Instructions: * Note: Phyllo comes in different thicknesses; if possible, use extra thin, sometimes labeled No. 4.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, scald milk and the 8 tablespoons butter over medium high heat, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly whisk in Cream of Wheat. Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add eggs; continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture begins to thicken, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla; stir and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until custard has a porridge-like consistency. Let cool.
Carefully unroll phyllo. Immediately cover it with plastic wrap and then a damp towel. Keep covered as you work.
Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface. Lightly brush phyllo with melted butter, place another sheet on top, and brush with butter, place a third sheet of phyllo on top and brush with butter. Cut into 4 rectangles. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the custard in center of a rectangle. Gather and pinch pastry around custard, forming a purse shape with a ruffled top. Place in a muffin tin so it retains its shape while others are formed. Repeat entire process with remaining phyllo and custard, making a total of 24.
Transfer purses to a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush sides of purses with melted butter. Bake until flaky and golden brown, 27 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
While pastries are baking, place remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool. Drizzle syrup over warm pastries.
This recipe yields 24 servings.
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