Feteer Meshaltet with Almonds and Pistachios
By: Alison Norquist/ Arab America Contributing Writer
It is said that feteer meshaltet, then called feteer maltoot, was served to the ancient gods. This flaky Egyptian pastry, which brings to mind the crisp shell and buttery layers of a croissant, is rumored to even be the French staple’s mystical ancestor.
Sweet or Savory
While it can be served plain, it is often served with honey. It lends itself well to savory adaptations such as being filled with cheese or used to dip into harissa, tahina, or hummus. As a dessert, the layers can be filled with custard, sweetened crushed nuts, or drizzled with molasses.
How to Make Feteer Meshaltet
For the pastry, you will need the following:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons ghee
Neutral oil, like canola or olive, to coat the workspace
For the filling, you will need:
1/4 cup finely crushed almonds
2 Tablespoons finely crushed pistachios
2 Tablespoons sugar
Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the water and mix until smooth ball forms and is pulling away from the bowl. On a lightly greased surface, knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. After kneading, cut the dough into six equal parts and grease it with oil before letting it rest for at least 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, generously oil your workspace. Working with one piece of dough, roll or pat it until it is thin enough to see the details of the workspace. Brush the stretched dough with ghee and fold the edges in to form a square. Set the first piece aside.
Roll or pat a second piece of dough just as before. Brush with ghee and sprinkle a quarter of the sweetened nut mixture. Place the shaped first piece of dough in the center of the second and wrap the edges, creating a dough-wrapped pastry square. Repeat this step with the third piece of dough. Set this bundle aside and repeat the previous steps, making two pastry bundles.
Grease a baking pan and pat the pastry bundle onto the pan until it is about a quarter of an inch thick. Bake at 475 degrees, flipping after five minutes. Bake the other side for five minutes. Once cool enough to touch, cut the pastry into wedges. Cover with powdered sugar or serve with honey.