Bishies (Cypriot Pastries)
One of my fondest memories growing up in Cyprus, was spending family time on the beach and enjoying so many delicious sweets that were sold via bikes by street food vendors. These thin crispy pastries were definitely one of our favourites. Made with part flour and part Semolina, they are lightly fried and dipped in a honey, rosewater and cinnamon syrup. The traditional ones are served without nuts, but I love mine sprinkled with toasted crushed almonds and cinnamon. You can also substitute the almonds for walnuts, pecans or pistachios. This is my family recipe that I have shared with you which takes no time to make and should be enjoyed when they are warm.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
3/4 cup fine semolina flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cup quality honey
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp rosewater
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
11/2 cup almonds, chopped in small pieces
1 tsp cinnamon
To make dough, in a medium bowl, add flours, salt and pour in lukewarm water. Mix well until ball forms. Dough should be slightly stick. Transfer to a floured work area and knead for 4-5 minutes until dough is soft. Place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes.
To make almonds, heat a medium frying pan over medium heat, add almonds and toss with cinnamon. Cook stirring occasionally until almonds are golden and aromatic of cinnamon, about 3-4 minutes. Place in a bowl and set a side.
To make honey syrup, place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes. Keep syrup warm while you fry the dough.
To roll out dough, cut dough in half and roll out each piece into a 13 inch long and 1 inch thick cylinder. Cut into 10-12 round pieces. Dust surface lightly with flour, using a rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a 5 inch thin round circle. Repeat with remaining dough.
Line one large baking sheet with paper towel and another one with a wire rack. Heat a cup of sunflower oil in a 12 inch round frying pan over medium-high heat. Ensure the oil is nice and hot. Place 3 dough rounds in hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until medium golden and bubbles form. Be careful not to burn them as they take no time to fry. With a slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on baking sheet lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining dough. Once all dough has been fried, emerge each in the hot honey syrup and transfer to banking sheet lined with the wire rack. Repeat with remaining and sprinkle each generously with almonds. Enjoy warm
SERVINGS 22-24 | PREP & COOK TIME 1hour