Warm Blueberry Filo Stacks with Grand Marnier Ice Cream


Desserts need a contrast of textures. Because flavor takes longer to register to your brain, texture is the first thing you notice when you take a bite of a dessert, making that all-important first impression. Here, the crispness of filo balances the cool richness of ice cream. Like the yin and yang of Chinese philosophy, they are opposites that work together to create a balanced and tasty dessert.


Grand Marnier Ice Cream

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • Zest stripped from 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Pecan Filo Squares

  • cup ( ounces) pecans, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Four 11-by-17-inch sheets thawed frozen filo
  • ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted


To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Combine the milk, cream, the remaining ½ cup sugar, and the orange zest in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let the orange zest infuse for 10 minutes. Slowly whisk the orange cream into the egg mixture. Return the orange cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Transfer to a clean bowl. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Strain the custard into a clean bowl, discarding the orange zest, and stir in the Grand Marnier. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Filo Squares

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely grind the pecans and the sugar in a food processor and put in a small bowl. Lay the filo sheets on a work surface. Remove one sheet of filo and place it on the work surface. Cover the stack of filo with a kitchen towel. Brush the single sheet with one fourth of the melted butter and sprinkle with a quarter of the pecan mixture.

Place a second sheet of filo on top and butter and sugar it in the same way. Repeat with 2 more layers of filo, buttering and sugaring each one. Cut the filo into 3-inch squares. There should be 16 squares. Place the squares on the prepared pans. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To Serve

Place a filo square on each of 8 plates. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of the filo. Spoon some warm blueberry sauce over the ice cream. Place a second piece of filo on top. Serve immediately.

In Advance

Prepare the filo squares the day you plan to serve the dessert. Leave them on the baking sheets and wrap in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature.