A traditional Levantine dessert that is both very famous and really delicious. In this dessert, pistachio is the star but as in most Arabic desserts semolina is a very traditional flour to use instead of the more modern wheat-based white flour used everywhere these days. Also as all traditional Arabic sweets are they are drenched with sugar syrup and therefore very sweet. I have adapted the recipe here with less sugar syrup than traditionally is used, and I even use raw honey to make this at times.
Try it, you will love it.
- You can melt some chocolate and dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate and leave to set before serving. You can serve half the quantity chocolate dipped and the other half plain for the purists.
- Keep Mafrookeh refrigerated when stored if using fresh Ashta, otherwise the Ashta will spoil.
¾ cup fine semolina
2 tbsp butter
3 ½ cups peeled pistachio, finely ground
½ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp soft butter
4 tbsp rose water
2 tbsp sugar syrup (recipe on this link)
Toast the Semolina until golden. Mix with 2 tbsp butter and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, process together the finely ground pistachio, icing sugar and cooled semolina mixture. Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and continue to process. While the motor is running add the sugar syrup and rose water, process until you achieve a smooth sticky paste.
Stir over low heat for 2 minutes.
Shape the mafrookeh to the desired shape and while in the mold, make a well in the centre and fill it with fresh Ashta (Arabic clotted cream), or Muhalabiyah (thickened milk Pudding) then tuck the top over the cream filling completely enclosing the filling.
Unmold and top with a small piping of Ashta on top, sprinkle with sliced almonds and pistachios and 1 edible flower or edible rose petal.
Serve cold and enjoy with tea ;)