Frozen Baklava Milk Pie


The sweet crispy texture of Baklava is combined with the rich flavor of custard. Instead of sprinkling the custard with cinnamon on top the way it’s made in South Africa, this adds cinnamon to the nut mixture placed between the sheets of phyllo dough and custard. Baklava Milk Pie frozen as seen on Food Flirts

Yield: 8-10 slices



  • Phyllo Pie Crust:
  • 8 ounces shelled pistachio nuts (about 1 ¾ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound phyllo sheets (18 sheets, about 13 x 15 inches each)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Pie Filling:
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon, cut in thick strips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Pie Topping:
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Zest of one lemon, finely minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and place the oven rack in the middle position. Coat a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie plate with vegetable oil spray.
  2. To make the phyllo pie crust: Add the 8 ounces of pistachios, sugar, and cinnamon to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and pulse until the mixture is combined, and the nuts are finely ground. Reserve.
  3. Unroll and cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent the phyllo sheets from drying out. They are very thin and fragile.
  4. Place two sheets of the phyllo dough on a large piece of parchment paper and brush with about 1½ tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the Baklava nut filling on the first layer. Place two more sheets perpendicular to the first layer creating a plus sign and repeat, brushing the top of the second layer with melted butter. Sprinkle the top of the buttered sheet with the nut filling.
  5. Repeat with the next two sheets of the phyllo and place diagonally on the pile of phyllo sheets to form an X. Repeat with the remaining 14 sheets of phyllo brushing, every two sheets with melted butter and sprinkling with the nut topping. The final layer should be brushed with melted butter, but should not have nuts sprinkled on top because the nuts might burn while baking.
  6. Invert the pie plate on top of the layered phyllo sheets. Using kitchen shears, cut the phyllo in a circle 2-inches larger than the pie plate.
  7. With one hand under the liner and the other on the bottom of the pie plate, invert the “package” of layered phyllo sheets onto the prepared glass baking plate. Push down gently with your fingers on the phyllo sheets to make them conform to the shape of the pie plate. Fold and trim the edges of the phyllo sheets, with the kitchen shears, to form an edge to the crust, leaving about a ¼-inch overhang.
  8. Transfer the pie plate to a sheet tray, and then bake in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, checking for browning in increments of 5 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, but the bottom hasn’t fully baked, cover the top with foil to prevent further browning.
  9. Place the phyllo pie crust on a metal cooling rack and allow to cool.
  10. To make the filling: add egg yolks, sugar, and honey to a bowl, and whisk until combined. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt and continue to whisk until combined, and set aside.
  11. Heat the milk, heavy cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest in a heavy medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat until hot, but do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the lemon zest pieces.
  12. Add ¾ cup of hot milk and cream to the egg mixture and whisk quickly to temper. Add the egg mixture to the rest of the hot milk and cream mixture, whisking quickly to combine. Place the pan on moderate heat and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to boil and thickens. This could take about 4 to 5 minutes. There will be bubbles forming in the mixture.
  13. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in butter. Strain the custard into a metal or glass bowl to remove any solids and quickly add to the finished phyllo crust. Allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  14. Place Baklava Milk Pie in freezer and freeze for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for half an hour to thaw slightly. Sprinkle with pie topping of the roughly chopped pistachios and freshly minced lemon zest. Slice and serve. Leftover Baklava Milk Pie should be stored in the freezer.


Phyllo sheets are very thin and fragile. They can dry out and crack very quickly if they aren’t kept covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap when working with them. Brushing the sheets with melted butter helps to make them more manageable. Do not leave the Baklava Milk Pie frozen for more than a few days, or the pastry may absorb the flavors of the freezer, and if you wrap the pie very tightly to prevent this transfer of flavors, the delicate phyllo pie shell could break. Do not be surprised if the crispy edges of crust from the Frozen Baklava Milk Pie shatter a bit. The bits of sweetened phyllo sheets can be sprinkled on top of slices of the pie.
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