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Note: Not actual phyllo dough, rose petals, which do look like the flaky dough
While kissing my boyfriend this morning my eye happened to be caught by “How It’s Made.” It pretty much runs on repeat at his place and I find myself talking about one thing, getting distracted by what they’re making and crying out, “I’ve always wondered how golf balls are made!” completely forgetting whatever else I was talking about.
Today I happened to be distracted from some major cuddling by the episode where they show how phyllo dough is made. It was kissing, kissing, oh, sheets of phyllo! Pumpkin baklava time! And just like that, my boyfriend lost out on a few kisses and lucked into a whole tray of my invented pumpkin baklava.
It came to me in a dream, I told my friends as I displayed my trial results. I was lying there, partially asleep, only awake enough for my thoughts to half make sense when I thought about pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving’s impending arrival. Then I thought about pecan pie and for some reason, baklava. In my sleep they all got jumbled together. I wondered if pecans and pumpkin would taste good in the same dish. Then I wondered if you could modify baklava to add anything else to it. And then it hit me! Put the pumpkin in between phyllo dough sheets! Use pecans instead of pistachios!

I made up a sheet of them and some fresh whipped cream, then took it over to a friend’s house. Everyone loved them, even the friend who was at first hesitant to try. And since then, they’ve become a staple of the Thanksgiving ritual. Except, this is the year Julia decides to go vegan, which means I get to play around again and come up with a pumpkin pie filler that does not include milk or eggs, and to test the possibility of margarine to substitute for the butter I use on the phyllo layers.
I might even try my hand at making my own phyllo dough.

I’ll be checking out recipes from here: FatFree Vegan
and here: Miss Mavyn’s Vegan Blog

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