For all its ready-made convenience, frozen phyllo dough can still be a beast to work with. Forget to thaw it out overnight and you’ll be stuck waiting for hours until it’s pliable. Wait too long, however, and it’ll become as brittle as a dried out twig. Bake it too close to the heating element and the top will burn before the center ever feels a blush of warmth. Under-cook a carefully layered tower, and all your intricate assembly can turn into one murky morass of pastry. It’s enough to make you want to crumble the whole sheet into a ball.
Well, have I got the dish for you! Ruffled milk pie is exactly the catharsis for anyone that’s struggled to deal with fickle phyllo. Traditionally a sweet type of galatopia, which in the simplest terms is just a Greek milk pie. Sometimes there’s semolina involved, sometimes it takes the form of a crustless baked pudding, but the best ones involve that gossamer-thin golden pastry, phyllo.
Before you slam the freezer door shut on this idea, hear me out. Rather than stacking up sheet after sheet in a precarious towering column, all you need to do is roll them into little rosettes, fit them into a pan, and bake without a worry in the world. Since the bottom is immersed in custard, the lower sheets stay soft like bread pudding, while the tops that jut out become shatteringly crisp, without any careful oven calibration required.
Naturally, I could never do anything completely traditional, so my version is savory rather than sweet, designed as a showstopping entree for any brunch, garden party, celebration, or casual affair. It’s so quick and versatile that there’s no reason why you couldn’t just whip it up on some random Tuesday, too. A blend of chickpea flour and nutritional yeast gives it a distinctly eggy flavor, like a quiche or frittata with the crust on top.
Fresh mint and lemon zest add bright pops of flavor in every bite, highlighting tender fresh asparagus that’s woven throughout the matrix of phyllo and custard. Any seasonal vegetable would be fantastic here:
- Consider peas or chopped artichokes for a change of pace while spring is in high gear.
- For summer, switch it up with diced zucchini, green beans, corn kernels, or bell peppers.
- When fall comes around, beets, diced pumpkin, or acorn squash would make a vibrant splash.
- Finally, consider some wintry options like shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, or chopped kale to see you through the colder months.
There’s truly never a bad time or place for such a versatile, deeply satisfying, and reasonably healthy meal. It’s certainly a good reason to embrace phyllo again, even if you’ve been burned before. This one is perfect for beginners and believers alike.
Asparagus Ruffled Milk Pie (Galatopita)
For a savory take on the classic Greek baked custard, this healthy entree is the stuff of springtime dreams. Fresh mint and lemon zest add bright pops of flavor in every bite, highlighting tender fresh asparagus that's woven throughout the matrix of phyllo and custard.
Phyllo and Asparagus:
- 1 Pound (18 Sheets, 13 x 17-Inches) Frozen Phyllo, Thawed
- 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Asparagus, Trimmed and Cut into 1/2-Inch Pieces, Tips Reserved
- 1 Cup Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Potato Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, Finely Minced
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Kala Namak (Black Salt)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Cups Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper or foil and lightly grease. Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet for easier maneuvering, and set aside.
- Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a clean, dry surface and brush with olive oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, brush again with olive oil. Scatter about 1/3 cup of asparagus pieces across the center. Fold the sheet in half lengthwise, enclosing them like a little pocket. Now, roll the dough like a cinnamon roll, starting from the short end, to create a frilly little rosette. Place this with the folded side down into your baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dough and asparagus, nestling them in close, until you've filled the pan with 9 rolls in all. Drizzle any excess olive oil over the top.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, potato starch, nutritional yeast, mint, lemon zest, kala namak, onion powder, pepper, turmeric, and baking powder. Make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined before pouring in the milk. Whisk vigorously, beating out any lumps, until completely smooth.
- Pour the liquid custard base all over the rolls, taking particular care to direct it into any open crevasses. Tap the pan firmly on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles and ease it down to the bottom.
- Place the baking pan in the center of your oven and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove it and scatter the reserved asparagus tips on top. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 30 - 35 minutes (45 - 50 minutes in all) until the top is golden brown all over and the center appears set.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with fresh mint leaves and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Any seasonal vegetable would be fantastic here; consider peas or chopped artichokes for a change of pace while spring is in high gear. For summer, switch it up with diced zucchini, green beans, corn kernels, or bell peppers. When fall comes around, beets, diced pumpkin, or acorn squash would make a vibrant splash. Finally, consider some wintry options like shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, or chopped kale to see you through the colder months.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.
5 thoughts on “Ruffle Some Feathers”
I’ve finally printed one of your recipes!!! And I think I can do this! Not a baker, but I’m not scared of phyllo even though you’re right -you gotta treat it right. Thanks!
Hooray! That feels like a big accomplishment here, and I’m so flattered for the compliment. I do hope it lives up to expectations. I’d love to hear how it goes!
Phyllo and asparagus. What’s not to like? Many, many years ago when I worked at a health food store and bakery in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I made baklava, one of my favorite things. I tend to like savory better than sweet but a few years prior to that job, I was in Europe for almost a year and when in Greece, I was thrilled to discover baklava, which I tried to have one a day if possible. :-)
I hear you on that! I have at least three or four recipes for different types of baklava… It’s always been a favorite for my dad, so I tend to break it out during his birthday and Father’s Day. :)
Love how you presented this Phyllo pastry, the ruffles on top made it pretty. Never had used Phyllo apart from Baklava and you’re recipe for today tells me to make one soon, they look awesome.