Algerian almond tarts (dziriat)

    Algerian almond tarts (dziriat)


    3 people made this

    About this recipe: Dziriat is prepared only on special celebrations and weddings. It is a challenge to prepare and takes patience, but with every bite you'll know it is well worth it. Some variants of Dziriat use moulds while others are moulded by hand, and some are dipped in syrup and others are not.

    Serves: 40 

    • Sugar Syrup
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 250ml water
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
    • Pastry
    • 250g plain flour
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon orange flower water
    • Filling
    • 575g raw almonds
    • 200g sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
    • 4 tablespoons cornflour, for rolling out the dough
    • 8 tablespoons pine nuts, for decoration

    Prep:2hr  ›  Cook:8hr  ›  Ready in:10hr 

    1. Prepare the almonds the day before: Bring 1.4 litres of water to the boil. Remove from heat, and add the almonds. Let the almonds soak in water for about 5 minutes, then drain and peel. Spread the almonds on baking trays, and bake at 100 C / Gas 1/4 until completely dry and toasted. This takes several hours, and needs to be prepared ahead. Be careful not to burn the nuts, as this will give a bitter taste to the filling.
    2. Combine 200g sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer until syrupy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in orange blossom water, and remove from heat. Set sugar syrup aside.
    3. For the pastry: Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the centre, and pour oil, egg, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water into the centre. Mix with fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually sprinkle with warm water while mixing until the pastry becomes soft and pliable. Divide into 4 equal portions. Cover pastry with a wet cloth, and set aside.
    4. In a food processor, finely grind the almonds. Measure 500g of the finely ground almonds into a mixing bowl, and stir together with 200g sugar, baking powder, vanilla powder, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons orange flower water. Mix in three eggs one at a time, stirring constantly; mix until you get a sticky, paste-like mixture.
    5. Sprinkle cornflour on your work surface to prevent sticking. Roll each portion of pastry very thinly, 1 to 2mm. Cut the rolled dough into circles of about 10cm in diameter each. Lightly wipe the surface of each circle with cornflour, and fit into a tart mould, cornflour side down to prevent sticking. Gently press the pastry onto the sides and bottom of the mould, and trim extra pastry from around the rim. Fill three quarters of each mould with the almond filling.
    6. Bake on the top shelf at 180 C / Gas 4 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the surface of the tart is golden and the pastry is firm. Remove the tarts from the moulds as soon as they come out of the oven. Dip each tart in the sugar syrup while still hot. Stick a pine nut into the middle of each tart for decoration. Place on a wire rack to drain.

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