- Yield: 1
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
How to make a Phyllo/Fillo Wreath
A fillo (phyllo) wreath is both festive and very, very edible. Decorated, the fillo wreath makes a great holiday centerpiece - it can be filled with flowers, mini pine boughs, cookies, desserts or a candle. But in the end, you'll want to eat this, all of it, by yourself.
Not being the greatest fan of sweet, this recipe is not overwhelmingly so. The caramel sauce is rich, and adds a layer of complexity, but it is not drop dead sweet as you will see. The recipe below is a bit tricky, but not desperately difficult. Just go at it to have some fun, and not worry too much if the fillo (phyllo) tears here and there - It somehow all works out in the end. Having a couple of packages of fillo on hand is a good idea if you are a perfectionist.
This wreath was made using Fillo Factory's Organic Whole Wheat Fillo Dough, but there is no reason why you can't use any of our other fillo dough or thicknesses. Click here to see what doughs we have available online or in the stores
- fillo factory fillo dough - 1-2 boxes thawed and at room temperature
- sliced almonds - 1-2 tbs sliced
- raisins - 1/3 cup soaked in hot water 15 min
- dried cranberries - 1/3 cup soaked in hot water 15 min
- butter melted - 1/2 cup for basting
- cinnamon/sugar - 1 tbs for sprinkling
- brown sugar - 1/2 cup for sprinkling
- Caramel Sauce
- butter - 1/2 cup
- brown sugar - 1 cup
- milk - 1/4 cup
- pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- sea salt - pinch
Preheat oven to 375f
First make the Caramel Sauce:
Add 1/2 cup of the butter, brown sugar, milk, and a pinch of sea salt. Into a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a low boil. Stir 1-2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken and turn off. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside.
Meanwhile, get the other ingredients all ready around you including a sharp knife, basting brush and a baking tray & baking paper large enough to fit a 12-14" wreath.
- Open and unroll the fillo - take half the sheets and cover the rest with a slightly moist clean fabric dishcloth, and lay the 8 or so sheets you have and put them on top of the cloth while you work.
- Pull one sheet off the top of your pile, and baste well with the melted butter. Particularly the edges of the sheet. Lay a second over that one as best you can to match the edges. Careful not to pull to hard and tear the sheets. In this manner, butter each sheet laying one over the other until the stack is finished. Every 2-3 sheets sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the buttered surface, before laying the next sheet on top.
- When done, and all sheets are stacked and basted, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of brown sugar on the top layer and begin rolling up the fillo like a jelly roll on the long side. (see pic) It will take some care to keep the roll even and tight as you go and not tear the sheets as they roll. Don't obsess over it too much though, as it will all look good in the end. (Mine was quite a mess and it turned out beautiful. Well... it looked beautiful to me) Cover your roll with a slightly damp cloth while you work the next step.
- Do the same with the other 1/2 of the fillo dough: buttering, layering, cinnamon sugar, brown sugar, and then rolling up the long side. When you have both rolls done, get a sharp knife and cut straight down the center of the roll lengthwise to make two long slivered layered groups of strips (see images above) editors note: yes they are all shredded up. I'm sure you can do better, but my wreath came out kinda pretty anyway 🙂
- Laying two of the cut/rolls side by side in a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper, lift one side over the other at one end and the other side over that one at the other end, much like braiding hair, but only with two strips.
- Taking both the ends in hand, curve them into a half circle and go do the same with the other two strips of fillo. When you are done you should have something that resembles a wreath in your baking pan. (see photos) Visually weave the ends of the rolls into the other side of the circle so you do not really see where they meet up.
- Taking the still warm caramel sauce, gently spoon it over the wreath using the spoon or the basting brush. Glaze it evenly but make sure most of the fillo is coated, allowing the drips to land on the baking paper below.
- Taking your raisins, dried cranberries and almonds, decorate the wreath as you want, pressing the dried fruits and nuts into the folds and crevasses of the twisted fillo dough.
Bake at 400f for 12-15 minutes watching carefully so it does not burn. Remove, cool and use for decoration and serve as dessert. Wonderful dipped in a cup of coffee. Freezes well - so you can make ahead and reheat before serving.
Editors notes: I found the best proportions in a wreath made from one box of fillo dough. The wreath was smaller and "plumper" than a larger wreath made with 1 1/2 or 2 boxes. The larger ones baked up kind of flat, not sure why.