MOROCCAN PUFF PASTRY DESSERT RECIPES
ABOUT PUFF PASTRY
Puff pastry is a type of dough obtained by successively lowering and folding layers, alternating a basic dough (flour, water and salt) and a fat (oil, margarine or butter). This crisp and light dough is used to make puff pastry dessert recipes (croissants, palm trees, apple pies, strudel), as well as salty ones. The technique of making dough by superimposing numerous layers has long been used by the Greeks and Arabs. The puff pastry itself is of French origin but similar doughs have been developed in other cultures (especially philo and brick doughs), those can also be popularly called puff pastry and on many occasions you can choose either of them with similar results.
Puff pastry dessert recipes
Doughs made by sheets
The technique of preparing puff pastry was introduced by the Greeks and the Arabs. It was the crusaders who imported it to France and Austria. It is the source of many dessert recipes with puff pastry, cakes known since the Middle Ages, such as strudel, baklava, pithiviers or vol-au-vent. In the past, lamination was done “sheet by sheet”, by simply superimposing successive layers of pasta and fat. The current puff pastry, produced by successive folds, dates from the 17th or 18th century. Sometimes it is attributed to Claude Gellée (known as Lorrain), an apprentice pastry chef, who wanted to make special bread for his father. Others attribute it to Feuillet, pastry chef to the Prince of Condé. This culinary technique was perfected by Antonin Carême in the 19th century.
The phyllo dough, probably the most crunchy, is a dough originating from the east of the Mediterranean basin. This puff-like dough is made up of white flour, salt and water. Composed of several ultra-thin sheets, it surprises with its smooth and translucent texture as fine as tissue paper. It is used to prepare many sweet Greek, Turkish, Armenian puff pastry recipes … such as böreks, baklavas, appfelstrudel or tiropitas that owe their incomparable freshness. You can see here how to prepare it.
The brick mass is the flaky version developed in the maghreb area. These are thin sheets of flour and wheat semolina, the sheets of brick are particularly used in oriental cuisine, where they are filled, before being folded into a triangle, square or rectangle and then dipped in a frying pan. In Morocco, the brick sheets are the essential ingredient of the pill, while in Tunisia, the egg brick dough is eaten at any time of the day. Thicker and more elastic than phyllo, brick sheets are easy to handle and lend themselves to all types of folding. With this type of dough you can prepare sweet recipes with puff pastry as well as salty recipes. Find here how to make the dough.
PUFF PASTRY RECIPE
Before starting any of our puff pastry dessert recipes, we need to explain how to prepare this dough. It is a laborious job that one can save by buying the dough at the supermarket. If you prefer homemade, here we show you the recipe:
Ingredients (8 people)
• 250 g of flour T45-T55
• 125 ml of water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 180 g of Charentes butter (or special flaky professional butter if you find any)
1. Flatten the butter by hand and roll it into a relatively squared shape. Put it in the fridge for a while.
2. Put the flour on the work surface in a heap or in a container, make a hole in the center, as if it were a volcano. Add the salt and then pour the water. Knead well and then form a ball.
3. . Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes prepare the work surface with some flour. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand, and stretch to form a cross with the dough. Leave the center part thicker. Take the butter out of the fridge and place it in the center of the cross. Fold one side of the cross and hit it with a rolling pin to distribute the butter. Fold the opposite side and so on, on each side of the cross.
As previously mentioned, the puff pastry itself was developed in France and it is the brick dough that originates from Morocco. Although this dough is very similar to puff pastry and therefore our sweet recipes with puff pastry can be made with any of the three doughs that we have discussed.
Baklawas (sweet recipe for puff pastry with almonds)
Baklava is a Moroccan dessert made from layers of puff pastry filled with dried fruit and sweetened with honey syrup. Traditional baklava is usually made from phyllo dough, finely ground pistachios, butter, and a simple syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice. Pistachios or walnuts are the most widely used nuts. You can also use a mixture of nuts.
Puff pastry (or phyllo dough or brick)
For the filling:
1 kg of ground almonds or pistachios (or 500 g of walnuts and 500 g of ground almonds)
350 g of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
orange blossom water
600 g of melted butter with a large handful of whole white almonds
1 kg of honey
1. In a well-oiled aluminum tray 60 cm in diameter, superimpose 7 sheets of brick dough or one of puff pastry, gradually brushing them with melted butter with a brush.
2. Decorate the surface with the mixture of powdered almonds, sugar and cinnamon, leveling the surface. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of orange blossom over this mixture. Cover with the last 5 sheets of brick or puff pastry sheet with butter, glue the edges by putting them inside.
Trace the cakes with a knife, decorating them with the whole white almonds. Sprinkle the entire surface with 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter.
Bake in the oven. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the cake with melted honey mixed with 1 tablespoon of orange blossom. Let stand for 24 hours.
Baclawas. Moroccan puff pastry dessert recipe
The pastilla is probably one of the most famous puff pastry dishes in Morocco. There are several pastilla recipes, the most typical ones mix sweet and salty but there are also pastillas that are sweet recipes using puff pastry or brick pastry.
We will comment two pastilla recipes, a sweet and salty, the traditional almond and chicken and a sweet.
CHICKEN WITH ALMONDS PASTILLA
500 gr of puff pastry (or bought ready-made)
500 gr of chicken
3 tablespoons of oil
A small handful of parsley and finely chopped coriander
Salt and pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of sugar
150 g of almonds
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
Orange blossom water
1 egg yolk
In a pan, brown the chicken in the oil, add the cinnamon, ginger and turmeric.
Add the finely chopped onion, salt and pepper, pour in a glass of water and let it cook. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it, leave only the onion, add the parsley and the coriander, and let it cook to reduce the broth, then add the sugar and the beaten eggs in an omelet.
Once the eggs are cooked, place the mixture in a strainer, to remove the remaining liquid, preferably prepare this mixture the day before.
Cut the almonds and brown them in a little oil, mold them, add the icing sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and mix with two tablespoons of orange blossom water.
Cut the dough in half and roll it out until it is about 5 mm thick, cut 2 large circles, first put a layer of the onion mixture, a layer of coarsely chopped chicken and a layer of almonds, cover with the second circle, weld the edges well with a little water, brush the top with the egg yolk. Put in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 ° C, it should be well browned.
Pastilla chicken with almonds
SWEET APPLE AND ALMOND PASTILLA
This is a variant of the traditional pastry explained above, a sweet dessert with puff pastry easy and economical.
8 sheets of brick
2 golden apples
80 g of almonds in flakes
75 g of butter
40 g powdered sugar
Cut the apples into quarters. Peel them and cut them into strips. Cook them in the frying pan for 6 to 8 minutes adding 25 g of butter and the sugar. Dry the almonds in a hot frying pan. Mix them with the apples.
Separate the brick leaves, place the apples in the centre of 2 leaves. Fold the leaves to enclose the filling. Pinch the edges to weld them together. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Brush with melted butter and place in the oven at 180 ° C for 10 min until the top is golden.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve immediately.
Almond and pistachio puff pastry
Another very simple puff pastry dessert recipe is the almond and pistachio puff pastry. The original recipe is with brick sheets but you can substitute them for puff pastry.
12 brick sheets
200 g of ground almonds
200 g of ground pistachios
100 g granulated sugar
Orange blossom water
In a bowl, prepare the filling: mix the almonds, pistachios and sugar, then sprinkle everything with orange blossom water. Butter a mould, spread 8 brick sheets, place the filling on top and then cover with the brick sheets. Put smen nuts on top, then bake in the oven until golden.
Sprinkle with honey and decorate with the nuts of your choice in the shape you prefer.
PUFF PASTRY CORNETS FILLED WITH CREAM
This dessert recipe with puff pastry is the typical cake you find in many Moroccan bakeries as well as street stalls.
1/2 litre of milk
60 g powdered sugar
45 g vanilla custard powder, imperial type
40 g of butter
Cut strips of puff pastry about 2 cm wide and stretch them slightly. Wrap the strips around the cones and place the cones on the baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven at 180 ° C for 18 minutes. Carefully unmold. In a bowl, mix the powdered custard with 1/4 litre of cold milk. In a saucepan add the remaining milk + sugar and heat until the milk is boiling. Remove from heat and pour the custard powder mixture into the pan and cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add butter. Mix well and let cool. Fill the cones with pastry cream from a pastry bag. Sprinkle icing sugar on top and put it in the fridge until you taste it.
Puff pastry cornets filled with cream
M’HANCHA: RECIPE OF MOROCCAN SWEET WITH PUFF PASTRY
The m’hanncha (snake) is a dessert made of puff pastry rolled up in a way that resembles a snake. The aromas of orange flower water and cinnamon are very North African, revealing the Persian influences in the region.
Ingredients (for 6 to 8 servings)
For orange and almond paste
– 3 cups of almonds
– 3/4 cup of icing sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 2 beaten egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
– 1 tablespoon orange juice
– 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the dough
– 12 (12 by 17 inches) phylum mass
– 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 2 beaten egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon of water
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 cup of icing sugar
– 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
– 1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. To make the orange and almond paste
To start the recipe for this delicious Moroccan sweet, the almond paste is prepared. To do this, combine the almonds, icing sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a food processor or blender and grind it to a coarse size. Add the butter and egg yolks and pulse until blended. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the orange water, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla. Divide the pasta into 12 balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the balls on a work surface sprinkled with icing sugar. Roll up each one to create a log about 9cm long. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Butter a large baking tray. Sprinkle a work surface with icing sugar. Place a sheet of pastry dough on the sugary work surface and fold it in thirds to form a rectangle measuring 10 by 45 cm. Brush the sheet with melted butter. Add another sheet of folded phyllo, brush with butter and repeat, until you have four sheets with butter.
Place four trunks of orange and almond paste in a downward row at one long end of the filo, and roll the dough over them in a cylinder. Fold the ends over and apply some melted butter to seal the seams. Form the cylinder and place it on the baking sheet, seam side down.
Repeat to make two more rolls of puff pastry. Add each to the end of the roll on the baking sheet, forming a large roll.
Combine the egg yolks, water and cinnamon. Brush the mixture onto the top of the cake.
3. For baking:
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet.
4. To serve:
Mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cake and top with sliced almonds.
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