Secrets to Success

Ingredients3

  • Always allow the filling to cool before spreading it over the phyllo.
  • Allow the pie or turnovers made with puff pastry to rest in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before baking. That way, you get an ever better result.
  • Any time you make a pie using the Traditional Phyllo Dough, sprinkle a little tap water over the top as soon as you remove it from the oven and immediately cover with a clean kitchen towel, leaving it for 10 minutes. This way, the crust will remain crispy and fresh longer.

For pies using Traditional Phyllo Dough, it is best to use a round, 36 cm pan. When laying out the square phyllo sheets in a round pan, you can twist the edges and ruffle the top sheets a little.

When making pies with Phyllo Dough for Savoury Pies, you can beat ½ cup milk with 1 egg and pour the mixture over the pie before baking. It will be even fluffier.

  • When preparing fillings with greens, avoid boiling them. You can wilt the greens by either steaming them or cutting them and rubbing a little salt and herbs into them. This way, your pies will be even tastier.
  • Seal butter puff pastry rounds without pressing on the crimped edges, but by dampening and pressing on the bottom. This will help retain the crimping pattern after baking.

When using Chrysi Zymi Phyllo Dough for savoury pies or sweets , and the filling process takes a long time, open the phyllo sheets on a flat surface and cover with a clean, damp towel. This will help them retain their moisture and prevent them from drying out.


  • Always use good-quality butter to baste the phyllo dough sheets for sweets. Authentic Middle Eastern sweets are always made with fresh cow’s milk butter. If you prefer a less rich taste, you can use ½ fresh butter and ½ margarine.
  • When making syrup sweets, in addition to basting the pastry sheets, you can add butter to half-way up the side of the pan after the sweet is assembled. In this way, it will bake in the butter. When doing this, drain the butter 10 minutes before removing the sweet from the oven. This is an Arabic secret. It gives excellent results only when using phyllo dough intended for sweets. This does not make the sweet heavier, as the very fine phyllo dough crust only absorbs a certain amount of butter.

The longer the baking, the crispier and more delicious your syrup sweets will be. Baking can be from 45 minutes at 180°C up to 12 hours at 80°C. Larger pieces require slower baking.

  • For the baklava filling, in addition to walnuts, you can also use Aegina pistachios and almonds, either on their own or mixed together. For a more modern flavour, you can add finely chopped prunes or dates and Turkish delight (lokum).