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for 20-25 small pieces use 2 fillo pastry sheets
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek


  • 2 sheets of filo pastry
  • 50 gr of unsalted butter or a bit of olive oil
  • 50 gr pistachios or walnuts optional
  • For the syrup
  • 440 sugar
  • 330 water
  • 1 unwaxed lemon for its peel & juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Start with the syrup. Add sugar, water, cinnamon stick and lemon peel and the juice of half the lemon.
  • Stir to dissolve the sugar. Just as it starts bubbling remove from the fire, this is approx 7 minutes.
  • Set aside and let it cool whilst you make your kourkoubinia.
  • You need to fold 2 filo pastry sheets in half, nested in each other and make sure each inner side has been brushed with a bit of butter or olive oil. So, take your first fillo pastry sheet, lightly brush, layer the second one on top, brush some more butter or olive oil and fold both in two.
  • Press gently to release any air pockets created whilst folding. Make another fold, bringing the bottom towards the top, leaving an inch from the top.
  • If you wish to add nuts, this is the time. It's a little bit like making maki rolls. Place your filling of choice at the edge leaving just enough pastry to lift and allow for rolling.
  • Gently lift and tuck the filling in whilst rolling up. Make a tight roll and brush the edges with a bit of butter or olive oil. Leave this end at the bottom.
  • Cut the roll in neat half-inch pieces and bake at 150oC for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • I submerge my baked kourkoubinia whilst warm for 5 minutes to soak the syrup and then pour the remaining on top