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Cryspy Filo, Custard and Cretan Mangoes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 4


  • 3 tbspn melted butter
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For the custard

  • 400 ml 14fl oz double cream
  • 200 ml 7fl oz whole milk
  • 2 cardamon pods seeds removed and crushed
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 g 3 1/2 oz caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fine semolina
  • 3 fragrant mangoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Depending on the season, you can change the fruit in this dessert. In autumn, I love plums with a touch of sugar and a splash of water pouring them on top.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 oC / 325 oF / gas mark 3
  • To make the custard, put the cream, milk and cardamon in a pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer while you whisk the egg yolks. Using an electric mixer, whisk the yolks with the sugar and semolina until pale and creamy. Take the cream off the heat and, quickly, whisk in the egg mix. Return to the heat for another few minutes or until the custard thickens. Transfer to a dish and chill in the fridge.
  • Place a sheet of pastry o a small baking tray and brush generously with some of the melted butter followed by a sprinkle of sugar. Place another sheet on top and brush with more butter and a sprinkling of sugar. Repeat this until all six sheets are layered on top of one another in the tray. Score the pastry with a sharp knife into squares or diamonds. This will allow air to enter the pastry and it will puff up in the oven.
  • Cook in the oven for 20-15 minutes or until golden brown. You want all the layers to be golden and crispy, so check the bottom layers before you take it out of the oven; if they are not crispy, turn them upside down and cook for a little longer. It does not matter if the pastry brakes up a little as this is what you will end up doing to it anyway. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and allow it to cool down.
  • How you prepare the mangoes is up to you. If you want texture, you can remove both sides of mango flesh from the stone, score them and use the little skinless cubes or you can scoop all the flesh out to end up with bigger chunks. You could also make a puree by blitzing it. Mix the mango with the lemon juice and let it sit.
  • To serve, break some golden filo on a plate, pour over some custard and then the juicy mango. Other soft fruit, like strawberries, raspberries and peaches, are also delicious here.