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The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

Moroccan Almond Fillo Pastries Recipe. Make Your Own Almond Paste in a Jiffy!

Posted on 17th of June, 2014 by Lévana


There is no Moroccan Dessert display without these fabulous fillo pastries, first cousins of  Baklava. Although I am showcasing the glorious almond in the filling of these Fillo Pastries, You certainly could use the walnut or pistachio filling listed in my Baklava recipe link. I have streamlined this great Moroccan favorite confection, doing away not only with the pesky frying step, but with the no-less pesky syrup step (my secret: Pouring the honey on the piping hot fillo pastries), making it in one fell swoop less sweet and easier to prepare, and keeping it every bit as crunchy and delicious.

Do you find working with Fillo Dough daunting? You just gotta start somewhere, for fillo pastries as well as for fillo savories and hors d’oeuvres; here are my Tips on Fillo: Follow them, and soon you will actually have fun working with fillo!

Make your own almond paste: For these Fillo pastries and all other pastries, Moroccan, Sephardi and beyond, based on almond paste, here’s what you need to know: Nothing could be easier to make than almond paste, and no store-bought version of almond paste could hold a candle to homemade. It’s good to know that it freezes beautifully, so don’t hesitate to make a big batch, use only what you need for your fillo pastries, and freeze the rest for future use. Orange flower water is delightful, inexpensive and widely available: don’t skip it!

Makes about 4 dozen pastries

3 cups blanched almonds (no need to blanch them, store-bought OK)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons orange flower water, a little more if needed to make a smooth dough
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

I pound fillo leaves, thawed

2 cups honey
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (300 degree oven for 15 mn)

Make the almond paste:
Grind the first set of ingredients in a food processor until very smooth and malleable. The almond paste is your filling.
Preheat the oven to 375*f.
Shape the fillo pastries: Cut the pile of fillo leaves crosswise into thirds. Take out two leaves, with the narrow side facing you. Brush the top leaf lightly with oil.
Place one heaping tablespoon of filling down the center. Roll the fillo over the stuffing, part-way up, jelly-roll style. Fold the sides toward the center, and roll tightly all the way up. You will get perfect little rolls, or “cigars”. Place the fillo pastries seam-side down on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling, always working with two leaves at a time.
You can also shape the fillo pastries into triangles: cut strips, take two strips at a time (just as for cigars), place your filling in one corner of the oiled strip, and roll the strip, at an angle with each turn, all the way up. You will get perfect little triangles.

Bake the fillo pastries for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown and very crisp. Immediately pour the honey slowly and evenly over the hot fillo pastries. The pastries will absorb the honey as you pour it. Sprinkle the pastries with the sesame seeds. Let the fillo pastries cool, and store in tins at room temperature.

Filed under: Almond Flour Recipes, Almond Paste Recipes, Almond Recipes, Fillo Recipes, Honey Recipes, Moroccan Dessert Recipes, Moroccan Recipes, Recipes, Sephardi Recipes, Sesame Recipes

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10 Questions

  1. Judy Lehr, on Said:

    Dear Levana:
    Your recipes look scrumptious! I am going to try to make your Almond Fillo Pastries for a Moroccan dinner party. The picture and recipe that I printed last week indicated triangular-shaped pastries. It also made reference to a demo on how to assemble. Today’s instructions seem to indicate tube-shaped pastries and no reference to a demo. Did you change the assembly process? Thanks!

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Hi Judy, thank you so much! No I haven’t made any changes. That line about “see demo” was there by mistake. I delete it, and I explain how to shape them either into “cigars”, or into triangles. Shape them in the way that seems easiest to you. You’d be amazd, once you get the hang of it, you can do so much with Fillo!

    • Judy Lehr, on Said:

      Okay. If I make them the day before the party and store them in an airtight container, will they lose their crispiness?

  2. Joanie, on Said:

    Dear Levana
    Would you know how to make Orange Flower Water?
    Right now we have an orange tree in bloom …!
    Please let me know!!!!
    Thank You

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Joanie, oh wow, lucky you! All of us apartment dwellers just buy orange flower water. I am sure there are plenty of good recipes online. Be sure to make enough and reserve some for cosmetic use, spray it on your face after removing makeup.

  3. Nell Maguire, on Said:

    You mention a demo to follow for rolling the almond filled pastry into triangles. Where can I find it?

    Thank you!

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Nell that referred to one of the demos I gave on shaping fillo (I just deleted that line). To shape them into triangle, just cut long strips, follow instructions for oil brushing, put filling in one corner, and keep rolling the strip around the filling at an angle, forming a perfect triangle.

  4. Melissa Strait, on Said:

    There is one key ingredient that is not in the list of ingredients: the filly Dough! Here I am in my kitchen ready to make these cookies – with everything but the filly dough!

    I want ll have to try again another time.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Melissa, Oh wow, good catch. Where the heck did the fillo go?!? I’ll never understand the mysteries of technology. So sorry about this. I just put it back on. Good to go:-)))