Pastilla, pronounced ‘bast-eeya’, is a Moroccan dish which is very much like a pie with an interesting filling of sweetly spiced meat, almond, eggs and herbs encased in crispy filo pastry and dusted with icing sugar. Sounds weird? Actually it is rather good and would make an ideal Boxing Day meal using leftover Christmas turkey.
The combination of fragrant spices including cinnamon and sugar is surprisingly agreeable and don’t be put off by the scrambled egg either as it turns out less eggy than you’d expect. The texture is soft and moist and carries the flavours really well.
- 56g flaked almonds
- 28g butter, plus more for melting
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely crushed
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- handful flat-leaved parsley, chopped
- handful coriander, chopped
- 500g cooked turkey (a mix of breast and leg meat), cut into large chunks
- 8-10 sheets filo pastry
- icing sugar to dust
- One 20cm springform/loose-bottomed cake tin
In a dry frying pan, on the hob, gently toast the almonds, stirring them occasionally, taking care not to burn them. They should take on a light brown colour. Set aside.
In a large pan, gently melt the butter and drop in the onions and garlic and cook very gently until soft.
Stir in the grated ginger and spices, season with salt and pepper. Add a little water and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the sugar and pomegranate molasses, taste and add more seasoning if you wish.
Next add the beaten eggs, parsley and coriander to the onion mixture and cook gently, stirring all the while over a gentle heat for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is scrambled. Leave to cool
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400C / Gas 6. Butter the cake tin.
Place the filo pastry on a board and brush the first sheet with melted butter. Line the tin with the filo pastry sheet so it fits well inside and has the surplus overhanging the outside. Continue with the remaining three sheets, brushing with melted butter and laying the second at 90 degrees to the first and so on, so that all the pastry covers the tin and is well overlapped.
Lay the cooked turkey in the bottom of the pastry case.
Add half the toasted almonds, crushing them through your hands as you do so.
Spoon in the scrambled egg mix and top with the rest of the crush almonds.
Bring up the overlapping pastry and form over the top of the pie in a random fashion.
Brush the top with plenty of melted butter.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and heated through.
Take the pastilla out of the oven and leave to rest in its tin for 5 minutes before serving.
Remove the pastilla from the tin and dust with icing sugar using a sieve.
Cut into wedges and serve.
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