Cakes, Pastries & Pies > Middle Eastern Recipes > Samsa >
Tunisian almond & sesame pastries
2/3 C sugar
1-1/4 C water
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS orange flower water*
1-1/2 C blanched almonds, lightly toasted & ground
1-1/2 tsp. orange peel, finely grated
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 ounces phyllo pastry (buy prepared or make homemade)
2 TBS olive oil
Sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Combine water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice; boil until mixture has the consistency of syrup. Remove from the heat and add orange-flower water. Allow to cool. In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, orange peel, cinnamon and remaining sugar.
Phyllo: Buy prepared phyllo, or use homemade.
Stack prepared phyllo under a damp cloth. Brush one sheet with olive oil. Cut oiled sheet into three lengthwise strips. Place a small spoonful of filling at the bottom of each strip. Fold the sides of the phyllo strips over filling, and then roll pastry upwards along the length. Brush the inside end of pastry with oil; seal it to the roll. Brush with oil and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
Bake the pastries for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until crisp and golden. The pastry will be flaky. Lower Samsa a few at a time into hot syrup, allowing them soak for about three minutes. Remove to a plate; sprinkle generously with toasted sesame seeds. Serve cold.
*Note: Orange flower water can be purchased at gourmet specialty shops. For a substitute, use 2 drops of orange oil or 2 teaspoons of orange-flavored liqueur (such as Triple Sec, which is not in accordance with Islamic Dietary Laws regarding alcohol).
*Samsa image (C) Amy Hintha (2007). Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Food Fare Culinary Collection: Arabic Cookery
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