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I have my cones ready for the ice cream season! Filo pastry is gorgeously versatile and so tasty when layered with butter and sugar and baked to a golden crunch.
I have a special relationship with ice cream, a bit Lady Chatterley’s Lover kind. I generally consider myself to have quite sophisticated tastes, I don’t eat junk food and don’t even have many so called ‘guilty pleasures’ unless you count eating lemon curd straight from the jar. I love fancy fodder, fine dining, foie gras and champers. Desserts, the swankier the better. I don’t quite go the distance of my posh Grandma who ate fruit with (special, fruit) knife and fork but I’m aware of the etiquette. My table manners are impeccable: elbows off the table, never lick my knife when people are around, and I don’t wipe sauce off the plate with bread unless in France.
With ice cream though, it must be a face-on experience for me, meaning – it tastes the best when eaten with my mouth. Ice lollies are called so very patronisingly – it’s proper ice cream, on a handy stick. Give me a double raspberry Magnum anytime. Do they still make Splits? Those were awesome.
Other than that, I need a cone. I shake my head in bewilderment on seeing the customers in gelaterias asking for their ice in paper cups– why would you do that? Freely forgo the marvellous licking experience, the catching of the melty dribble on one side only to load the whole double scoop obscenely into your mouth? No silly plastic sticks for me, thank you. I’ll make like cats do.
That will be also the only occasion I enjoy waffle-type pastry. Plain cones are good, I don’t care for those dipped in chocolate and the pastry shouldn’t be too sweet. And so, here’s my own cone production: since I don’t have waffle irons I make do with filo pastry with very good results too.
The beauty of it is that you can sweeten it as much or as little as you like and quadruple or quintuple the layers. Plus – and a big plus it is as well - any failed/broken ones are chef’s bonus as sweet filo pastry shards are one of life’s accidental pleasures.
filo conesServings: makes 6 conesTime: 45 minutes
- 6 sheets of filo pastry
- 50g butter, melted
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
1. You’ll need 6 metal baking cone moulds, or makeshift ones from several layers of aluminium foil.
2. Mix the sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
3. Working with one sheet of filo at a time, cut each sheet in four; you could fold each one as you butter and sugar it but I find stacking separate layers of filo is neater. Keep the rest of the pastry covered with a cloth so it doesn’t dry out.
4. Spread the first quarter on a board, brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Layer with the next piece and press it on with your palms. Brush with butter, sprinkle with sugar and continue in the same way with the next two.
5. Roll the four-layered pastry onto the baking cone not too tight so you can remove it after baking. Place on the prepared baring tray. Continue in the same way with the other 5 filo sheets.
6. Transfer the cones to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden, crunchy and puffed up in places.
7. Cool on a wire rack and carefully remove each metal insert. Store in an airtight box until needed.