TASTE
11/03/2011 11:40 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

Phyllo Dough

Gail Simmons shows you how to use foods you already have in your pantry to make easy, delicious recipes. In this episode of the Pantry Project, Gail shows viewers how many ways there are to cook with phyllo dough -- a traditional unleavened flour-based dough that's used in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. In this video, she demonstrates how to make sweet, pistachio-filled Baklava Cigars.

Before she starts, Gail cautions that phyllo dough can be tricky to work with. To keep it from drying out and cracking, keep it under a moist towel until you're ready to use each sheet. First, she makes a simple syrup by cooking together water, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar. While it cools, she makes the filling: chopped pistachios, sugar, cinnamon and allspice. She adds some of simple syrup, then stirs to moisten all of the pistachios. Next up? The phyllo.

Gail lays out one sheet of phyllo dough and bastes it with melted butter. She tops it with another sheet, brushing the second sheet with butter as well. (Don't use too much butter -- you don't want to soak the sheets and make them soggy.) She cuts the layered sheets into four equal pieces. To make the cigars, she places some of the filling at the end of one of the pieces, then rolls up the phyllo, tucking in the ends to make sure the filling stays put. She repeats this process with the remaining three pieces, brushing all four cigars with butter once they're placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Once the cigars are baked, she brushes them liberally with simple syrup, then sprinkles them with confectioner's sugar and they're ready to serve.

Recipes:
Fig, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Phyllo Puffs
Ground Beef and Vegetable Pies with Parmesan Crust
Baklava Cigars