Recipe by bluemoon downunder
A popular Middle Eastern pastry, especially as popular at Easter. From 'The Best of Lebanese and Middle Eastern Cooking', posted here for the 2005 Zaar World Tour. Serve with coffee, after a Middle Eastern banquet. Orange-blossom water and rose water can be purchased from Greek and Middle Eastern grocers. The preparation and cooking times do not include the 30 minutes for the dough to rest.
Top Review by LebChef
Thank you Chef #647749. Yes the recipe is missing Mahlab (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahlab) and definitely should not use white flour. Semolina #1 + #2 or #1 by itself and should be mixed with warm butter (or even better, warm clarified butter) and left at room temperature overnight. The next day orange blossom and rose water is added as needed to shape the dough. I will be posting my recipe here just in time for Easter. I will be nice and give this a "0". :-)
- 8 ounces dates, pitted, roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 8 ounces plain flour
- 4 ounces butter, chilled, diced
- 2 teaspoons orange blossom water or 2 teaspoons rose water
- 2 tablespoons water
- icing sugar
Directions See How It's Made
- Combine the dates and 1/4 cup water in a jsmall pan over a gentle heat and cook until softened, then set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour into a bowl, and add the diced, chilled butter and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Combine the orange-blossom water or rose water with the 2 tablespoons of water and sprinkle over the flour; then mix into the flour using a round-bladed knife. Cover the dough and rest for approximately 30 minutes.
- Take a spoonful of dough and shape into a round, make a hollow with your finger and spoon a little of the date stuffing into the hollow, then seal the opening and reshape into a round.
- Continue until the dough runs out.
- Place the pastries on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated moderate oven (180°C; 350°F) for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil about halfway through the cooking, but keep an eye on them to ensure that they do not brown.
- Remove and cool on wire racks until firm.
- When thoroughly cooled, roll in sifted icing sugar.