The one dessert we always begged our dad to bring back with him when he visited Lebanon was Maamoul med B kashta. If you didn’t get your share as soon as the box was opened, you wouldn’t get your share at all, because, well, we’re a big Lebanese family who loves our authentic Lebanese sweets! If it were up to us, we would name Maamoul Med with kashta the king of all desserts. A scrumptious layer of creamy and smooth kashta cream perfectly sandwiched between a delectable crumbly crust. How can you go wrong? It took us a while to pin down the perfect recipe that combines the ultimate ratio of cream to crust. Now that we’ve found it, we’re sharing it with you so you too can bake and serve a piece of Lebanon in your home.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 9 x 13″ pan
1.5 Cups #2 Semolina
1.5 cups #1 Semolina
0.25 cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar (or 6 Tbsp)
0.5 tsp yeast
0.5 tsp Baking Powder
0.5 tsp Mahlab Spice
250 g softened Butter (approx. 1 cup)
0.5 cup + 2 Tbsp Milk (or 10 Tbsp)
Filling (Semolina Ashta recipe)
2 cups 35% Cream
2 cups Milk
0.25 Cup + 2.5 Tbsp #1 Semolina (or 7.5 Tbsp)
5.5 Tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp Blossom Water
0.5 tsp Rose Water
0.5 cup shelled pistachios (optional)
1. In a mixer, add all crust ingredients except the milk and beat using the flat beater attachment on low-medium speed for 15 minutes.
2. Add the milk into the mixer and beat dough for another 10 minutes on medium speed.
3. While crust is finishing up, add all kashta ingredients except the blossom and rose water to a deep pan and stir on high heat until boiled and thickened. Remove from heat and add blossom and rose water. Set aside. Add pistachios to cream if desired.
4. Divide out slightly more then half the crust dough into a 9 x 13 ” baking dish/pan. Work the dough 2/3 of the way up the sides of the dish/pan (this is why you’ll need slightly more dough for the bottom than the top!). Try your best to ensure there is an even thickness of dough spread across the bottom and sides.
Tip: Wetting your fingers periodically while flattening the dough will prevent it from sticking to your hands and make flattening it easier.
4. Pour kashta cream into crust while still warm.
5. Add the remaining crust dough on top of a piece of wax paper and shape and flatten slightly into a rectangle. Add a second piece of wax paper on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to further flatten the dough into an appropriate size to cover the top of your dish/pan.
Tip: Alter between rolling pin and hands to get the best results here!
6. Once ready to transfer, remove top wax paper, and flip lower paper containing the flattened crust dough directly on top of your dish/pan. Carefully peel away paper.
Tip: The crust will be stuck to the paper so flipping it won’t be as tricky as it seems – 2 sets of hands will make this step much easier!
7. Smooth the edges and flatten of the remaining dough so the crust is sealed all along the edges.
8. Top of dough can be carefully marked with a wet fork in a criss-cross fashion if desired.
9. Bake at 400C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Serve slightly warm or completely cooled with atyr to satisfy the sweeter tooth.
Optional: glaze with atyr syrup straight out of the oven.