It never ceases to amaze me how many people out there adore baklava. With ready made phyllo, it really isn't that hard to make. Are there other world renouned pastries that are as infamous? Does the cream puff count?
What is it about baklava? For me, it's the buttery phyllo. I love it, even above puff pastry. Once you know how to work with it, so many things open up- and they all look more complicated than they are.
Ugh, no margarine, please. Most contain some water, giving a pasty texture; and the taste is just not right. Okay, here's a guilty confession: When I was on an ultra-low fat kick, I actually made cocktail-sized tiropites using Weight Watchers Buttery Flavored Spray instead of butter. (I can hear you snickering... I deserve it!). The phyllo turned out like dried up, yellow-colored stuff that looked like the dog was impolite on it. I threw out the batch, got myself to the store, and made a proper batch of tiropites. Lesson learned: For phyllo, it's unthinkable to use anything but butter!
personally, i dont think that shortcuts work - i personally (whenever i can) shirk commercially made stuff - a good example is ice cream - if you use carrageenan or any other additives, it shows - how many ice creams do you get dont even have the yellow egg yolk coloring?
even down to puff pastry, you can generally tell if its the false stuff - no yellow - using a shortening. Dont try to fool a chef, it doenst work.
Whoops, Nanna's right- my kitchen Greek slipped. The little ones (up to turnover size) are tiropitakia ('little' cheese pies), and the big one is simply tiropita (cheese pie). From Eeyore's first description, I almost thought it was galactoboureko (custard/phyllo pie).
[This message has been edited by Mezzaluna (edited 12-20-2000).]