For the pastry
- 4 1⁄2 oz (125g) phyllo sheets, about 6 sheets
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp water
For the filling
- 3 cups ground almonds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp orange blossom water
For the topping
- 2–3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the ingredients for the filling in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of cold water and work them with your hands to form a stiff paste. Add a little more water if required. Take lumps of the paste and roll them on a flat surface to form fingers about 3⁄4in (2cm)
thick. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
2 Line a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper. Place a phyllo sheet on the work surface, with the longer side nearest to you. Lightly brush it with a little butter, then place some almond fingers, end to end, along the edge nearest to you.
3 Roll up the edge over the filling, tuck in the ends, and roll the sheet into a long, thin tube. Gently push both ends of the tube toward the center, so that it creases like an accordion. Place in the middle of the baking sheet. Carefully, curve it into a tight coil. Repeat the process with the remaining sheets, curving each tube around the inner coils so the pastry resembles a coiled snake.
4 Brush the top with the egg wash and bake for 30–35 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned.
5 Sprinkle the pastry liberally with confectioners’ sugar, then sprinkle the cinnamon to form thin lines leading from the centrer to the outer rim, like the spokes of a wheel. Serve while still warm.
Prep: 1 hour, plus chilling
Cook: 30-35 minutes
Excerpted from Mediterranean Cookbook by Marie-Pierre Moine. Recipe Copyright © 2014 Dorling Kindersley Ltd. Excerpted by permission of DK Publishing, New York. All rights reserved.