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Strawberry and Custard Phyllo Pastry Pie

A memorable fruity dessert with “lean” custard and a crispy and light deep filo pastry case! Strawberries are a top contender as far as Vitamin C goes – six to eight provide the needs for the day as well as fibre and “sweetness” without many kilojoules.  Make the pastry shell in advance to have ready when the filling is made. Cool the custard before placing the strawberries on top and finishing off with the glaze.

Phyllo Pastry Pie Shell
6 sheets filo pastry
60 ml butter, melted

Custard
700 ml milk
60 ml cake flour
60 ml cornflour
10 ml custard powder
100 ml sugar
pinch salt
3 large egg yolks
5 ml vanilla essence
60 ml additional milk
3 large egg whites

Strawberry Topping
± 400 g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
250 ml red fruit juice (any favourite)
30 ml cornflour (Maizena)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Brush a 24 cm loose bottom baking tin or deep pie dish with butter.
  2. Place 3 sheets of pastry onto the work surface, brush with butter and cover with the next three sheets to lie exactly on top of the first to make a perfect double layer.
  3. Brush one double layer with butter and place the next two double layers star-shaped on top, brushing in between.
  4. Lift up the layers, place into the greased tin or dish and press gently into the dish to shape and create a frilly edged pastry case.
  5. Bake the filo shell about 6 minutes watching it constantly until a pale golden colour is reached.
  6. Cool a few minutes, lift out and place onto a serving plate – ready for the filling!
  7. Pour the first measure of milk into a large jug or bowl suitable to use in the microwave and microwave 4 minutes on High to bring it almost to boiling point.
  8. Combine the dry ingredients, egg yolks and vanilla with the additional milk and stir into the warm milk. Microwave on High for 3 minutes, beat well with a whisk and microwave 1 minute at a time, beating in between until bubbly, smooth and thickened.
  9. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into the thickened mixture until evenly combined.
  10. Microwave 2 minutes more, beat lightly and pour into the baked pie shell. Allow to cool.
  11. Arrange the strawberries decoratively on top of the firm cooled custard.
  12. Mix the cornflour and red juice in a jug and microwave on High for 2 minutes.
  13. Beat well and microwave until thickened and transparent.
  14. Cool a few minutes and spoon over the strawberries.
  15. Refrigerate the pie at least one hour before cutting and serving.

6 servings.

Recipe by Carolie de Koster.  There is a whole chapter on Phyllo Pastry in the Art Of Cooking Recipe book. Be sure to check it out!