Ever wondered where the origin of some words come from? Try Panorama…yep that’s Greek (formed from Greek πᾶν “all” + ὅραμα “sight”) and it’s also a suburb that overlooks the entire span of Thessaloniki from what used to be Esso Papas from the west to Makedonia Airport to the east.
Panorama is known for it’s slightly cooler climate because of its higher altitude and obviously its fantastic views of Thessaloniki down below. Hence, this town get the name Panorama. The reason Panorama is well-known is for a dessert that was created by the Elenidis patisserie.
This specialty of Thessaloniki consists buttered and folding sheets of phyllo that are folded into triangles then baked until golden. After they cool they are then carefully hollowed out at one end to make an opening then they get dunked in a syrup. The final crowning glory happens just before they are served and you get them filled with pastry cream.
I’ve been eating these guilty pleasures for years and only this year I finally got around to making them on my own. Before I get to the recipe I must let you know that Trigona have are as popular as Vienna’s Sacher Torte with everyone in the city making their own version.
The Elenidis patisserie is not exclusive to making them but they are the ones who first made them. Credit where credit is due. Many of the patisseries will offer two sizes of Trigona…a large one and a smaller one that I think would satisfy all. Want more? Eat a second one!
For the pastry cream
4 cups whole milk + 1/2 cup
1 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup of butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Trigona
1 package of phyllo pastry (1lb.), thawed from frozen overnight in your fridge
1 lb. unsalted butter, melted
For the syrup
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cinnamon stick
3-4 whole cloves
2-3 lemon peels
toasted sliced almonds
- To make your pastry cream, add the milk (4 cups) and sugar in a medium pot and bring up to scalding over moderate heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, yolks and remaining milk (1/2 cup) mix with a whisk until creamed. Once your milk is scalding take off the heat and slowly pour into the bowl with the creamed flour and yolks while whisking. Transfer your tempered pastry cream mixture back into the pot and over medium heat constantly stir until thick. Add the butter, stir in until then the vanilla and stir in until incorporated. Take off the heat, plastic plastic film over your pastry cream then a cotton towel over between the pot and lid and cover (the towel will absorb the condensation). Allow to cool then place in the fridge (this pastry cream should be thick, so it doesn’t fall out of the phyllo).
- Take your phyllo out of the fridge and allow 15 minutes for it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, melt your butter in a small pot and set aside.
- Lay parchment paper on your baking sheet (s) and pre-heat your oven to 325F. middle rack. Open your package of phyllo and place on your work surface vertically. Place a sheet of phyllo on your work surface and cut it into three (lengthwise) to make three long ribbons of phyllo. Drizzle melted butter on two sheets of phyllo and place one on top of other. Now fold up each ribbon in a right-angle fashion all the to the top until you’ve finished making a phyllo triangle (that’s trigona in Greek). Place on your baking tray and repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo.
- Brush the tops of your triangles with melted butter and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden (despite being empty, the phyllo triangles will puff up, creating a pocket to which we will fill with pastry cream). Allow to cool completely then use a sharp knife to make a hole in the short side of the triangle (it’s easier to cut the side where you can see the folds of phyllo).
- To make the syrup, add all the ingredients into a medium pot and bring up to a boil. reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat. Place each triangle in the warm syrup for about 30-40 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon, tilt to drain excess syrup then place on a cooling rack (with a tray underneath to catch any dripping syrup) Repeat with remaining triangles.
- To assemble your Trigona, fill a piping bag with the chilled pastry cream and fill each triangle with cream. Sprinkle toasted almonds on the cream and serve.
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