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Flaky Bananas


Tart shells are wonderful, but they must be handled gently and cooked and filled almost immediately. If you use filo dough, you can be as rough as you want and actually bake the shells a full day in advance, then fill them just before serving.

The filo shells are a simple preparation: The delicate sheets of filo are crumpled into nests, and no matter how roughly you do it (the filo can break and it won't matter), the technique is almost foolproof. To reduce the fat content, we substituted butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray for melted butter.

The baked filo shells may be stored in an airtight container and filled with the banana-orange filling just before serving.

BANANAS IN FILO NESTS 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur or rum 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice Grated zest 1 orange 8 bananas Filo Nests Powdered sugar, optional Low-fat whipped topping, optional

Melt butter in skillet. Add sugar, Grand Marnier, orange juice and zest. Bring to boil. Continue boiling over medium heat 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Cut bananas in 1/4-inch slices. Add to mixture and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Place each Filo Nest on dessert plate. Spoon bananas into center of Filo Nests; drizzle hot orange syrup all over filo. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped topping. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Filo Nests 1 pound filo sheets (about 16 sheets), thawed Butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray 8 teaspoons finely chopped pecans or cashews

Take 1 filo sheet and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle center with 1 teaspoon nuts. Top with another filo sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Fold over 4 corners of top sheet toward center. Crimp bottom filo around sides to form 5-inch round shell or nest, making hollow center.

Repeat with remaining filo sheets, placing side by side on lightly buttered baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and crisp throughout. Makes 8 nests.

Each serving contains about: 360 calories; 181 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 76 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.63 gram fiber.

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