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Easy Vanilla Custard Pastry with Fresh Lemon Syrup
Flaky Lemon Custard Phyllo Pastry
Rate Lemon Kissed Vanilla Custard 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 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. zesty sweet lemon syrup
Animal Print Dessert Plates
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 InstructionsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Zesty Sweet Lemon Syrup Recipe
To Prepare Real Lemon Syrup:
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small pot (a single quart size pan works well).
- Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 11 minutes.
- Stir in the fresh lemon juice and cook for another minute.
- Take the lemon syrup off of the heat.
- 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 FillingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Fillo Dough Squares
Picture by Picture Guide for Vanilla Custard Dessert AssemblyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Handy Short Cut to Layering Phyllo Dough Sheets
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Vanilla Custard-Filled Pastry
- In a medium saucepan, add milk, cornstarch, flour, and sugar, stir them together really well.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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!