Looking for something summery and sweet to round off your meal? Asimakis Chaniotis, executive chef at Pied à Terre recommends this delectable dish. He tells us: “This is my refined take on a classic Greek Milk Pie. I created it last summer when I was in Greece, back at my family home on the island of Kefalonia, where we have apricot trees in the garden. I had fun experimenting with the harvest and made lots of apricot ‘membrillo’ to go with our cheese course at the restaurant, along with this creation. The dessert is simple to make but has a wow-factor – give it a go!”
6 filo pastry sheets 7x7cm | 6 filo pastry sheets 6x6cm | 6 filo pastry sheets 5x5cm | 6 filo pastry sheets 4x4cm | 3tbsp melted butter | 3 fresh and ripe apricots – cut in half, stones removed and then cut into wedges about 1cm thick
For the cream filling
300ml milk | 130g sugar | 60g fine semolina | 2 eggs | 1tbsp butter | 1/5 vanilla pod (seeded, scraped) or 2 drops of vanilla essence
For the lavender syrup
50ml water | 50g sugar | 1tsp lemon juice | 2 sprigs of lavender
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2. Start with the filo pastry which you have already cut into different sized squares. Butter each piece and stack each same-sized piece together so you have 6 piles, all different sizes. This will create an impressive tower shape when you serve your dessert.
3. Place the filo piles onto a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper, and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, make your lavender syrup by adding all of the ingredients into a pan and bringing to a boil, before taking off the heat. Remove the sprigs of lavender.
5. Over a wire rack, pour the hot syrup over the hot cooked filo pastry and leave to cool until the pastry dries out and is crispy.
6. Bring the milk to the boil and add the semolina, whisk constantly until it boils and thickens.
7. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla. Take the milk mix off the heat and allow to cool slightly. When still warm, but not scorching, slowly start adding the milk mixture to your bowl whilst whisking constantly. Add the butter and mix until emulsified.
8. Leave the mixture to cool down but mix it every 5 minutes to prevent it forming a crust on top, then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for around an hour to set completely.
9. When set, remove from the fridge and whisk for a minute before transferring to a piping bag.
10. To serve, place the biggest piece of filo onto a serving dish. Pipe on a circle of cream, leaving space around the edge. Repeat until you’ve finished up all of the filo and you have a tower shape. Place the wedges of apricot into the layers of filo and cream. Serve immediately.
34 Charlotte Street, W1T (020 7636 1178; pied-a-terre.co.uk)