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Easy Vanilla Custard Pastry with Fresh Lemon Syrup

Updated on September 27, 2013

Flaky Lemon Custard Phyllo Pastry

Flaky Lemon Vanilla Custard Pastry
Flaky Lemon Vanilla Custard Pastry | Source

Rate Lemon Kissed Vanilla Custard Pastry

5 stars from 4 ratings of Vanilla Custard-filled Phyllo Pastry

Cook Time does not include [6 hour] set-up and chill time for finished dessert

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: 8 large, or 10 medium Servings

Turkish Laz Böreği, With a Fresh Lemon Syrup

You will find Turkish Laz Böreği (laz buhr-ee)—custard-filled phyllo pastry—to be a sweet and zesty dessert. Even as Turkey is technically Near East rather than Middle East, this particular dessert has the qualities found in the best Middle Eastern recipes. You will discover zesty sweet lemon syrup and refreshingly smooth vanilla custard nestled between flaky sheets of phyllo dough that have been buttered and browned to a decadent earthy golden tone. The light crispy cool texture will float over your pallet melting away, only to greet your taste buds with a rich creamy custard made to soothe even the hottest of summer days. The recipe is simple to mange, and sheer culinary divinity to indulge yourself with. Find a little help from packaged phyllo dough, and you will be chilling and serving this exotic lemon-kissed custard pastry with a flair found only within Turkish cuisine.

Ingredients for Turkish Custard-filled Phyllo Pastry

  • 16 sheets (13-14 x 18) Phyllo Dough, Room Temperature
  • 2 sticks Butter, Melted
  • (for syrup) 1-1/2 cups Water
  • (for syrup) 1-1/2 cups Sugar, Granulated
  • (for syrup) 1 lemon Juiced, Fresh Squeezed Only!
  • (For custard) 3 cups Milk, Cold
  • (For custard) 3 big tablespoons Cornstarch
  • (For custard) 1 -2 tablespoons Flour
  • (For custard) 5 tablespoons Sugar, Granulated
  • (For custard) 2 Large Egg Yolks, Organic free-range when possible
  • (For custard) 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla, Extract (immitation vanilla flavoring works okay but is not great)

Lemon Syrup Picture by Picture Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The lemon kissed syrup is really simple to make. Just mix together sugar, water , and lemon juice over heat!Combine water and syrup in a pan and stir.Bring sugar and water to a boil while stirring to make a clear syrup. Once syrup has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir for about 10 more minutes. Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze juice out. If you hold the lemon cut-side up while squeezing, it helps to keep the seeds from getting in your syrup. Add the fresh juice to the syrup.Adding a couple slices from the lemon can give an extra punch of lemon goodness to the syrup.Take the lemon slices out of the syrup, cool syrup at room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for use once dessert has been baked.
The lemon kissed syrup is really simple to make. Just mix together sugar, water , and lemon juice over heat!
The lemon kissed syrup is really simple to make. Just mix together sugar, water , and lemon juice over heat! | Source
Combine water and syrup in a pan and stir.
Combine water and syrup in a pan and stir. | Source
Bring sugar and water to a boil while stirring to make a clear syrup.
Bring sugar and water to a boil while stirring to make a clear syrup. | Source
Once syrup has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir for about 10 more minutes.
Once syrup has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir for about 10 more minutes. | Source
Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze juice out. If you hold the lemon cut-side up while squeezing, it helps to keep the seeds from getting in your syrup. Add the fresh juice to the syrup.
Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze juice out. If you hold the lemon cut-side up while squeezing, it helps to keep the seeds from getting in your syrup. Add the fresh juice to the syrup. | Source
Adding a couple slices from the lemon can give an extra punch of lemon goodness to the syrup.
Adding a couple slices from the lemon can give an extra punch of lemon goodness to the syrup. | Source
Take the lemon slices out of the syrup, cool syrup at room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for use once dessert has been baked.
Take the lemon slices out of the syrup, cool syrup at room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for use once dessert has been baked. | Source

Zesty Sweet Lemon Syrup Recipe

To Prepare Real Lemon Syrup:

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pot (a single quart size pan works well).
  2. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 11 minutes.
  3. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and cook for another minute.
  4. Take the lemon syrup off of the heat.
  5. Allow it to cool until it is room temperature, then chill syrup in the refrigerator.

For added lemon flavor, place a couple of lemon slices in the syrup when you add the fresh squeezed juice. Heat them through and remove before cooling the syrup to room temperature. The oils in the peel really kick-up the zesty flavor in this dessert.

Picture by Picture Guide for Vanilla Custard Filling

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Simple ingredients make this vanilla custard filled dessert!Combine milk, sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a pan and heat over medium. Mix continuously.Keep whisking until the mixture begins to boil (you will see bubbles in the surface). Lower the heat to simmer, while whisking, for another few minutes..Take filling off of the heat. Scoop out a small amount into a small bowl.Add the egg yolks to the warm filling in the small bowl, one at a time, stirring quickly to temper them.Add tempered egg yolks back into the filling and mix in really well. Doing this quickly helps to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add in vanilla extract and stir until well blended.Take the pan off of the stove, set aside, and allow it to cool at room temperature while you move to the next step.
Simple ingredients make this vanilla custard filled dessert!
Simple ingredients make this vanilla custard filled dessert! | Source
Combine milk, sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a pan and heat over medium. Mix continuously.
Combine milk, sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a pan and heat over medium. Mix continuously. | Source
Keep whisking until the mixture begins to boil (you will see bubbles in the surface). Lower the heat to simmer, while whisking, for another few minutes..
Keep whisking until the mixture begins to boil (you will see bubbles in the surface). Lower the heat to simmer, while whisking, for another few minutes.. | Source
Take filling off of the heat. Scoop out a small amount into a small bowl.
Take filling off of the heat. Scoop out a small amount into a small bowl. | Source
Add the egg yolks to the warm filling in the small bowl, one at a time, stirring quickly to temper them.
Add the egg yolks to the warm filling in the small bowl, one at a time, stirring quickly to temper them. | Source
Add tempered egg yolks back into the filling and mix in really well. Doing this quickly helps to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add tempered egg yolks back into the filling and mix in really well. Doing this quickly helps to prevent the mixture from curdling. | Source
Add in vanilla extract and stir until well blended.
Add in vanilla extract and stir until well blended. | Source
Take the pan off of the stove, set aside, and allow it to cool at room temperature while you move to the next step.
Take the pan off of the stove, set aside, and allow it to cool at room temperature while you move to the next step. | Source

Picture by Picture Guide for Vanilla Custard Dessert Assembly

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Melt butter and butter the 11" x 7" x 2" baking dish.Cut phyllo sheets in half. Butter layers and stack them in the bottom of the baking dish.Sprinkle a little cinnamon between layers. Spread the cooled custard filling on top of the phyllo layered bottom of the baking dish.Layer buttered sheets of phyllo over the bed of prepared custard you spread in the baking dish.Cut only the top layers of phyllo dough, leaving the bottom sheets in tact to secure the custard for later service.Preheat oven to 375°F and bake custard.Bake the dessert until it gets a beautiful golden brown crispy pastry top. About 45 minutes.Slowly pour the lemon syrup over the baked dessert until it has all been absorbed.Cool syrup drenched custard at room temperature for several hours, and then chill before serving.Serve chilled with lemon zest, mint sprig, and a lemon wedge for garnish.
Melt butter and butter the 11" x 7" x 2" baking dish.
Melt butter and butter the 11" x 7" x 2" baking dish. | Source
Cut phyllo sheets in half. Butter layers and stack them in the bottom of the baking dish.
Cut phyllo sheets in half. Butter layers and stack them in the bottom of the baking dish. | Source
Sprinkle a little cinnamon between layers. Spread the cooled custard filling on top of the phyllo layered bottom of the baking dish.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon between layers. Spread the cooled custard filling on top of the phyllo layered bottom of the baking dish. | Source
Layer buttered sheets of phyllo over the bed of prepared custard you spread in the baking dish.
Layer buttered sheets of phyllo over the bed of prepared custard you spread in the baking dish. | Source
Cut only the top layers of phyllo dough, leaving the bottom sheets in tact to secure the custard for later service.
Cut only the top layers of phyllo dough, leaving the bottom sheets in tact to secure the custard for later service. | Source
Preheat oven to 375°F and bake custard.
Preheat oven to 375°F and bake custard. | Source
Bake the dessert until it gets a beautiful golden brown crispy pastry top. About 45 minutes.
Bake the dessert until it gets a beautiful golden brown crispy pastry top. About 45 minutes. | Source
Slowly pour the lemon syrup over the baked dessert until it has all been absorbed.
Slowly pour the lemon syrup over the baked dessert until it has all been absorbed. | Source
Cool syrup drenched custard at room temperature for several hours, and then chill before serving.
Cool syrup drenched custard at room temperature for several hours, and then chill before serving. | Source
Serve chilled with lemon zest, mint sprig, and a lemon wedge for garnish.
Serve chilled with lemon zest, mint sprig, and a lemon wedge for garnish. | Source

Handy Short Cut to Layering Phyllo Dough Sheets

How Much Do You Know About Middle Eastern Food?

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Vanilla Custard-Filled Pastry

  1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, cornstarch, flour, and sugar, stir them together really well.
  2. Cook this mixture over a medium heat while whisking continuously. Once surface bubbles begin to burst, lower the heat to a simmer and keep whisking for about 5 minutes.
  3. Now, remove the pan from the heat, and put a little bit of the mixture (filling) into a small bowl. Quickly whisk in the egg yolks, carefully adding them one at a time. Mix thoroughly. Return the pan to heat.
  4. Next, you will pour the egg yolk and filling mixture back to the pan. It is important to whisk this together quickly and continuously, which will prevent the custard from curdling. The filling will change colors. Heat while whisking for about 1 minute.
  5. Remove the custard from the heat one last time. Add in the vanilla extract and mix together very well. You will see the custard change again to an off white color. Set it aside. You want it to cool down at room temperature.
  6. While the filling is cooling, melt and use the butter to grease an 11" x7 "x 2" baking pan. Stack 8 sheets of phyllo dough and cut them in half across the short length. You should now have 16 sheets of phyllo from this stack. (Use a dampened cloth to keep the dough covered and moist while you work.)
  7. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  8. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough in the bottom of the baking pan. Lightly butter the sheet with the melted butter. Add the next layer on top of the first and butter it; continue this method until all 16 sheets have been stacked and buttered one on top of the other in the bottom of the pan. (Watch the video at right for a really helpful short-cut to the phyllo layering process.)
  9. Carefully and evenly spread the room temperature custard over the top of the phyllo dough layers in the bottom of the pan. (I use an offset spatula to get the filling spread completely into the corners of the pan.) The filling can be a little clumpy at this point, but that is okay. It will still bake just fine between the sheets of dough.
  10. Cut another 8 large sheets of phyllo dough in half, again making 16 sheets as before. Now, layer these 8 sheets on top of the custard, being sure to butter each layer as before. Sometimes I sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon between each of the layers, but not too much or it can overshadow the vanilla custard!
  11. Once all of the sheets are in place, using your sharpest kitchen knife, cut equal serving size [8 or 10] squares in the top 16 sheets of phyllo. DO NOT cut through to the bottom layers of dough. The bottom sheets need to stay in tact to secure the custard in place during baking, setting, and serving.
  12. Butter the top of the phyllo sheet with any of the butter that is left over. Bake the dessert for 40 to 45 minutes at 375°F, making sure the top sheets of the phyllo turn a rich golden brown.
  13. Pull the dessert from the oven, and slowly spoon (or ladle) the chilled lemon syrup over the entire top of the dish until it all gets absorbed. Be sure to get the syrup all of the way to the outer edges.
  14. Allow the dish to cool and set for a number of hours (no less than 6). Refrigerate and serve cold with a lemon wedge, mint sprig, and grated lemon zest as garnish. (Oh, and a dollop of whipped cream wouldn't hurt one bit!)

Lemon Kissed Vanilla Custard Pastry

A wonderfully light and crispy Custard-filled Phyllo Pastry dessert.
A wonderfully light and crispy Custard-filled Phyllo Pastry dessert. | Source

Turkish Laz Böreği, with a Lemon Syrup

The hardest part to this recipe is going to be waiting for it to cool and set so you can enjoy its lovely textures and flavors. It may appear to have a ton of steps, but it is actually very easy to make. The steps have been detailed for you so to alleviate any questions during the making of the custard-filled pastry. The outcome is quite spectacular and simply taste amazing! This Turkish dessert will make an impression on even the most difficult of family and friends to impress! Now get started making your own vanilla custard-filled pastry with fresh lemon syrup!

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Comments for "Simple Lemon Kissed Vanilla Custard Pastry"

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  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    Simone~ So nice to find you among the comments. I gotta' tell ya, this custard dessert is like nothing else! While it is baking, the butter creeps into the bottom of the dish, to become a delicious rich compliment to the base. The top crust turn out so lemony and crisp once the syrup is poured on, making a perfect combination with the creamy custard. It looks like a lot of steps, but in the end, it is one amazingly impressive dish!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    HubHugs~

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    6 years ago from San Francisco

    You know, I've only had custard with pastry a small handful of times.. maybe three. This recipe is making me really wonder why I haven't had more of it. Gosh, it looks so tasty! Thanks for the helpful how-to and demonstrative photos!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    SJmorningsun25~ Glad you like the way this dessert looks! It taste pretty good too!

    Snshine625~ Great job on the quiz! Arak is a tasty drink, I am always amazed when it turns to the milky-white as water is introduced. Than you for your comments.

    Earth Angel Susan~ I hope you enjoy the recipe! We just love it.

    Minnitonka~ Next time I make it I will contemplate just how to package it and get it to you in good condition! Thanks for stopping by.

    ChaplinSpeaks~ I hope you do get to give it s try! It is well worth the effort.

    Thank you every person who commented, your support is appreciated.

    HubHugs!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    lafamilli~ Thanks!

  • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

    Sarah Johnson 

    6 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

    I am not a custard fan, but I would definitely have to make an exception for this beautiful recipe. Looks wonderful!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    6 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi K9-Hope all is well with you. This recipe sounds mouth watering. I am not a great baker so this would be a challenge for me but I'll sure take a piece next time you make it :-)

  • earth angel Susan profile image

    earth angel Susan 

    6 years ago from Central Flordia

    Going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! Awesome pics and instructions!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I scored a 100% on the quiz! I had my share of arak...even when I was underage. Yum!

    The dessert looks delish!!

  • profile image

    SJmorningsun25 

    6 years ago

    Looks wonderful! Yum.

  • lafamillia profile image

    lafamillia 

    6 years ago from Soutcentral Europe

    Mmmm...tasty :)

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