Recipe By: Kiria Andonia
Now this is the ultimate dessert which goes back to Ancient Greece. It was even mentioned in Homer's Illiad. The two basic ingredients are sesame seeds and honey. In ancient times it was made with these two ingredients and sometimes dried fruit was added. The mixture was rolled into a bitesized ball and served as a welcome treat at a wedding.
Once again our lovely neighbour Kiria Andonia showed me how to make them.
Recipe (yields- 80 pieces)
8 cups sesame seeds
2 cups honey
5 tbs sugar
2 cup nuts (see notes)
In a non stick pan place the sesame seeds over medium to high heat and stir until golden brown. Add the nuts and sugar and stir. Then add the honey, continue stirring until the honey has covered all the sesame seeds. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Spread over lined chopping board, cover with with glad wrap and with your rolling pin carefully roll until about 2 cm thick. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then carefully cut into the shape you wish. The pasteli should completely cool in about 20 minutes.
Note: I made some today and used a greek island recipe as inspiration. Instead of walnuts I used almonds, sunflower seeds & cranberries. I also added the zest of one large lemon and a sprinkle of cinnamon. They are traditionally stored and served to guests on a lemon leaf.