This Moroccan dessert has the most amazing combination of flavors that is sure to delight and surprise you. A Moroccan Pastilla is a variation of the traditional apple strudel which I believe is worth the effort to make. This pastilla pays homage to Shane Delia’s recipe of the same name, while perhaps not as authentic as some pastilla’s it is definitely a wonderful variation. The delicious flavors of caramelized apple with a mint and vanilla custard, cinnamon, and almonds in a delicate puff or filo pastry make this a dessert for special occasions.
If this wasn’t enough the star of this dessert is actually the homemade Moroccan and date icecream which is delicately spiced with Moroccan-ras-el-hanout/ blend.
There are 3 components to this dessert, but you can cheat and just make the icecream with a bought apple pie or strudel if time is short.
Spices used in this recipe
Garlic is obtained from a perennial plant and is member of the lily family, and relative to the onions. Garlic powder has a bitter-sweet flavour and a pungent aroma similar to fresh garlic. However Garlic powder have been roasted and dried and thus have a subtler flavour than fresh garlic.$3.45
Celery Salt Seasoning – Mild
Seasoned salts have become a popular and healthier alternative way to season all manner of dishes. Our blend has celery seeds, sea salt, thyme, sage, oregano, onion, garlic and pepper. They add a tasty flavour without being spicy or dominating the dish. The use of celery salt seasoning means less salt is needed to bring out the flavour of the dish.$3.45
Oregano, one of the most popular herbs worldwide, is a member of the mint family and often called wild marjoram. It is a small herb with dark-green leaf and is known for its bold, warm, balsamic herb flavour, with a slightly bitter taste. Its strong flavour marries well with tomato and basil making it a vital ingredient for authentic Italian and Greek cooking. It is also perfect addition to garlic for the Mediterranean, Philippine and Mexican cuisine.$3.45
Mustard powder is made when the yellow seeds are finely milled, and are used more often than the whole seeds as it provides more flavour with less effort. Mustard powder has a mild and slight sweet flavour and pungent aroma. The powder can be mixed with water to form a mustard paste to flavour bbq meats. It releases an earthy aroma when cooked and a savoury and tangy taste. Yellow powder is commonly used in the Western cuisine. It is key ingredient in the Indian blend Panch Phora.
Tarragon leaves are one of the four fines herbs and a key ingredient in French cuisine. It is popular in European cooking due to its distinct appetite-pleasing taste. Tarragon herb has narrow, pointed dark green leaves which give a warm, minty anise-like aroma, reminiscent of anise or licorice flavour. Its sweet-tangy aroma with a slightly bitter taste is much liked in egg dishes, cream soups, poultry roast, mustards, or as a tarragon vinegar. Tarragon is an essential herb in Béarnaise and tartare sauce. However, it can easily dominate other flavours so should be added carefully. It is also rich in phytonutrients as well as antioxidants that help promote health and prevent diseases.$3.45
Pepper Black Ground
Black Pepper is picked from the flowering vine of the peppercorn plant and is the most pungent and flavoursome variety of Pepper. Black peppercorns are picked green and then dried to 12% moisture content. When ground, its grey in colour as the seed inside is white. It has a woody flavour with a spicy heat and it is used in all cultures and types of cuisine especially in Moroccan and Middle East cooking. Pepper is used in all cultures and all types of cuisine. Also, it is known for improving digestion.
The Spice People carry these pepper products: pepper black whole, pepper black ground, pepper black cracked, pepper white whole, pepper white ground, pepper green whole, pepper lemon, pepper mill mix.
Date and Moroccan ras el hanout ice cream:
Put the sugar and 250 mls of water into a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add in the chopped dates and puree with a stick blender. Set aside to cool.
Beat the egg yolks using an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow. Add to the date puree mixture.
Whip the cream in a separate bowl to stiff peaks in the electric mixer. Fold in gently the date puree and egg yolk mixture, season with the Moroccan ras el hanout and rose petals. Our Moroccan ras el hanout blend has a medium heat level so you may wish to add only 1/2 tbsp to start and taste before adding the rest.
Place in the freezer for 2 -3 hours to firm.
Heat the milk in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the point of the boil. (little bubbles around the edge of the saucepan). take off the heat and add the mint leaves. leave it to infuse for 5 minutes. then strain off the mint leaves. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and whisk over low heat until it thickens. Place the mixture aside.
Heat 50 g of butter in a frying pan over medium heat and sprinkle over the castor sugar, stir until dissolved. reduce the heat to low and add the apple slices and cook until soft and caramelized turning occasionally. (approx 20 min). remove from the heat and set aside.
Mix the almonds, cinnamon, and icing sugar together and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Preparing the pastry:
if using puff pastry just line the base of round or square standard cake tin or individual pots. If using filo pastry you will need to layer and brush with melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon almond mixture between sheets. this will give you a more delicate flaky pastry finish. We used the puff pastry and found it to be easier and tastes great.
Putting it all together :
After placing the puff or filo pastry on the base of the cake tin, then sprinkle some cinnamon and almond mixture, next layer the apples, and then a layer of custard. continue this process till you have reached 2/3 the height of the tin. Then place a final layer of puff pastry or filo layers. Glaze with melted butter or some of the sauce from the caramelized apples and sprinkle with the cinnamon almond mixture and place in a hot oven (200 degrees) for 30 min.
Serve hot with the Moroccan ras el hanout ice cream and garnish with fresh mint leaves and rose petals.