Open Sesame

When Mimi of the Israeli Kitchen blogged about tehina biscuits in an Arab pastry shop in Tsfat, I remembered that I had a recipe for them in Janna Gur’s The Book of New Israeli Food. I happened to have all of the ingredients in the house, so I made them. They are a little different from the ones Mimi blogged about. This recipe puts the icing sugar on the dough before you bake them and the ones in Mimi’s picture are rolled in icing sugar after they are baked. The cookies are easy to make and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A little piece of halva-like heaven.

Print
Tehina Biscuits
Ingredients
  • 250 g 9oz butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raw tehina
  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 10 g 2 teaspoons baking powder
For dusting:
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy. Lower the speed and add the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, orange zest and tehina. Mix to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and baking powder until the dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Mix the icing sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Take pieces of dough and form balls the size of large olives. Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The cookies should remain light colored. Don't move them to a cooling rack until they are completely cool because these are delicate.
  4. Store in an airtight jar.

Ice Cream – Middle Eastern Style

L to R: Roasted Apricot-Almond Ice Cream and Tehina-Pistachio Ice Cream

It is quite hot here now and I thought it was time to pull the ice cream maker out again. I took a look at my long list of ice cream recipes and really didn’t see anything that tickled my fancy, so I started thinking about what ingredients are available right now and one of them was fresh apricots. As most of you know by now, I love to experiment with different ingredients and I didn’t want to make some ordinary apricot ice cream, so I thought about what spices would go well with apricots…. ras al hanout. I got the idea for this ice cream from a recipe from a fellow blogger, Mike’s Table. He is hosting a blog event called “You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts“. I can’t wait to see the other entries.

The other ingredient I have wanted to experiment with for quite a while is raw tehina (sesame paste). I didn’t want to use sugar to sweeten the tehina because it just didn’t sound right to me, so I decided the perfect sweetener in keeping with its Middle Eastern roots would be date honey, also known as silan in Hebrew.

The apricot ice cream came out nice and creamy with a strong fruity taste, although perhaps not quite as acid as I would have liked. Next time, I will try adding some dried sour apricots as well.

The tehina ice cream is creamy and has a smoky sesame flavor that is reminiscent of halva. It is not too sweet and the pistachios add a nice crunch. Next time, I will add some chopped dates to the mixture.

They are both delicious ice creams and will be added to the top of my ice cream recipes.

 

Print
Tehina-Pistachio Ice Cream
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw tehina raw sesame paste
  • 2 cups full fat milk
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup date honey silan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Scald the milk in a saucepan, taking care not to boil. Remove from the heat and add the tehina, mix well, cover, and let steep for about an hour. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and date honey.
  2. Rewarm the milk mixture and strain into the yolk mixture, constantly stirring, using a spatuala to extract as much of the milk-tehina mixture as possible. Discard the solids.
  3. Tehina Ice Cream Base
  4. Place the egg-tehina mixture in a clean saucepan and cook at medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of spoon. Strain the mixture once again, and cool over ice-cold water. Chill in the refrigerator, add the double cream and churn it in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Print
Tehina-Pistachio Ice Cream
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw tehina raw sesame paste
  • 2 cups full fat milk
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup date honey silan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Scald the milk in a saucepan, taking care not to boil. Remove from the heat and add the tehina, mix well, cover, and let steep for about an hour. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and date honey.
  2. Rewarm the milk mixture and strain into the yolk mixture, constantly stirring, using a spatuala to extract as much of the milk-tehina mixture as possible. Discard the solids.
  3. Tehina Ice Cream Base
  4. Place the egg-tehina mixture in a clean saucepan and cook at medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of spoon. Strain the mixture once again, and cool over ice-cold water. Chill in the refrigerator, add the double cream and churn it in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Related Posts with Thumbnails