I love Ashta – a Lebanese cream found in many of their pastries. I wanted to create a simple/easy dessert containing it and voila!
Phyllo (fillo) mini shells filled with Ashta cream sprinkled with ground pistachios & topped with an orange blossom syrup.
This light, crunchy and scented dessert will melt in your mouth and leave your taste buds craving for more.
• Mini Fillo (Phyllo) Shells
• Ground raw unsalted pistachios
Ashta Cream Filling:
• 5 slices of white sandwich bread
• 2 1/4 cups of half-and-half
• 1 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch
• 1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon of Cortas orange blossom water and/or rose water
Orange Blossom Syrup:
• 2 cups of sugar
• 1 cup of water
• 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed/strained lemon juice
• 1/2 tablespoon of orange blossom water
I recommend using a mixing utensil that is new/clean. The Ashta cream filling and syrup will absorb any food flavors previously engrossed in wooden spoons or other extensively used utensils. You don’t want to end up with a garlic flavored dessert!
To prepare the syrup:
Dissolve the sugar with the water and mix well in a saucepan. Place over high heat and keep uncovered. Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil, leave it boil for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and orange blossom water. Return to a boil for an additional 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely at room temperature.
The lemon juice added is extremely important in keeping the syrup from crystallizing when stored for longer periods. I store in the fridge for weeks.
To prepare the Ashta cream filling:
Remove and discard the crusts from the bread slices then cut the bread into 1 inch pieces. In a non-stick saucepan, combine all the ingredients and place over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Reduce the heat to medium and cook stirring constantly until nice and thick (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool completely at room temperature. Store and cool in the fridge for a couple of hours to thicken completely.
Fill the phyllo cups with the Ashta, sprinkle with pistachios and top with the syrup. Enjoy!