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Moroccan Spiced Almond Phyllo Tart (M’hencha)

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Total Time: 75 MIN Makes: 1 tart
Prep Time: 45 MIN Cook Time: 30 MIN
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Description

Inspired by the celebratory Moroccan dessert M’hencha, this gorgeous tart is made from rolled phyllo stuffed with a mixed nut & coconut filling and coiled to look like a snake. Topped with simple syrup for an added dose of sweetness. Recipe & photo by food photographer Doaa Elkady (@asoulfulkitchen).


Ingredients
  • 18 sheets Athens Phyllo Dough® (9″ x 14″ ), thawed
  • 3 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water (or orange blossom water or orange zest)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios, for garnish
  • Edible rose petals, for garnish

For the simple syrup:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (or another flavoring such as orange blossom water, dried spices, or orange zest)

Directions

Thaw one roll of phyllo, following thawing instructions on package. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, chop the slivered almonds and walnuts into a fine, slightly textured powder. Add in the confectioner’s sugar, rose water (or another flavoring), cinnamon, coconut, and egg. Process until the mixture forms a thick paste. Divide the paste into 6 long logs that are slightly shorter than the longest side of your phyllo.

Unroll and cover the phyllo sheets with plastic wrap, then a slightly damp towel to prevent drying out. Take one sheet and brush liberally with melted butter. Top with another sheet and brush again with butter. Top with a third sheet and brush with butter. With the long side of the phyllo facing you, place one of the almond paste logs half an inch from the edge of the phyllo, and roll the phyllo up to form a long cigar. Brush the cigar with butter and nestle it into the base of a 9-inch tart pan.

Repeat to form 5 more phyllo cigars and fit them one by one into the 9-inch tart pan. They should fit without needing to trim the final one, but if not, trim the excess. Brush the entire tart with melted butter and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the tart is cooking, make the simple syrup by adding the sugar, water and rose water in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes or so, until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle the simple syrup over the baked tart and top with rose petals and pistachios.


Tips
  • Serve the tart with mint tea for an authentic Moroccan after-dinner experience

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