed in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.
- The secret to using phyllo is to be organised and work quickly. Prepare all your ingredients before opening the phyllo pastry.
- When ready to start, remove the phyllo from its plastic casing and unroll the sheets. Keep the box as unused phyllo can be refrigerated or refrozen.
- Phyllo should always be covered with a damp cloth when not in use as it dries out very quickly. As you remove each sheet the rest must remain covered.
- The sheets can be cut into the size and shape required. I find it easiest to cut the pastry with a pair of scissors.
- Brush individual sheets with melted butter as dishes typically require more than one sheet. You can use oil-flavoured cooking spray between the layers instead of butter for a lowfat choice when making pies and pastries.
- Don’t worry if the pastry tears as this sheet can be used in the middle layer of the dish and will not be visible once cooked.