Almond Sesame Pastries Recipe from Tunisia

Almond Sesame Pastries

Almond Sesame Pastries Recipe from Tunisia
Region / culture: Tunisia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 12


Almond Sesame Pastries
Almond Sesame Pastries

Almond Sesame Pastries are a delightful treat that combines the nutty flavors of almonds and sesame with the sweetness of syrup, creating a dessert that's both rich and satisfying. This recipe offers a step-by-step guide to creating these delicious pastries, perfect for any occasion. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, these pastries are sure to impress.


The origins of Almond Sesame Pastries can be traced back to the Middle East, where nuts, honey, and filo pastry are staple ingredients in many traditional desserts. Over time, these pastries have traveled and evolved, incorporating local flavors and techniques. Today, they are enjoyed worldwide, with each region adding its unique twist to the classic recipe.


How to prepare

  1. Put the water and 0.5 cup of sugar in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Add the lemon juice and boil until syrupy.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the orange-flower water. Leave to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together the ground almonds, orange zest, cinnamon (if using), and remaining sugar, then knead together the ingredients.
  6. Brush one sheet of filo with olive oil, keeping the other sheets covered with a damp cloth. Cut the oiled sheet into 3 lengthwise strips.
  7. Place a small spoonful of filling at the bottom of each strip.
  8. Fold the sides over the filling, then roll the pastry up along the length.
  9. Brush the inside end of the pastry with oil and seal it to the roll.
  10. Brush with oil and place on a baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.
  12. Bake the pastries for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
  13. Lower the pastries a few at a time into the hot syrup, leave for about 3 minutes so the syrup penetrates the pastries.
  14. Then remove to a plate and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  15. Leave until cold before serving.


  • For a twist on the classic recipe, try adding a pinch of cardamom to the almond filling or drizzling the finished pastries with dark chocolate. You can also replace the almonds with pistachios for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Almond Sesame Pastries turn out perfectly, keep the filo pastry covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. When brushing the pastry with olive oil, be gentle to avoid tearing. For a more intense flavor, you can toast the almonds and sesame seeds before using them in the recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these pastries with a cup of strong coffee or tea to balance their sweetness. They also pair beautifully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a more decadent dessert.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is working with filo pastry. It requires a gentle touch and patience to ensure the pastry doesn't tear or dry out. Another important technique is making the syrup, which should be just thick enough to coat the pastries without making them soggy.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're unable to find filo pastry, you can use puff pastry as a substitute, though the texture will be different. For a vegan version, replace the honey in the syrup with agave nectar and use a vegan-friendly oil instead of butter.

Make Ahead Tips

These pastries can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, freeze them before adding the syrup and sesame seeds. Thaw and finish the recipe when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, arrange the pastries on a platter and garnish with fresh mint leaves. You can also dust them lightly with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.

Pairing Recommendations

Almond Sesame Pastries pair wonderfully with dessert wines like Moscato or a sweet sherry. The sweetness of the wine complements the nutty, syrupy flavors of the pastries.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes until heated through. Avoid microwaving, as this can make the pastry soggy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Almond Sesame Pastries contains approximately 250 calories. This makes them a relatively indulgent treat, perfect for special occasions or as a sweet reward.


Each serving of Almond Sesame Pastries contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the sugar and filo pastry, providing the pastries with their delightful sweetness and crisp texture.


Almond Sesame Pastries are relatively high in healthy fats, thanks to the almonds and olive oil. Each serving contains about 15 grams of fat, which contributes to the pastries' rich flavor and satisfying mouthfeel.


These pastries offer a modest amount of protein, with each serving containing approximately 5 grams. The protein primarily comes from the almonds, making these treats a bit more filling and nutritious.

Vitamins and minerals

Almond Sesame Pastries are a good source of Vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium, thanks to the almonds and sesame seeds. These nutrients contribute to bone health, heart health, and more.


The primary allergens in these pastries are nuts (almonds) and gluten (filo pastry). Those with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this recipe or seek suitable substitutions.


Almond Sesame Pastries are a delicious, albeit indulgent, treat. They offer a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, they are also high in calories and contain common allergens.


Almond Sesame Pastries are a delightful blend of textures and flavors, perfect for any dessert table. With their rich history and versatile recipe, they offer a taste of the Middle East that's both exotic and familiar. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a sweet treat, these pastries are sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first saw this recipe for Almond Sesame Pastries. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in the countryside. My grandmother, who was known for her delicious baked goods, had a visitor from a far-off land who brought with her this recipe.

The visitor, a kind and generous woman, had traveled the world and learned to cook from many different cultures. She shared with my grandmother the recipe for Almond Sesame Pastries, a delicacy from her homeland. As my grandmother listened intently and watched the visitor demonstrate how to make the pastries, I could see the excitement in her eyes.

After the visitor left, my grandmother set to work in the kitchen, carefully following the instructions she had been given. She mixed together flour, sugar, and butter to make the pastry dough, then filled it with a mixture of ground almonds, sesame seeds, and honey. The aroma that filled the kitchen as the pastries baked in the oven was simply heavenly.

When the pastries were finally done, my grandmother pulled them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. She sprinkled them with powdered sugar and served them to our family and friends who had gathered to taste her latest creation. The pastries were a hit, with everyone raving about how delicious they were.

From that day on, Almond Sesame Pastries became a staple in our household. My grandmother would make them for special occasions, like birthdays and holidays, and sometimes just because she felt like baking. Each time she made them, she would think back to that day when she first learned the recipe and the wonderful woman who had shared it with her.

As the years went by, my grandmother continued to hone her skills in the kitchen, adding new recipes to her repertoire and experimenting with different ingredients and techniques. She would often say that cooking was her passion, her way of expressing love and creativity.

I learned so much from my grandmother during those years spent in her kitchen, watching and helping her as she worked her magic with food. She taught me not just how to follow a recipe, but how to infuse each dish with love and care, making it truly special.

Now, as I sit here with my own grandchildren gathered around me, I can't help but think back to that day long ago when I first saw the recipe for Almond Sesame Pastries. It's a memory that brings a smile to my face and fills my heart with gratitude for the wonderful woman who shared it with us.

And so, as I pass on the recipe for Almond Sesame Pastries to my own grandchildren, I hope that they will feel the same sense of anticipation and excitement that I did all those years ago. May they continue the tradition of baking these delicious pastries with love and care, just as my grandmother did before me.


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