July 19, 2012

Phyllo cups for what else...more ice cream!

When I was a kid, I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up (still don't, I think) but I did fantasize sometimes about being a caterer.  I wasn't serious about it but it seemed like something I'd like to do.  In my daydreams, however, the job didn't involve any messy cleanup or even a lot of unglamorous prep work.  I would be catering beautiful Martha Stewart-esque affairs, with fine linen, gorgeous flower arrangements, and an abundance of delectable food.  And much of the food would be in miniature form.  I saw myself in something like a crisp, white chef's coat laying out miles of miniature hors d'oeuvre and assembling decadent but tasteful dessert tables.
I always envisioned plenty of canapés at these parties, with delicious things stuffed inside small, crispy phyllo cups, for instance.  Like puff pastry, you can buy ready to use phyllo dough in the freezer section of the supermarket.  I bought a box on a whim months ago (probably around Christmas again when I just can't resist stocking up on everything and thinking about all the food I'd like to prepare but mostly don't get around to) and it's been sitting there in the freezer ever since.  So I finally decided to make some of those phyllo cups that I always associate with parties.

To make these cups, I stacked a few sheets of phyllo dough on top of each other with some melted butter and sugar in between, then baked them in a standard muffin tin (though mini muffin tins may be more appropriate for those fantasy catering jobs).  They are great little holders for ice cream and sorbet as well as anything creamy like mousse or pudding.

You could use phyllo cups in a sweet or savory manner.  For me and for right now, it's all about ice cream.  Even though ice cream really needs no adornment, I love putting and serving it in edible cups and bowls.
I still have a lot of phyllo sheets left in my freezer.  I might have to get more creative and start working on a phyllo pizza crust or something before too long.

You need just 3 sheets of thawed phyllo to make six of these desert cups.  As you most likely know already, phyllo is extremely thin and dries easily so take it out only right before you're ready to use it, keep it moist by covering it with a clean, damp towel, and work quickly.

Before you start, have 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and a pastry brush nearby.  Then remove one rectangle sheet of phyllo and brush it with about a third of the melted butter.  Sprinkle some sugar over the top.  Repeat with the other 2 sheets.  Then cut the phyllo into 6 equal pieces.

You could use a little less sugar if you prefer so take the measurements as a guideline.  Furthermore, you could try spraying the sheets with cooking spray instead of using butter to cut down on the fat.
Take each of the six stacks of phyllo sheets and place it into a lightly greased standard muffin cup.  Gently tuck the dough into the bottom of the muffin cup.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the cups are golden brown.  Remove it from the oven, let cool a couple of minute, then gently turn and lift them from the baking pan to cool completely on a wire rack.  Filled the cooled phyllo cups with ice cream, sorbet, or any other creamy sweet treat.


Phyllo Cups
Adapted from Martha Stewart

- Makes 6 standard muffin size phyllo cups - 

3 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a standard size muffin tin with cooking spray.  Have all ingredients (including a pastry brush and a clean, damp dish towel to cover unused phyllo) set out before beginning.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (cover the remaining with a damp towel so they don't dry out).  Brush the phyllo with about one third of the butter and sprinkle some sugar evenly over the top.  Repeat with 2 more sheets.

Cut the stacked phyllo sheets into 6 rectangles.  Gently press each into a standard muffin cup, tucking the dough into the bottom of each cup.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until cups are golden brown.

Remove the muffin tin from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then carefully twist and lift the phyllo cups out and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Fill these sweet phyllo cups with ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, mousse, pudding, fruit, or whatever you like.  These cups are best eaten the same day they're made though once fully cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for about 2 days.

Notes: To cut down on the fat, try spraying the phyllo sheets with cooking spray instead of using butter.  For savory applications, skip the sugar and after spraying the layers with cooking spray, you could add a light sprinkling of spices that would compliment your filling.

1 comment:

  1. I had a great time working with Fest Dinner and the Creative Foods Team. His prices were certainly reasonable and he was willing to work with us every step of the way. I didn't have a wedding planner, so Fest Dinner was very helpful in helping me figuring out exactly what I needed. The guests raved about the food and his staff was attentive. More information you can find at www.fest-diner.dk



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