Makrout (Algerian Semolina Pastries)

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Makrout is a traditional North African semolina pastry. Also spelled maqrout, makroudh, maqrut, mqaret, imqaret, or makroud. The word makrout in Arabic means "diamond-shaped", as are these small delights. They originated in Tunisia but have become popular from Algeria to Morocco, and there is even a variation found in Malta.

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
40
Yield:
40 makrout

Ingredients

  • 4 cups semolina flour

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 pinch salt

  • cup warm water, or as needed

  • 1 tablespoon orange flower water

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

Filling:

  • 4 cups finely ground almonds

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon

  • 1 dash almond extract

Syrup:

  • 1 (12 ounce) jar honey

  • 3 tablespoons orange flower water

  • 2 cups oil for frying, or as needed

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine semolina, oil, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Rub the grains of semolina between your fingers, so that all the grains are well coated. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Let it rest like this for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. The mixture should be like wet, oily sand in the morning.

  2. Combine warm water and orange blossom water when you are ready to make the makrout. Slowly add mixture to the semolina mixture along with flour and vanilla sugar and knead into a soft dough. Add just enough liquid for a soft, smooth dough. Don't overwork the dough-- knead it just enough to have a smooth and flexible dough that can easily be shaped into a ball. Set dough aside.

  3. Combine ground almonds, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract in a bowl for the filling. Roll mixture into 2 long logs and set aside.

  4. Divide semolina dough into 2 balls, then flatten to pat into a rectangle, about 3 times the width of your filling logs. Press down in the center of the rectangle with your fingers to form an indentation. Set filling log into the indentation. Fold dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Roll the log back and forth gently to shape the dough around the filling and smooth log into a uniform shape. You can cut the logs in half for easier handling.

  5. Cut each log into diagonal pieces, creating diamond-like shapes. Reshape the cut ends to have a nice uniform look. Set the makrout aside to rest, as you heat up a deep, heavy saucepan with oil - about 3 fingers deep.

  6. Combine honey and orange flower water in a small saucepan for the syrup. Heat over low heat until just below simmering and keep warm.

  7. Once the oil is hot, deep-fry makrout in small batches until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying until all the dough pieces are cooked.

  8. Dip fried makrout into the hot honey syrup and submerge in the syrup for about 1 minute. Remove and drain on wire racks. Repeat the process, dunking each makrout into the syrup a second time. Remove and drain on wire racks. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.

Cook's Notes:

Medium-grain semolina is best for makrout. The original recipe is in metric. If you have a scale please use the following measures: 750 grams medium grain semolina, 120 ml oil, 110 g melted butter, 100 ml warm water, 500 grams ground almonds, 250 grams sugar, and 500 grams honey.

Makrout are best fresh, but will stay fresh and solid for about 3 to 5 days. After that they are still edible but will become crumbly. I don't advise freezing makrout as it will crumble apart.

For a nice presentation, place each makrout in a dainty little cupcake paper case. Makrout is best eaten with hot North African-style mint green tea!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

260 Calories
13g Fat
33g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 40
Calories 260
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 44mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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