Pistachio Bird’s Nest ( Bülbül Yuvas )
Recipe courtesy Arzu Yilmaz
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 lbs. (14 sheets) filo pastry
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
To make the syrup:
Combine all the ingredients, with the exception of the vanilla, in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Then bring to a boil, and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and refrigerate or place in an ice bath.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Put a piece of parchment on a cookie tray.
Place one sheet of pastry on work surface and keep the remaining well covered with a damp towel. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry with the butter and fold in half, bringing the short sides together to make a rectangle. The shorter side should be closest to you. Brush surface lightly with butter and place the rolling pin horizontally over the pastry one third of the way from the edge closest to you. Now fold the part of the pastry that is between you and the rolling pin over the pin to cover it.
Place about three tablespoons of filling on the pastry along the covered rolling pin. Begin rolling the pastry strip loosely together with the rolling pin. When the whole strip is rolled around the pin, brush the pastry roll lightly with butter and gently push both ends in toward the center of the roll to create a pleated or gathered look. Now, with one hand firmly holding one end of the pastry roll, use the other hand to pull the rolling pin out. Twist the gathered pastry rolled into a coil. Place coil on a cookie pan and brush with butter.
Repeat with same process with the other sheets until you’ve used up the pistachios. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Upon removing them from the oven, place the pastries in deep glass dish. Immediately pour cooled syrup over hot pastries. Let them rest for several hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serve cold or at room temperature with whipped cream.