Prep: Defrost the phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight, or as per package instructions. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with oil.
Crinkle Phyllo: Crinkle together 2 sheets of phyllo dough folding them like an accordion placing them against the longer side of the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and keep stacking the crinckled pair of sheets side by side.
Bake: Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt two sticks of butter in a sauce pan.
Butter and bake again: Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour the melted butter evenly on top of the crinkled phyllo. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
Make Custard: To prepare custard add milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup and whisk to combine.
Pour custard and bake: Remove the baking dish from oven and evenly pour the custard over the baked phyllo dough. Using a spatula, nudge the sides to distribute the custard evenly on the sides. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Make Sugar syrup: Meanwhile, prepare sugar syrup. Add water, sugar, and saffron to a saucepan on medium heat. Bring it to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes to thicken the syrup. As soon as the syrup forms a stringy consistency, turn off the heat and let it cool and thicken.
Pour syrup: Take the baking dish out of the oven and evenly drizzle the syrup all over the phyllo.
Add toppings: Sprinkle chopped pistachios and dried rose petals all over the top and let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut in slices and enjoy it while it's luke warm.
Phyllo: Keep the phyllo dough chilled in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. You want to work with cold phyllo sheets for the crispiest results.
Eggs: Room temperature eggs blend more cohesively in the custard. Remove them from the fridge 20 minutes ahead of time.
Milk: I prefer to use 2% milk for the custard but feel free to use whole milk for richer results.
Eggless: Make this dessert eggless by substituting the custard with condensed milk and heavy cream. Details are listed above under 'variations'.
Cool: For best results cool this dessert 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the simple syrup to get absorbed fully, and the pastry to crisp up again.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.