Misadventures with Phyllo Dough

Well, I learned what NOT to do when using phyllo dough to make pastries…

I wanted to make bite sized really flaky pecan pie ‘dumplings’.  Not sure if that’s the right terminology or not but I tried to make a nice flaky layered crust to wrap around the filling.

I had never used phyllo dough before but I know it would give me what I was looking for.  I had picked up some pre-made phyllo dough and defrosted it.  Made the pie/dumpling filling and started to do the ‘dumplings’.  I used a mini muffin tin to help keep them semi formed till they hardened, but what I wasn’t expecting is for the dough to start getting really brittle before I was finished placing them all together and in the muffin tin.

Either way, I used WAY too little dough sheets for each one.  Looking back, I should have probably used about 20 or so pieces of dough per dumpling.  As it was I used about 5 and they just weren’t enough.  They wouldn’t hold the mixture together very well and they just flaked and fell apart before being able to get them out of the muffin tins.

I think next time I’m going to try making them a little different and form them more like pierogies or traditional dumpling shapes as opposed to trying to use muffin tins.

Now, if I were to use regular dough to make them, I think the muffin tins would work perfectly.  Maybe even move up to regular sized muffin tins so there’s more room to work with the dough.  Just not make them quite as large up the sides of the tins.

In either case, this was a failed experiment in baking.  But in the end, what we did end up with was a GREAT desert.  We just used the phyllo dough hot sticky mess failed experiment and added some ice cream to it and WOW was it good.

Just in case you’re wondering what the filling was made of:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup baking molases

Mix it all together as you normally would for a pie filling then just package the filling into the dough.

If/When I decide to do this again, I’ll definitely post it up here to let y’all know how they came out.

Have any suggestions or comments on here?  Any that you’re willing to give would be greatly appreciated.


~ by Normanomicon on January 14, 2012.

3 Responses to “Misadventures with Phyllo Dough”

  1. No suggestions from this quarter. I used phyllo ages ago and all I remember is pain and humiliation. *sigh*
    Your recipe sounds good, though.

    • Oh, the filling was killer. Overall it made a great ice cream ‘topper’. It was definitely messy though. And phyllo is definitely painful to work with.

  2. Norm, I strongly recommend you pick up Christina Tosi’s “Momofuku Milk Bar” cookbook. It’s available for the Kindle, but it’s worth owning in hardcover. She’s not only a food science prodigy (if not savant), but she’s an engaging writer. Her book is not a collection of recipes, but a system of core forumlas that she shows you how to use to create a wild variety of delicious results. Example: in her section on bread making–which bakers have made into something between a religion and a fetish–uses one and only one dough formula for both croissants and bagels, arguably the polar opposites of the bread world. I’ve used that recipe for cibatta loaves, Chinese scallion bread, and two kinds of pizza crust. It’s baking for a tech-minded person without being phony or over-the-top about it.


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