Meals and Courses

  • 250 g (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g (8 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 100 g (3½ oz) walnut pieces, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons rose water
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry, 48 × 23 cm (19 × 9 inches), from a 270 g (8½ oz) pack, defrosted if frozen
  • 50 g (2 oz) melted butter, for brushing
  • sifted icing sugar, for dusting
  • fresh or dried rose and lavender petals, to decorate

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the honey and gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the ground almonds, flour, fruit rinds, chopped walnuts and rose water.

Unfold the pastry sheets, then arrange 5 sheets with the long edges facing you, overlapping the short edges slightly and sticking them together with a little melted butter, until you have a long continuous strip, about 2.25 metres (7 feet 5 inches) long, in all. Reserve the remaining pastry sheet in case you need to mend any broken pastry later.

Spoon or pipe the almond filling about 5 cm (2 inches) up from the bottom long edge in a long line parallel with the bottom pastry edge. Fold the sides in to enclose the filling, then fold up the base of the pastry over the filling. Now carefully roll up to the top edge of the pastry strip and stick the top edge over the roll with melted butter.

Beginning at one of the furthest ends of the almond roll, begin to coil the pastry around loosely to form a 25 cm (10 inch) diameter circle.

Tear the remaining pastry sheet into strips to mend any broken areas of pastry, sticking strips in place with melted butter. Filo pastry dries out so try to shape the pie as quickly as you can.

Lift the pastry up and slide a baking sheet underneath it. Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 30–35 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool, then transfer to a chopping board, dust heavily with icing sugar and sprinkle with dried rose petals and lavender. Serve warm or cold, cut into wedges.

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