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Almond Sesame Pastries


Veg CD CBF Tunisian 60mins plus cooling

Tunisian Name: Samsa


Delicious mini pastries made with phyllo pastry flavoured with sweet spices


Yield: Makes 24 Total time Keywords:  Cold Vegetarian Nuts Biscuits Tunisia Nth Africa North African Teatime Filo


175g/6oz Sugar
300ml/10fl.oz. Water
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
275g/10oz Ground Almonds
2 teasp finely grated Orange Zest
1 teasp ground Cinnamon
˝ teasp Ground Allspice
4 Sheets Phyllo Pastry
Olive Oil, for brushing
1 tbsp toasted Sesame Seeds




1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4.

2. Place the ground almonds, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice and 50g/2oz of the sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix together using your hands.

3. Brush one sheet of the pastry with olive oil, keeping the remaining pastry covered with a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. Cut the oiled sheet into half widthways then into 3 strips lengthways. You should end up with strips which are about 10cm/4-inches wide by 20cm/8-inches long.

4. Place a spoonful of the almond filling at the bottom of each strip, fold the sides over the filling then roll the pastry up along its length. Brush the end of the pastry with a little oil and seal then brush the roll with oil and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.


5. Bake the pastries for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.

6. Meanwhile, place the water and 100g/4oz of the sugar in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until dissolved.


7. Add the lemon juice, bring to the boil and continue to boil rapidly for a few minutes or until syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.


8. Once the pastries are cooked, remove from the oven then using tongs, dip the them into the hot syrup and leave for about 3 minutes so the syrup soaks into the pastries. Only do few at a time.

9. Remove the pastries from the syrup, transfer to a plate and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Allow to cool before serving.

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Tips, Options and Substitutions


As phyllo pastry dries out quickly and becomes very brittle, try to work as quickly as possible and keep the pastry covered with a damp tea towel until you are ready to use it

Main equipment required to make this recipe



Pastry Brush

Mixing Bowl

Wooden Spoon

Baking Sheet


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