Pasteli

Although Greek kitchen is very rich in savory dishes with high nutritional value, this does not apply for desserts. Why is that? I don’t really know. Perhaps the fact that from 1453 when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans and consequently the whole of Greece, until 1821 when we started our fight for liberation, we were enslaved under a country that was far away from the European mentality. During those four centuries Europe, experienced Enlightenment not only in art and literature but also in food and culture. All the delicious French and Italian sweets that we enjoy now have their roots back at that period.

One of the few totally Greek sweets is Pastéli. Pasteli is a very simple yet delicious and nutritious sweet that consists of sesame and honey. It has been eaten since ancient ages and it was called Sisámis. Pastéli is mentioned in Iliad as the food that was given to soldiers before the battles to give them energy and power to fight and win. In ancient Egypt, it is mentioned in written scripts that it was eaten by women as a medicine to boost their hormones and to increase their libido.

Pasteli

Pastéli is rich in vitamin E, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium and it help in controlling HDL and LDL cholesterols in blood.

Many years ago, before I had my son, my husband and I visited the beautiful island of Amorgos for our summer vacations. Amorgos is in the easternmost part of Cyclades complex in Aegean Sea. It is extremely picturesque with sea colors from deep blue to turquoise. Director Luc Besson who is famous for his imaginative visual technique and breathtaking action sequences made one of the most stunningly beautiful films ever made, “The Big Blue”. The film features gorgeous underwater photography and spectacular location shooting in many places among which is Amorgos.

Pasteli

When we visited a local store to buy Rakomelo one of the locally made products, we also tried Pastéli served on a lemon tree leaf. Rakomelo is basically a spirit consisting of alcohol and honey boiled together and consumed warm. Both Rakomelo and Pastéli are locally made and in fact every August a Pastéli feast takes place in which experienced Pastéli makers show to people how they make it and offer it on a lemon tree leaf.

As summer is coming fast I remembered the beauties of this island and how wonderful holidays we had when life was carefree. And I remembered Pastéli too and thought that it would be a fabulous idea to recreate it at home. It ridiculously easy to make and it is made in no time. I, apart from sesame, added pistachios too which gave it a more interesting and groovy note. You can add any nut you like, it is totally up to your personal palate. A perfect sweet snack for everyone at home.

Pasteli

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Pastéli
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Sweet
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 200 gr. / 7 oz. honey
  • 100 gr. / 3.5 oz. sesame seeds
  • 100 gr. / 3.5 oz. pistachios, not salted or roasted
  • ½ lemon rind
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling Pin
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. In a nonstick skillet roast sesame and pistachios in medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove and set aside.
  3. In a pot pour the honey and bring to boil.
  4. Honey’s temperature must arrive at 125°C to 130°C / 260°F to 265°F.
  5. Remove from heat and add the sesame, pistachios, lemon rind and cinnamon and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Take a piece of parchment paper big enough to pour the batter on top of it and another parchment paper to put it on top of the batter.
  7. Pour the batter on the parchment paper and place the second one on top of the batter like a sandwich having the Pastéli in the middle.
  8. With the rolling pin roll until the batter expands with thickness up to 1 cm / 0.5 in.
  9. Let it cool and become hard and with a knife cut it in pieces and consume it.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Παστέλι
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Γλυκό
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 200 γρ. μέλι
  • 100 γρ. σουσάμι
  • 100 γρ. Φιστίκια Αιγίνης, αλατισμένα, ωμά
  • ½ φλούδα λεμονιού
  • ½ κ.γ. κανέλα
  • Αντικολλητικό χαρτί
  • Πλάστη
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Σε ένα αντικολλητικό τηγάνι ψήνουμε το σουσάμι και τα φιστίκια σε μέτρια φωτιά για περίπου 10 λεπτά.
  2. Αφαιρούμε και αφήνουμε στην άκρη.
  3. Σε μια κατσαρόλα ρίχνουμε το μέλι και το φέρνουμε σε βρασμό.
  4. Η θερμοκρασία του μελιού πρέπει να φτάσει στους 125°C έως 130°C.
  5. Αφαιρούμε από τη φωτιά και προσθέτουμε το σουσάμι, τα φιστίκια, τη φλούδα λεμονιού και την κανέλα και ανακατεύουμε να ενσωματωθούν.
  6. Παίρνουμε ένα κομμάτι λαδόκολλα αρκετά μεγάλη για να χωρέσει το μίγμα και ένα άλλο αντικολλητικό χαρτί για να το βάλουμε πάνω από το μίγμα.
  7. Ρίξτε το μίγμα πάνω στη λαδόκολλα και τοποθετήστε τη δεύτερη λαδόκολλα πάνω από το μίγμα σαν σάντουιτς.
  8. Με τη βοήθεια ενός πλάστη ρολάρετε το μίγμα μέχρι να αποκτήσει πάχος έως 1 cm.
  9. Αφήστε το να κρυώσει και να γίνει σκληρό και με το μαχαίρι κόψτετο σε κομμάτια.
  10. Βάλτε τα πάνω σε φύλλα λεμονιάς και σερβίρετε.

 

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