The secret to this easy ruffled milk pie is store-bought phyllo dough, which gets sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, shaped into roses and coated in a creamy, rich custard. This version is based on the Greek dessert galatopita and is reminiscent of the Egyptian dessert Mesh Om Ali, which was made TikTok-famous by @RamenaSaidWow’s omnipresent “crinkle cake.” The result tastes like a churro meets crème brûlée and could not be any more decadent and delicious.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Brush a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate (preferably with ruffled edges) with some of the melted butter. Stir together the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the sheets of phyllo on a baking sheet and cover with a barely damp kitchen towel or several paper towels to keep from drying out.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough with a long side closest to you on a work surface. Brush the phyllo sheet with some of the melted butter until completely coated, then sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar. Using your hands, gently bring the long sides toward one another, scrunching the phyllo as you go to create a ruffled effect. Gently coil the phyllo into a rose shape about 3 1/2-inches in diameter. Place the phyllo rose in one corner of the pie plate. Repeat to make 3 more phyllo roses. Arrange them so they fill the bottom of the pie plate in a single layer. If the phyllo dough tears or breaks, it is okay since it will just add to the ruffled effect of the final pie. If there are any spaces between the phyllo roses, gently spread them with your hands until the roses cover the entire bottom of the pie plate.
Brush the 8 remaining phyllo sheets with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and shape into a slightly smaller rose (2 1/2 to 3-inches). Place 1 rose in the center of the pie plate on top of the first layer, then surround it with the remaining 7 roses. If there is any remaining melted butter, drizzle it on top of the roses.
Bake on the preheated baking sheet until deep golden brown and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once after 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet while you prepare the custard.
Place the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to steam, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk together the vanilla, salt, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. While whisking constantly, gradually add the milk and cream mixture a little bit at a time until smooth and combined.
Pour or spoon the custard between the crispy phyllo layers; this will ensure that the phyllo on top stays nice and crispy. Bake until the filling is just set, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the almonds if using and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Cut into 8 wedges and serve warm.
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