Sweet and Savoury Phyllo Pastry – Crab Roll & Apple Raisin Roll Recipes

>> Friday, June 11, 2010


Crab Rolls - Scrumptiously Fit Food

It greatly saddens me to read about the current economic situation in Greece, with all the history and its beautiful landmarks and islands, Greece is an amazing country which one would have hoped to never have to face what they’re facing now. I remember travelling through the country last year, amazed by the pure fact that I was finally in the country that I’ve grown up dreaming about, especially after all those days looking at the blue azure photos contrasting the beautiful stark white buildings. The country was built to be a postcard and those were my exact thoughts when I was standing atop one of those famous white buildings in Oia on the island of Santorini waiting among all the tourists at a local hotspot known for Oia’s beautiful and awe inspiring sunsets, said to be one of the best in the world, which it truly was.

Aside from the feasts for the eyes, Santorini also provides amazing feasts for the ever hungry foodie. Ranging from the succulent roasted lamb on a spit, to the Kakavia – a traditional fish stew prepared with freshly caught fish at least 8 hours in advance, requiring patrons to place an order for the dish the evening before. Although all are beyond delicious, desserts were what I looked forward to every evening. Grecian desserts are decadent but never overwhelming, I could never figure out why since they all encompass a large amount of sugars, but using fresh and natural ingredients could be a big factor, from the home grown honey to the lovely thick yogurt (if you’ve never tried yogurt and honey when in Greece, you don’t know what you’re missing) it’s truly a flavour and texture explosion. My favourite was the use of honey and phyllo pastry to make a well known dessert called baklava. The crunch from the phyllo pastry and the stickiness of the honey oozing out of the baklava when you cut out a piece with your fork is an experience in itself, but when you finally taste it, you’ll know it was well worth flying over a day for it!

Phyllo Pastry - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Since I won’t be flying to Greece anytime in the near future, the next best thing is to try and create a menu utilizing Greek inspired ingredients, namely phyllo pastry. The light fluffy pastry is great for both appetizers and desserts so I figured it would be fun to try and tackle one of each. For the appetizer, I opted to go the route similar to a spanakopita, which combines spinach and feta cheese to give it a creamy and rich taste, but to lighten up the recipe, a creamy crab roll wrapped in phyllo with fat free cream cheese would create the same texture without the fat. In the dessert category, it’s impossible to beat baklava, so since my next go to dessert usually includes apples in some way (apple crisp, apple crumble, etc…) I figured it would be a good test to roll up little bits of apple in phyllo pastry to recreate an apple pie of sorts without the heavy pie crust. Both of these recipes allow phyllo to replace the heavier puff pastries normally used thereby lowering the caloric and fat intake. Hopefully these little bites will help us all remember a beautiful Greece.

Crab Mixture - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Crab Rolls
Ingredients:
1 can of crab meat or if you’re adventurous de-shell half a crab
1/3 cup fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
Phyllo pastry sheets – can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery store

Preparation:Defrost phyllo pastry sheets a couple of hours before planning to make the dish.

Preheat oven to 400ºC.

Combine all ingredients listed and mix thoroughly, salt and pepper should be added to taste.

Pull out one phyllo pastry sheet and lightly brush olive oil over top, then lay a second piece of the pastry sheet on top, again brush lightly with olive oil.

Cut the pastry sheets in to 6 cm strips. Put a tablespoon of the crab mixture in the middle and fold the bottom towards the right edge of the strip forming a triangle. Fold the triangle up and then over again until it completely rolls up the entire strip. Set aside.

Once all crab rolls are done, place on baking sheet and in the oven for 10-15 mins, until the outside of the rolls are slightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool and serve.
Should make around 6-8 rolls.

Apple Raisin Rolls - Scrumptiously Fit Food
Apple Raisin Rolls
Ingredients:

1 Apple – any kind, I used Gala which is one of my favourite apples
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
Canola oil
Phyllo pastry sheets

Preparation:
Defrost phyllo pastry sheets a couple of hours before planning to make the dish.

Preheat oven to 400ºC.

Peel and slice apple in to 1 inch pieces. Place a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add in apples, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and water. Cook the mixture until most of the water has evaporated, creating a nice thick concoction.

Pull out one phyllo pastry sheet and lightly brush olive oil over top, then lay a second piece of the pastry sheet on top, again brush lightly with olive oil (for more crunch, feel free to layer on another sheet of phyllo).

Cut the pastry sheets in to 6 cm strips. Put a tablespoon of the apple mixture in the middle and fold the bottom towards the right edge of the strip forming a triangle. Fold the triangle up and then over again until it completely rolls up the entire strip. Set aside.

Once all apple raisin rolls are done, place on baking sheet and in the oven for 10 mins, until the outside of the rolls are slightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool and serve with cinnamon, sugar and honey drizzled on top along with some vanilla ice cream!

Should make around 6-8 rolls.

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