vegan “beef” pastilla (Moroccan sweet and savo…

vegan “beef” pastilla (Moroccan sweet and savoury pie with almonds)

recipe under the cut!

INGREDIENTS:

for the warqa dough:

  • 1 ¾ cup bread flour
  • ¼ cup semolina flour / durum flour (or substitute all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cup water

for the savoury filling:

  • 2 bags of gardein beefless tips
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • about ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs (optional)

for the almond filling:

  • 1 ½ cup almonds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water

to form the pastilla:

  • ¼ cup vegan margarine, melted

for the topping:

  • additional almonds
  • powdered sugar
  • ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the warqa:

1. add flours and salt to a food processor and pulse a few times to sift.

2. add the wet ingredients and process on low for 1-2 minutes, until you get a smooth batter.

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3. refrigerate the batter for at least two hours, or overnight.

4. bring a few inches of water to a fast boil in a large pot, and place a large, nonstick pan over the pot, tying it with kitchen string if necessary–this will help to evenly distribute heat and prevent the warqa from drying out. allow the pan to heat for a few minutes.

5. using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of batter onto the pan in large, circular strokes, filling the entire pan. carefully apply a second layer to any bare spots (but don’t worry about small holes or feathery edges).

6. cook until the warqa becomes opaque and the edges start to curl, about 2 minutes. loosen the edges of the dough with a spatula and peel the dough off of the pan using your hands.

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7. flip the dough over onto a plate covered with a paper towel, and lay another paper towel on top of it. repeat, stacking the sheets of dough on top of each other, until you’ve used all of the batter.

for the savoury filling:

1. defrost the frozen beefless tips by placing the bags in a larger bowl filled with hot water.

2. mix the oil and spices in a large bowl and coat the beefless tips with the mixture. refrigerate for 1-2 hours to marinate.

3. cut beefless tips in half or thirds, as desired.

4. heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until water splashed in the pan sizzles. add chopped onion and cook for about 30 seconds to flavour the oil.

5. add beefless tips and marinade and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until almost done (don’t overcook them or they’ll become tough!). set aside.

6. prepare and scramble three VeganEggs according to package directions (optional).

for the almond filling:

1. blanch the almonds by boiling them in water for about a minute, emptying them into a colander and rinsing with cool water, and gently pinching the skins to remove them.

2. fill a large pan with 1-2 cm of vegetable oil and heat until sizzling. fry the almonds for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. set aside some almonds for a topping, if desired.

3. pulse almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water a few times in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs.

forming the pastilla:

1. place one sheet of warqa in the bottom of a pie pan and brush with melted margarine. place 4-5 more sheets around the pan so that they cover all of the sides and hang over the edge, brushing each one with more melted margarine. add 2 more sheets of warqa in the middle, brushing each with margarine.

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2. place the savoury filling in the pie, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.

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3. (optional): add another sheet or two of warqa on top of the savoury filling and brush with margarine.

4. spread the almond filling over the warqa, making sure that it’s even and spread all the way to the edges.

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5. add another 2-3 sheets of warqa, brushing each with margarine, and fold the excess inwards.

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6. fold the excess warqa around the sides of the pan inwards, brushing each sheet with more melted margarine.

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7. cover the pastilla with 1-2 more sheets of warqa, tucking the excess into the sides of the pie pan. brush the entire thing with more margarine to seal.

8. bake on the center rack of an oven at 400F for about 40 minutes, until warqa is golden brown and crisp. allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.

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to decorate:

1. cover the surface of the finished pastilla with powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and fried almonds as desired. try doing an image search for “Moroccan pastilla” or “pastilla marocaine” for decoration ideas.

cut carefully and serve! pastilla is often eaten with harissa, a North African hot sauce made with red peppers.