Today I want to show you a dessert that I really liked, a pie with fine sheets, butter flavor and delicious vanilla filling. In Egypt, Feeter Meshaltet pies can be of different types - without filling at all or with filling, salty or sweet. They are also called Egypt's pizza. The version with vanilla cream (Mehalabiya) seems to me the most interesting, but I will definitely try other options.
Most of the time, however, it's served simple, without filling - topped with a lot of honey, chocolate cream, molasses etc.
I definitely recommend trying it, it's very tender and delicious, especially when it's hot. Kept in the fridge, it gets a bit denser because of the butter it contains. But, reheated for a few minutes in the oven or microwave, it's perfect again.
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Pour 250ml of warm milk into a large bowl, add 0.5 teaspoon of yeast, 1 egg and a teaspoon of salt.
Beat well with a whisk.
Add in 450g of flour, mix well with a spoon or a spatula at first.
Then turn the dough out onto the table and knead with your hands until smooth and soft.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, shape into balls and let rest on the table for 10 minutes.
After this time, roll out each ball into a sheet as thin as possible.
Brush on each one with 100g of softened butter, evenly spread (with your fingers) over the whole sheet.
Roll up tightly.
Then twist the thin log into a round snail shape.
Do the same with the other ball of dough, place the dough snails on a plate.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the vanilla cream/custard.
In a saucepan, combine 250g of sugar with 4 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Add in 1 egg and whisk the mixture very well.
Pour 500ml of milk, beat well again.
Place the saucepan over heat and stir frequently.
When it comes to the boil, stir constantly to avoid forming lumps.
When it gets thicker, remove from the heat, mix in vanilla extract and allow it to cool at room temperature.
After 3-4 hours, remove the dough snails from the fridge.
Press them lightly with your fingers and dust with flour.
Roll out into two round sheets - one larger and one smaller, about 33cm and, respectively, 30cm in diameter.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Place the small, 30cm sheet in it and spread all the vanilla cream on top.
Try not to reach the edges, leave at least 1 cm.
Cover everything with the large, 33cm sheet.
Carefully slip the larger, top edges under the bottom sheet and seal them together like a barrier for the cream.
Prick the pie pastry all over with a fork.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 35-40 minutes or until nicely browned.
Then allow to cool for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
It's the best when served hot or reheated, perhaps dusted with powdered sugar on top, but not necessarily.
Delicious and special, you must try it!
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