M'hanncha - Moroccan Snake Pastry
You will need a serving platter that is perfectly (or nearly) flat for this pastry, as a curved platter might distort the shape of the pastry as it sits and would make slicing it more difficult. A cutting board. This beautiful recipe is from: cathyarkle.com/shepaused4thought
- 8 oz
- moist dried figs, (soak overnight in water or tea, drain before using)
- 7 oz
- almond paste, cut into ~-inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp
- anise seed
- zest of 1 lemon, very finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp
- 2 Tbsp
- sheets fila (the sheets should be 17 inches long, if possible), room temperature
- large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp
- unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
- powdered sugar and candied lemon zest for serving
- chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
Trim the hard stems from the figs and discard. Place the figs, almond paste, anise seed, lemon zest, sugar and honey in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is very finely chopped. It should not be ground to a homogenous paste. Set aside.
place a fila sheet on the work surface, with one of the long sides toward you. Brush the surface lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet of fila on top and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with one more sheet of filo dough
Note: It is easier to start from the center of the pan and work out.
Run a thin sharp knife around the edges of the pan, loosening any filo that may have stuck. Gently set a plate upside down on top of the cake pan, then, holding the pan and plate together, flip the two over. The pastry should slide out onto the plate.
Note: If the pastry sticks to the bottom of the pan, place the pan in a hot oven or over a burner for a few seconds, just long enough to warm and loosen the butter and egg, then try turning it out again.
Dust the top of the snake very lightly with powdered sugar and sprinkle the nuts. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut wedges of the pastry, transferring each to a plate using a pie wedge or cake server.
Store at room temperature, lightly covered with plastic wrap or foil, for up to 4 days.