Briouates are small stuffed pastries that are filled with savoury or sweet fillings such as meat, cheese or almond paste.
Almond briouates are very popular in Morocco, they are mainly made of almonds and honey and gently seasoned with orange blossom water and cinnamon.
The pastry we use to envelope them in Morocco is warka, unfortunately there is no warka in London. The best substitute to warka is filo pastry, which I also used to make bastila.
Traditionally the almond paste (the filling) is made of ground fried almonds and then the whole pastry is fried. Yes, double frying. Sounds a bit like too much frying, right?
Today, I chose to make the briouates the way my mom does them (cause she always knows best!) this means that I didn’t fry any of the ingredients to make the briouates. I simply roasted the almonds in the oven and also baked the briouates in the oven.
The result tastes amazing, I found that the baked briouates feel lighter than the fried ones I tried in the past.
If you love honey and almonds, you have to try this recipe! The pastry is crunchy and covered with honey, the inside has a deep and strong almondy flavour and a sweet orange blossom water aroma.
Also, in my quest to make Moroccan recipes more accessible I used coconut oil instead of butter to brush the filo pastry and to make the almond paste, I think it tastes better than with butter. Ha!
Almond and Honey Briouate – Dairy Free (coconut oil)
Makes 25 small briouates
- 300 gr blanched almonds
- 80 gr caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water, divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 gr coconut oil, solid (check notes for butter)
- 20 gr coconut oil, melted (check notes for butter)
- 200 gr filo pastry
- 300 gr honey
- Ground nuts or chopped dried fruits for decoration
• Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F).
• Place the blanched almonds in a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake in the oven until lightly tan, about 20 min. Give the almonds a good stir halfway through baking.
• Once the almonds are cold enought to handle, transfer them in a nut grinder or a food processor and add the caster sugar, 2 tablespoons orange blossom water, cinnamon and salt. Process until all the almonds are finely ground.
• Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
• Transfer the almond mixture in a bowl and add 20 gr solid coconut oil. Mix until the ingredients are combined all together and knead to a solid mass.
• Unroll the filo pastry and cut the pastry lengthways into 6 cm large and 30 cm long rectangles. Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry and keep the filo rectangles covered with a damp towel until ready to use to prevent them from drying out.
• On a work surface, place a filo rectangle and brush it with coconut oil. Top the corner of the rectangle with a spoonful of almond paste and fold to form a triangle, up to the right and left, until a triangle is formed. Repeat until you’ve exhausted all the almond paste. Brush with melted coconut oil and place in the oven to bake for 10 to 12 min until golden.
• Meanwhile heat the honey with 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water. Avoid burning by controlling the heat, (once the honey is foamy you should reduce the heat). Once the briouate are baked and golden, immediately transfer them to the simmering honey and soak the pastries for 2 to 3 minutes (flip them if necessary). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the briouate to a flat dish and leave to cool before serving. Decorate with ground nuts and/or chopped dried fruits.
• To use butter instead of coconut oil, use the same quantities and replace the solid coconut oil by softened butter and melted butter instead of the melted coconut oil
• You should be able to close the pastry with the coconut oil (or butter) brushed on the filo pastry, however if you struggle to do so, use an egg yolk.