Makroudh is a traditional sweet pastry in Tunisia, but also in other North Africa countries (Morocco, Algeria, and Libya) and in Malta. It is filled with date paste (with or without and nuts) or almond paste. It has a diamond shape – the name derives from this characteristic shape.
Traditionally, the dough is made with a combination of semolina and flour, which gives the pastry a very specific texture and flavor and it can be either fried in oil or baked in the oven, and then dipped in honey / sugar syrup, and optionally decorated with sesame seeds.
Unfortunately, it is a very sweet and has lots of sugar. People that have medical conditions (such as diabetes) are unable to eat it, neither people adapting a healthy lifestyle.
It can be shameful to not be able to enjoy these delights, I am one of the person that likes them so much, and not able to enjoy them. The good news, solutions can be there, and it is possible to do so with some ingredients swapping and some ingredients change. I tried this recipe, and it was amazing.
In this recipe, the dough and the syrup are fully adapted comparing to the original recipe. This recipe has no added refined sugar. Hope you enjoy it too!
An adapted version of the Tunisan delight Makroudh.
You can enjoy it with coffee, as dessert or as a snack.
The syrup should be made in advance, and cooled down before using it later.
First start with adding the honey and water in a small sauce pan. You can reduce or add depending on your honey, and how thick you want it.
Allow the mixture to boil, then simmer for 5-10 min.
Once done, add the Orange blossom water, and turn off the heat. Eventually, you can use rose water, geranium flower water (in tn عطرشية), or lemon juice.
The date paste
Start with cooking the dates, if they are too dry to make as a paste. I personally steam them to not make them too watery, as cooking requires to put some water. Streaming can be stopped when the dates are soft, it take around 15min.
If cooking add around 1/2 cup water, simmer them till most of water is gone
Add the date and Orange blossom water to your food processor. Pulse until sticking together. Eventually, you can use rose water, geranium flower water, lemon juice, or cinnamon.
Combine the dry ingredients and give them a pulse in the food processor. If using oats flour, this can be skipped.
Add the Orange blossom water, and slowly add the oil and mix. If the dough is forming well you can stop adding the oil, or stop adding if it was enough.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 30min-1h in a dry place. The longer you leave it, the more oil will be absorbed.
Divide the dough into two.
Flatten one part in a square shape
Add a line of dates paste in the middle of the dough
Fold the dough on the pate easily, as the dough can break.
Roll the result, make it a bit longer, and flatten it.
Cut in diamond shapes
Put on baking tray carefully, as the pieces can fall apart.
Bake in warm oven (160°C), for 15min-20min while watching the cooking carefully because they must have a nice golden color above and below.
As soon as they are out of the oven, pour the cold syrup mixture on top of all pieces. I personally put them in different recipient, to allow the syrup spread evenly between the pieces.
Let them fully cool down, and store them in a covered container in the fridge. Eventually, you can warm up the piece in microwave for 10 seconds before eating. Enjoy!