Recipe courtesy of Stan Frankenthaler

Couscous Custard

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr
  • Prep: 12 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings
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For Crispy Layers:

1 package frozen fillo dough, defrosted

8 ounces melted butter

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups ground natural pistachios

3 tablespoons sugar

2 slightly damp kitchen towels

1 pastry brush

2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper

Couscous custard:

6 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup couscous

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon unsalted butter


3 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

8 egg yolks

Quince Compote:

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 pound quince, cored, peeled and cut into small cubes (1/4-inch) 1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Have all ingredients ready before you begin.
  2. Lay out one of the kitchen towels, open the filo package, unroll and place on the towel. Cover with the second towel.
  3. Place a whole sheet of filo onto one of the sheet pans, brush with melted butter mixed with honey and sprinkle with pistachios.
  4. Repeat two more times, but on last layer sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Cut into six equal squares.
  6. Place a square into a greased muffin tin, pressing gently down to fit form, leave tips sticking up or slightly laying over.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees until golden and crispy, approximately 10 minutes.

Couscous custard:

  1. Bring the milk to a boil.
  2. Mix couscous, cinnamon, ginger, butter and salt together.
  3. Pour milk over the couscous mixture and mix to break up any lumps.
  4. Bring cream, sugar and vanilla to a boil.
  5. Combine egg yolks in a small bowl, add half of boiled cream to egg yolk mix.
  6. Return egg yolks to boiling cream and whisk until thickened, do not boil.
  7. Strain and pour into couscous mixture, stir and cool.
  8. Return to pot and cook to boil, remove from heat.
  9. Place mixture in bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight

Quince Compote:

  1. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar and water, bring to a boil.
  2. Add quince, cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice, reduce the heat to low.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender and translucent, remove from heat, pour into bowl to cool.
  4. Strain quince from liquid and puree 1/4 of the quince.
  5. Add the puree to the left over quince and add additional poaching liquid to moisten slightly (to make it a spoonable sauce).
  6. To Assemble:
  7. Place filo dough on plate, spoon some couscous custard into the cup.
  8. Spoon some quince compote onto the plate, garnish with whipped cream, mint and a few berries.