A dessert with just 5 mg cholesterol and 3 gr fat? Sure do! Get ready to rock your palate without feeling guilty!
The term Mafroukeh derives from the Arab verb faraka, which means “to rub” or “to knead”.
It translates into “has been rubbed” or “kneaded”, which is how the semolina dough of this pastry is made; rubbed continuously with butter until it gains texture and consistence.
The dough turns creamy yet softly granulated. A thick layer of Ashta Cream is spread all over it. Almonds and Pistachios are not meant just for garnishing. They are part of the delicious taste of this pastry, and the palate’s pleasure of creamy texture and crunchiness. Their layer comes rich and generous.
2 cups Shredded Thin Filo Pastry
1 cup water
1 cup Sugar-Syrup
1 tbsp Rose Water
1 tbsp Orange-Blossom Water
2 cups Ashta Cream
FOR 1 CUP SYRUP
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsps Lemon Juice
2 tbsps Orange-Blossom Water
1/2 cup Almond
1/4 cup Pistachio Nuts
1 PREPARING THE ASHTA CREAM
Follow the instructions of my Ashta Cream recipe at: How to Make Ashta Cream for Lebanese Desserts:. Remember to refrigerate it.
2 PREPARING THE SYRUP
1- Mix sugar and water, and bring to a boil.
2- Add lemon juice.
3- Remove from heat, and stir in the orange blossom water.
4- Set aside.
3 PREPARING THE MAFROUKEH MIXTURE
1- Blend well the Shredded Filo Dough until you get a dough of very tiny grains.
2- Stir the dough in a non-stick casserole, over medium heat, until yellowing, then Increase the heat, stirring continuously.
3- When the dough starts darkening, add the liquid ingredients (water, orange blossom and rosewater), and 1/2 the cup of sugar syrup.
4- Keep stirring for the dough to absorb all the liquid, and homogenize.
5- When the mixture turns into a dark golden brown color, remove from heat.
4 LAYERING THE MAFROUKEH
1- Pour the mixture into the glass serving pan, and spread it well, dabbing it with the dampened palm of your hand. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
2- Pour the Ashta cream all over the Mafroukeh mixture.
3- With a spoon, spread it well all over, then press gently for an equal level. Wet the spoon with fresh cold water and smooth a little the surface.
5 GARNISH AND COOL IT
Sprinkle the pistachio nuts all over the Ashta layer then follow it with a rich layer of almonds.
Place the serving plate in the fridge to cool.
6 SERVING: OPTION 1 : FOR LESS INTAKE OF SUGAR
1- Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of syrup in a serving bowl.
2- Cut the Mafroukeh into 15 equal pieces.
If you have opted for the flower jam, use a tsp to place a small dose on each piece.
This recipe is intended to be healthier, hence the extra syrup is to be used at the convenience of the guests should they wish a sweeter Mafroukeh.
7 SERVING OPTION 2
Mafroukeh could be served on a round serving plate by laying the mixture first then the ashta (without pressing) and followed by the pistachios and almonds, and the optional garnish of flower jam.
8 SERVING OPTION 3: FOR A FANCIER PRESENTATION: MAFROUKEH CROWNS
1- With a film of plastic wrap, cover the inside of small cake molds, extending it out over the borders.
2- Divide the Mafroukeh dough Into the cake molds and press firmly.
3- Divide the Ashta cream into the Mafroukeh molds, press firmly, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. This will allow the content to adhere well together.
4- One by one, turn the molds upside-down on a serving plate, and remove gently the mold and the plastic wrap.
5- Sprinkle on the Pistachio nuts and top them with the almonds.
6- Gently top it with 2 or 3 pieces of flower jam
You now have a gorgeous presentation of Mafroukeh crowns, suitable for a reception!