Pistachio bird’s nests

Make these pistachio ‘bird’s nests’, made with kataifi pastry (a very finely shredded filo pastry available online) and a lemon sugar syrup for a sweet treat

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:45 mins
    plus 2 hrs standing and cooling
  • Serves 14
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 326
  • fat 17g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 41g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 2g
  • salt 0.2g


  • 40g pistachios
  • 400g sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g kataifi pastry
  • 375g butter, melted


  1. Soak the pistachios in water for 30 mins. Dissolve the sugar in 500ml water in a pan over a medium heat, then bring to a boil and bubble for 15-20 mins or until reduced and lightly syrupy. Stir in the lemon and boil for a minute more.

  2. Cover the kataifi with a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Take a finely twisted 30cm length of pastry and wrap it in a circular motion around two fingers into a nest shape. Transfer to a baking tray, then repeat with the rest of the pastry.

  3. Drain the pistachios and gently press four or five into the middle of each nest. Cover the nests with a layer of baking parchment, then put another baking tray on top and put a 1kg weight on top. Leave at room temperature for 1 hr, then remove the parchment and leave for another hour to dry out.

  4. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pour the butter over and around the nests, so that they’re sitting in a layer of melted butter. Cook for 20-25 mins until golden brown, turning the tray from time to time to make sure the nests are evenly coloured. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then transfer to a clean baking tray and pour over the syrup. Leave to cool completely in the syrup, then serve.

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