I love how these pastries, mostly made in the Levant and served at weddings and graduations, are super easy and quick. They are absolutely perfect for dinner parties because they can be made one or two days in advance and baked immediately before eating.
The extra fine semolina used in this recipe is not as grainy as normal semolina, it is more like flour. Commonly referred to as “farkha”, it can be found in most Middle Eastern food shops. When making the cream, do not add too much sugar, as we will douse them in sugar syrup, so we don’t want them to be too sweet!
As for the cream, if you are in the Middle East, you can easily find fresh cream, or “ishta”. However, if you are in the West, you can find tinned cream at your local Middle Eastern shop, and if all else fails, you can use some clotted cream.
Pop these babies in the oven and soak them in syrup while they are still hot and watch them be devoured in seconds!
- 500ml full fat milk
- 3 tbsp corn flour
- 3 tbsp extra fine semolina
- 2-3 tbsp sugar (to taste)
- 200g thick cream or “ishta”
- Rose water or orange blossom water to taste
- 700g puff pastry (cut into squares)
- 100g melted butter
- Ground or roughly chopped pistachios to garnish
- Sugar syrup (room temperature)
1. To make the cream, put all the filling ingredients, except for the cream and rose or orange blossom water, into a large pot and whisk together until they dissolve into the milk before turning on the heat.
2. Turn the heat on medium and use a whisk to continuously whip the ingredients until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Make sure to whisk continuously to avoid burning the mixture.
3. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the cream and whisk quickly to get rid of all the lumps.
4. Turn off the heat after the mixture thickens. Keep in mind the fact that it will continue to thicken after it cools. Add the rose or orange blossom water, if you are using it, and mix. Put aside to come to room temperature. I like to cover my cream with some cling film, making sure the plastic touches the cream, so that it doesn’t form a skin later on.
5. If you plan to make this immediately, cut the puff pastry into medium sized squares. Add some filling, making sure to avoid the edges, fold over to make a triangle and seal. I like to use a fork to make sure the filling stays in. Brush with some melted butter and lay on a buttered baking sheet. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the butter in the puff pastry to re-solidify, giving you lots of crispy layers of pastry.
6. If you want to make this later, you could just refrigerate the cream and then stuff and bake on the day you want to serve it, or you could stuff the pastries, butter and cover and refrigerate for up to two days before baking.
7. When you decide to bake the warbat, brush with some more melted butter and bake at 180C for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry puffs up and browns. If your pastry has puffed up but doesn’t brown, you can pop it under the grill. Make sure you watch it closely as it browns up really quick.
8. Once they are out of the oven, serve them hot. Drizzle with some sugar syrup and sprinkle with pistachios. Enjoy!