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What to do with filo pastry

Never used filo before? We help you expand your repertoire.

What is it?

Filo (or phyllo or fillo) is a Turkish pastry that comes in many paper-thin layers. It’s traditionally used to make the sweet known as baklava, with honey and minced nuts. Filo is always used in layers, with layers of butter or oil spread in between.

Where do I get it?

Filo can be found in the supermarket, usually in the chiller near where you’ll find things like pizza bases. It should be stored refrigerated, and once opened can be kept for up to a week.

  • Filo can be used to substitute for other pastry, but it has quite a different texture and taste. The layers need to be basted in between with liquid or fat; try milk, yoghurt or cooking spray as alternatives to butter.
  • Use filo to make parcels around moist fillings – either small triangles (try spinach and feta) or larger envelope-size parcels (try chicken or fish pie filling).
  • Put canned or fresh fruit in the middle of small filo circles with a little honey. Scrunch up the filo to make scrunchy parcels, and bake in the oven.
  • Filo makes an impressive-looking pie topping when you scrunch sheets into loose balls or rosettes and cover the top of your pie with them. Try this Chicken and leek filo pie recipe.
First published: Sep 2007



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