Pastries are sweet desserts that include flour, cheese, and cream. However, it is not as simple as it sounds to make a pastry because there are huge varieties of pastries around the world with their own favorite ingredients and techniques.
The taste and flavor of pastry differ as you shift from one part of the world to another. It also applies to middle eastern pastries because this part of the world is a cluster of many cultures which have different cooking techniques and tastes.
There is some magnificent, rich in taste, mouth-watering pastries in the middle east which will make you think differently about pastries. Here are some of the most famous and popular middle eastern pastries which will take you by surprise in terms of taste and cooking methods.
The Harissa Pastry
This is a wonderful pastry made with semolina, coconut, and sometimes with cream filling. It has a layer of syrup and is decorated with dry fruits. It is a very popular middle eastern pastry and the recipe is also not very difficult so you can easily make it at home.
- 3 cups of semolina
- One cup Greek yogurt
- 3/4th cup of butter
- 1/4th cup of orange juice
- One teaspoon baking powder
- One cup of sugar
- Two tablespoons of tahini
- A ½ cup of almonds and pistachios
- 1/4th cup of sugar syrup
To make the sugar syrup, put sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes. Let it simmer over the heat for around five minutes and take it off the heat. Then, let it cool for some time and add some rose water. Stir and let it cool for some time.
- For making Harissa, mix the semolina, yogurt, butter, orange juice, baking powder and tahini in a bowl.
- Take a baking tray and brush it with tahini sauce. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and pat it to level the mix. If you like, you can make any design on it using a butter knife.
- Bake the batter in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes until it becomes golden.
- Take it out of the oven when it turns golden and checks with a toothpick whether it is baked properly. Let it cool for some time.
- After it cools down, pour some sugar syrup on it and decorate with some almonds and pistachios and serve.
This is another middle eastern pastry which is very famous not only in the Middle East but also in many parts of the world. Baklava is usually made in large baking pans with many layers of filo dough, made with melted butter and vegetable oil.
Add a layer of dry fruits such as pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts on top of it. Then, the dough is baked until golden. This is a very sweet pastry full of butter and sugar.
Middle Eastern pastries are very special as these are made in a traditional method, with out-of-the-box ingredients.