Phyllo Nests with Blueberries and Lemon-Lavender Cream

Light, refreshing, and guilt-free. Did I say tasty?

It’s blueberry season, and we’re having a really good year here! The surplus of these gems always gets me excited, and although my absolute favorite way to eat them is right out of hand, it’s fun to dress them up.

Lots of blue memories

      Blueberries have a special place in my heart. When I was growing up, they grew wild just about everywhere, the sweet little low-bush wild berries were our favorites. However, much of our bounty came from high bushes on an old abandoned farm not far from our house. My mom, grandmother, and brothers and I would tie pails around our necks, traipse through the overgrown weeds, and dive into the rather gnarled berry patch. My grandmother all the time warning us against the snakes. That part makes me shudder still. We would fill our buckets, and our stomachs, and bring our treasure home.

Blueberry Heaven

     Mom would freeze a bunch, make a pie or two, some muffins, and seemingly endless jars of jam. This was like Heaven, and we could eat all we wanted. For breakfast, we would have “berries and cream” which was really a glass of blueberries and milk with a bit of sugar added, but it tasted like the fanciest dessert on the richest table. I think of all this during my annual blueberry picking with my own grandchildren now, only I don’t warn them about snakes, and have never seen a one while picking with them.

      We still have to deal with all those blueberries! I freeze a lot of them, and blueberry muffins never stay around long in our house. If I’m having a dinner party, there will be a tart or pie for sure.

Calling my name

       Since I’m keeping my eye on heart healthy, and there’s not many foods better for you than blueberries, I thought I’d play in the kitchen over the weekend. I had a large bowl of berries calling out to me, and a package of whole wheat phyllo (fillo) sheets in the freezer, a dessert was in order.

Whole wheat is tastier

      Look for an organic, whole-wheat variety in the freezer section, probably at a health food store or co-op. If they don’t carry it, ask them to! You’d be surprised at how eager they are to help! The whole wheat seems to be a little less fragile, and it has tons more flavor; naturally sweeter, it has a definite nuttiness to it that white flour phyllo simply does not.

The good and bad of it all

Phyllo dough can be lots of fun to play with, and also frustrating if it doesn’t go well. There are a few things to remember. Let the dough thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature the next day, and when you are working with it, keep it covered with a tea towel. Many recipes tell you to use a damp tea towel, but that can sometimes make the dough soggy! A dry towel is best, it is just important to remove one sheet at a time, and immediately cover it back up. If a bit cracks, it doesn’t matter, there will be lots of layers.

An important swap

     Most recipes will tell you to brush each layer with melted butter. Rather than add all that saturated fat, I lightly spray mine with canola oil. I use a refillable spray pump that works like a dream and dispenses the lightest of mists of oil. It works really well with phyllo.

      The last thing to remember is that it bakes fast! Keep an eye on it, and set your timer.

Creaminess without the guilt

     The ‘cream’ I used here is a lovely local non-fat Greek-style yoghurt, naturally sweet and thick. I’ve sweetened the entire cup with only 1 teaspoon of honey, that’s all it needed and if I were making it just for myself, I’d have left it out. A bit of lavender from the garden for interest, some lemon zest, and a little squeeze of the juice rounded things out. The blueberries were a perfect match.

Fresh, creamy, and crunchy

      The entire dessert logs in at just 125 calories, no saturated fat, a little fiber, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. But most importantly, it’s delicious and dessert satisfying with freshness, creaminess, and crunch!

Phyllo Nests with Blueberries and Lemon-Lavender Cream

Makes 8

  • 6 whole-wheat phyllo sheets
  • Canola oil spray
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. lavender flowers
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Few drops of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. native honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two cupcake tins with canola oil (or you can make these in batches).

      Open phyllo dough and place on and under a kitchen towel. 

      Remove one sheet of dough, covering the rest back up, and spray lightly with the oil. Repeat with a second sheet, and a third. Cut this three-sheet layer into scant 4” squares (you should get eight) and tuck each layered square into a cup of the tin, flattening the bottom gently. Fill every other cup so that they do not touch, less breakage that way. 

      Repeat this whole process again, rotating the second layered square so the little edges do not line up. Give them a final spritz with oil.

      Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. Let cool.

      In the meantime, mix together the yoghurt, lavender flowers, zest, a bit of the juice, and the honey.

      To create the dessert, tuck berries in the bottom of the cups, add a heaping tablespoon of the yoghurt, another layer of berries, and a bit more yoghurt. Top with a few berries and some more lemon zest. You can make the components well ahead of time and assemble just before eating.

To make this a little more special, toss the blueberries in a tablespoon of limoncello before tucking in the nests.

Any leftover shells can easily be filled with any sweet or savory you like. They are particularly nice with a crab and avocado salad!

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78 Comments Add yours

  1. All food is guilt-free!

    1. That is true, in moderation!

      1. What’s this moderation malarky?

      2. A feeble attempt to be good to my arteries!

  2. Marilyn says:

    Looks delish! And great tip about the damp towel in the phyllo! I only use a fry towel too!

    1. You are always told to use a damp one, but if you are fussing with something, it doesn’t take long to make those top layers soggy!

  3. Delicious dessert with flavorful summer ingredients.

    1. Thank you Jovian! Blueberries are the best!

  4. Guilt….what a terrible way to not enjoy eating.

    1. These are most enjoyable I can assure you! My husband had both a heart attack and undiagnosed diabetes in the past 18 months, so we are careful with our indulgences.

      1. I can’t eat dairy, but I am sure they are wonderful.

      2. A lot of folks in my family can’t do dairy either. There are one or two non-dairy yoghurts they use, and there’s always coconut cream!

      3. I am dairy and gluten free and mostly vegan (but eat fish). I am complicated for health reasons and loving it.

      4. i think we’re all complicated these days! I have to watch my saturated fat, some fresh dairy, and eggplant, sadly an allergy I developed in my 40s, so I know how good it can taste. Additionally, I have a nickle allergy, so I have to bring my own flatware everywhere we go to eat out, most stainless steel made for American market contain nickel, although it is restricted in other countries.

  5. Dorothy, these look delicious and I love, as always, the memories you include in your posts. I was snooping at the comments and didn’t realize your husband has had recent serious health issues. I worry about adult onset diabetes because my dad suffered from this disease. Your husband had no signs? That’s what scares me. But on a lighter note, blueberries are supposed to have anti aging properties so that makes this recipe even more appealing. Hugs, C

    1. Thank you Cheryl! My husband had no signs whatsoever! And to further compound it, when we looked at his previous blood sugar levels from a year before, he was clearly in the diabetic zone and his doctor didn’t notice it! He went a full year wit blood sugar over 200 with no clue and no symptoms.
      We now get all the tests in our patient portals so we can double check ourselves!

      1. I should have my blood work done too! I’m so glad you caught it and can manage it now. 💕

  6. Suzassippi says:

    So beautiful on that perfect match of a plate! Sounds delightful.

    1. Thanks Suz! A pretty dessert deserves a pretty plate!

  7. Veronica says:

    This looks so scrumptious! I cannot wait to give it a try.

    1. Thanks! It is fun and easy!

    1. Thanks Doc. V.! Even the whipped cream addict liked this one.

  8. Eva Saxell says:


    1. Thank you Eva! We all enjoyed these!

  9. Ronit Penso says:

    My kind of dessert – so fresh and pretty, and not overly sweet. Lemon, lavender and honey belong together! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! The flavors are perfect together, and the dessert is really light!

  10. Chef Mimi says:

    I had no idea that there was WW phyllo dough!!! I can’t wait to find some. This dessert is beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I think you’ll love the whole wheat Mimi, more flavor!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Charlie has 30 high bush blueberry bushes with an elaborate netting fort over them. It has indeed been a bountiful year with berries going to everyone we know and the freezer filling too. Never knew of that kind of phyllo either. Thanks.

    1. What a wonderful treasure Elizabeth! You’ll be loving those blueberry pancakes next February!

  12. Mary says:

    Although I don’t use Phyllo very much I didn’t know there was a Whole Wheat variety. I shall have to investigate. Lovely little pies! :))

    1. Thank you! I was delighted to find the whole wheat a few years ago. It has lots more flavor than the white!
      , and seems to be easier to work with.

  13. Kevin says:

    It looks delightful! Where I buy mine here in the UK, there are no snakes to be concerned about (as far as I am aware!)

    1. That must be a relief!

  14. So many great tips on using phyllo dough Dorothy! A delightful recipe as wel!

    1. Thank you Diane! Once I stopped being afraid of phyllo, I found the fun of it!

  15. Love the use of lavender!

    1. Thank you! It’s subtle here, but just right with the lemon.

  16. Only one word needed here – delicious. It also reminds me of blueberry picking with my grandfather. He would tie the bucket around the waist of my jeans and off we’d go to bring home the berries for my grandmother. Good memories. 🙂

    1. Yes! The memories make the berries better! What a wonderful time of year when we have buckets of berries and not just a little cup!

  17. Bernadette says:

    Dot, thanks for the heart friendly recipe for Dom’s heart and sweet tooth.

    1. I hope he likes it as much as my husband dies!

  18. Dorothy, This dish looks so healthy and delicious! I tried working with phyllo and was so frustrated. It just sits in the freezer unused. So your information about using it was helpful. I also enjoyed the description of your mother and you picking blueberries and your fear of coming across snakes. Good story telling…it makes everything more fun to read! Best wishes always- Carole

    1. Thanks Carole! Every dish I make seems to have a story!

  19. Gail says:

    I. Love. Blueberries. 🍃🫐 When I run out, Dorothy, will you send me more?!?!?! 🫐🫐🫐

    1. Yes Gail, I’ll brave the snakes for you!

      1. Gail says:

        Whoa! 🐍

  20. This sounds like the dessert of dessert. Sweet, tart, flaky, not very fattening. Who could ask for anything more?

    1. Thanks Laurie! The kids really love this too! Win all around!

  21. brwbmm says:

    Great idea for reducing fat in a recipe and still having a tasty treat.

    1. Thank you! Thumbs up all around!

  22. ckennedy says:

    This recipe looks wonderful! Love the addition of lavender.

    1. The lavender is really a nice touch.

  23. Jenna says:

    Lovely memories and using canola oil spray is a brilliant way to cut out the butter!

    1. Thank you Jenna! It certainly cuts out the saturated fat!

  24. Nancy says:

    How flavorful this must be! And so beautiful!
    And WW phyllo! Who knew!
    Thanks for enlightening me!

    1. Thanks Nancy! I was delighted to find the whole wheat!

  25. I have never met a blueberry I didn’t like and this recipe looks so cool and yummy. Thanks for another great idea for all the abundant berries this summer. T

    1. Thank you Teresa! Blueberries will always catch my attention!

  26. NativeNM says:

    There are several lavender farms near us and I’ve discovered several ways to use culinary lavender in recipes. You have created the perfect combination of flavors . . . blueberry, lemon and lavender compliment each other so well. Love it!

    1. How wonderful to be so close to so much lavender!

  27. Oh, Dorothy you had me with lemon lavender cream and blueberries and when you add limoncello this recipe rises to a new level!!!! Yummy!!!!

    1. The limoncello does send it over the top!

  28. terrie gura says:

    Oh my goodness, just the mention of snakes sent me running! Nope, nope, nope. But this dessert sure looks divine. Thank you for sharing a photo of the whole wheat phyllo package. Now my eyes know what to look for. I so prefer whole wheat to plain white flour; it’s a world of difference in flavor. If I was back in your kitchen, I’d show you my trick for using a damp cloth on it. Rather than putting the cloth directly onto the phyllo, place a large sheet of parchment on it, then the damp cloth on top of the parchment. It does seem to protect the phyllo from drying out without making it soggy. I love your tip about the spray oil, too!

    1. What a great tip Terrie! I’m definitely going to try that the next time I pull out the phyllo!

  29. nancyc says:

    Blueberries and Lemon are a great combination—this is a great dessert for summer!

    1. What we really loved was how light this was. Thanks for stopping by!

  30. This looks delicious. I love blueberries and I love lavender (which I grow in a terracotta pot in the garden). I often eat blueberries with sliced banana and Greek Yoghurt for breakfast each day, but your recipe is an interesting and healthy way of eating them for dessert.

    1. Thank you! It’s one of our new favorites, light but really satisfying.

    1. Thank you for reposting this! Dorothy

  31. Blueberries, lemon, lavender, Greek yogurt and the crunchiness of the phyllo, what a lovely and flavorful combination!

    1. Thanks Ribana! It’s a winning combination that’s for sure, light and tasty.

  32. Christy B says:

    We have blueberries in the fridge! This one is calling me 😊💙

    1. Christy! Christy!!

  33. Lillie says:

    These look delicious – and very sophisticated Dorothy. I just love blueberries – ours are lowbush – and I confess we have encountered several snakes among them – but I won’t tell my kids!

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