Vegetarian Maamoul, an Easter Tradition in Palestine

Maamoul is a semolina shortbread bound with butter, orange blossom water and rose water which on the inside holds a sweet filling. The filling is either buttery dates, or a concoction of walnuts or pistachios with sugar, more orange blossom water and rosewater. Now consider that for a minute. Imagine biting through that buttery, crumbly crust and getting the faint hint of roses and orange blossoms, followed by the chewiness of pistachios, nutty and sweet. Delicious opulence and comfortable luxury. Maamoul works on so many levels.

Ingredients – Crust
900 g coarse semolina
150 g fine semolina
550 g good quality butter at room temperature
125 ml rosewater
30 ml orange blossom water
1/2 cup milk (used on the second day)
Equipment – maamoul molds bought from a Middle Eastern supply store
Ingredients – Fillings
Fillings are tricky to give amounts with, because it depends on how many types you want to make. Use these ratios as a guideline, and make less/more depending on how much you want to make

2 cups dates and 1/2 cup butter combined in food processor
2 cups coarsely ground walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tbsp rosewater and 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
2 cups coarsely ground pistachios and 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tbsp rosewater and 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
Try the combinations and adjust the sugar and aromatic waters as you like
Method
Knead the coarse and fine semolina with the butter until incorporated
Gradually add the orange blossom water and the rosewater until all added
Knead for 30 minutes
Rest for 12 hours, kneading it around 3 times in between
Before you start using the dough, you must knead it one last time, this time you wet your hands with the 1/2 cup of milk and kneading until all the milk is used up
Now your dough is ready, create a little ball of dough and make a hole in it, making the sides even
Look at the picture that shows the stages of filling the maamoul. Fill with your desired filling. If you are using dates, they should be formed into individual balls to fill the dough
Close the dough so that the filling is totally covered by dough
Put in the maamoul mold and push firmly but not overly so, otherwise the dough will stick
Put a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel
Strike the top tip of the mold on the kitchen towel to release the maamoul
Repeat and when you have a tray full, put into an oven that has been preheated to 220 degrees Celsius
It will take around 15 minutes to bake, but what you are after is the slightest colouring. You don’t want it to brown
Remove, cool down and eat when warm or cold

 — at Palestine .
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2 thoughts on “Vegetarian Maamoul, an Easter Tradition in Palestine

  1. These are really addictive, I especially love the ones with crushed peanuts and sugar fillings.

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