Flaky, honey-drenched diamonds of baklava are a benchmark Middle Eastern indulgence; along with Turkish delight, they’re most Westerners’ introduction to the supercharged sweet treats of the Levant. Yet they’re far from being the only pastry at the Moorish party: similarly nutty fillings are often rolled into shapes such as wheels and cigars, or into a large, circular konafa, a crunchy pie made with the fine strands of shredded filo known as kataifi.
Lesley’s Pistachio and Almond Filo Coil is another variation on this theme: it’s as delicious as baklava but requires less work and looks impressive at the centre of the table. The Thermomix makes fast work of chopping the nuts—it’s a much better option than buying them pre-chopped and adds a distinctly nutty freshness to the finished product.
If you haven’t previously worked with filo pastry (also sold under the alternative spellings fillo or phyllo), or if you’ve tried and found yourself grappling with papery, brittle sheets
of pastry that seem to tear if you so much as frown at them, be sure to read Lesley’s tips. They will make a world of difference to your finished dish, your demeanour and your willingness to tackle filo in the future.