Calling all the Baklava lovers! We have an amazing Moroccan-inspired sweet filo pastry dessert recipe for you. If you love spiced nutty baklava, you should make these Almond & Pistachio Briouats your next bake!
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Moroccan Dessert for Extra Sweet Tooth
Seb and I have a 25-year travel plan. Which now looks more like a 27-28 year travel plan, given that we didn’t go anywhere in 2020 and aren’t likely to travel in 2021 either. A few years back we have written down all the countries/places we wanted to visit in our lifetime and worked out that it would take us 25 years to do that, provided we carried on travelling at the rate that we did back then.
Morroco is definitely on the list. And was preliminary pencilled in for 2020. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we would have gone to Marakkesh, Atlas Mountains and Casablanca last year. I am so excited to visit Morroco when we finally can. Not only for beautiful nature, culture and architecture but certainly for the food too. I typically love all things one would associate with Morrocco – tagines, chermoula, mint tea… but most of all, I love Moroccan desserts!
I have a real soft spot for sweet desserts, like Turkish Baklava, Egyptian Basbousa or Gulab Jamun from India. They are all different but share one thing in common – they are soaked in syrup! I never made any of the above desserts myself though, as I deemed them too risky. Seb isn’t that much of a fan of them, and I know that I simply couldn’t resist eating them all at once.
One syrup-soaked sweet treat that I do make at home is Maroccan Briouats. Whilst I normally make them with peanuts or almonds, this time, I had some pistachios at home and decided to add them in. Wow! The creamy texture and slight sweetness of pistachio nuts add so much to both the flavour and texture, that I will never make Briouats any other way.
What Are Briouats?
Briouats are small Morrocan triangle-shaped pastries stuffed with a sweet or savoury filling, then fried or baked. Traditionally the filling is wrapped in pastry called warqa (also known as brick pastry), but it is easy to substitute it for ready-made filo sheets from the shop (the option I decided to take!).
Savoury Briouats are filled with either ground meat or vegetables. The sweet version normally has almond paste as a filling and honey and orange blossom glaze.
Ingredients for Maroccan Briouats:
- 75 g blanched almonds: blanched almonds are definitely recommended. You will toast your almonds first, and unblanched almonds can have a slightly bitter taste. What is more, the texture of the nut paste will be a lot smoother if you use blanched nuts.
- 75 g unsalted shelled pistachios: using salted pistachios will make the dessert far too salty. You can buy shelled pistachios is many large supermarkets, international food shops or simply on Amazon – link here.
- 40 g caster sugar: caster sugar is much finer than granulated sugar, so the texture is better suited for the nut paste. Granulated sugar may feel a bit gritty if used.
- 3 tsp orange blossom water (2 teaspoon for nuts and 1 teaspoon for syrup): used sparingly, orange blossom water is a traditional (and the most delicious) flavour to add to your briouat. My favourite is highly concentrated Nielsen Massey Orange Blossom Water – you only need 3 teaspoon of it in this recipe.
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 25 g unsalted butter room temperature: or substitute for vegan butter if cooking for vegans.
- 40 g unsalted butter, melted: this will be used for brushing but can be substituted for coconut oil if you wish to make these Briouats vegan. Butter makes the filo pastry crispier and it browns better though.
- 100 g filo pastry sheets (approx. 7 sheets): if you fancy making your own, here’s the link that worked for me (although required a lot of patience), but you can definitely get filo pastry in most large supermarkets.
- 150 g runny honey: any runny honey will do, but if you can get your hands on the orange blossom honey, then that’s definitely the one to get. It will only enhance the Almond & Pistachio Briouat flavour further!
How to Make Pistachio & Almond Briouats?
Preheat your oven to 180°C Fan.
Place the almonds in a large frying pan and dry-fry them for 5 minutes until they are starting to brown and smell nutty. Remove from the pan and leave them to cool down completely.
Tip the toasted almonds alongside the pistachios in a food processor (we love Kenwood). Add the caster sugar, 2 teaspoon orange blossom water, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Blitz to fine crumbs. Don’t worry if the nuts start looking like a rough paste, but don’t process them into nut butter.
Scrape the nut mixture into a bowl. Add the room-temperature butter and mix until combined. It may still be rather crumbly and not coming together – that’s ok.
Unroll the filo pastry and cut the sheets into 6cm x 30cm strips. I use my pasta wheel cutter, but you can use a pizza wheel or a sharp knife. Cover the strips with a damp towel to prevent from drying out.
One filo strip at a time, brush melted butter all over (don’t be stingy, or your pastry will break when you handle it). Place a generous teaspoon of the nut mixture on one of the corners of the strip. Fold it over to form a triangle. Keep folding into triangles from left o right until you arrive at one folded triangle of pastry. See the video below for the method.
Repeat with the rest of the pastry strips.
Brush the briouat tops with melted butter and place on a baking parchment -lined tray. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 min until golden.
Whilst the pastries are baking, in a wide pan, heat the honey with the remaining teaspoon of orange blossom water until it is a thin syrup consistency.
When briouat are baked, transfer them to the honey syrup (keeping the pan on low heat) and soak the pastries for a minute, then turn them over and soak for another minute. Transfer them to a large plate or a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.
Other Recipes for Sweet Treats
If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for more sweet and moreish treats to make, have a look at our recipes below:
Moroccan Almond & Pistachio Briouat | Spiced Nut Filo Pastries
- 75 g blanched almonds
- 75 g unsalted shelled pistachios
- 40 g caster sugar
- 3 teaspoon orange blossom water 2 teaspoon for nuts and 1 teaspoon for syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 25 g unsalted butter room temperature, for nut paste
- 40 g unsalted butter melted, for brushing
- 100 g filo pastry sheets (approx. 7 sheets)
- 150 g runny honey
- Preheat oven to 180° C Fan.
- Place the almonds in a large frying pan and dry-fry them for 5 minutes until they are starting to brown and smell nutty. Remove from the pan and leave them to cool down.
- Tip the toasted almonds alongside the pistachios in a food processor. Add the caster sugar, 2 teaspoon orange blossom water, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Blitz to fine crumbs. Don't worry if the nuts start looking like a rough paste, but don't process them into nut butter.
- Scrape the nut mixture into a bowl. Add the room-temperature butter and mix until combined.
- Unroll the filo pastry and cut the sheets into strips 6-30cm. Cover the strips with a damp towel to prevent from drying out.
- One filo strip at a time, brush it with melted butter. Place a generous teaspoon of the nut mixture on the corner of the strip. and fold it over to form a triangle. Keep folding into triangles from left o right until you arrive at one folded triangle of pastry. See video below for the method.
- Repeat with the rest of the pastry strips.
- Brush the briouat tops with melted butter and place on a baking parchment -lined tray. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-18 min until golden.
- Whilst the pastries are baking, in a wide pan, heat the honey with the remaining teaspoon of orange blossom water until it is a thin syrup consistency.
- When briouat are baked, transfer them to the honey syrup and soak the pastries for a minute, then turn them over and soak for another minute. Transfer them on a large plate or another baking tray to cool completely before serving.
I am a huge baklava lover so absolutely can’t wait to make this! Working with phyllo dough can be laborious, but totally worth it!
As a fellow baklava lover, I would highly recommend making Moroccan Briouat! 🙂
Oh love the flavors in these! And thanks for the video on how to shape – so helpful!
You are most welcome! Glad you enjoyed the flavours! 🙂