Lebanese syllabub with ghraybeh (pistachio biscuits)

Lebanese syllabub with ghraybeh (pistachio biscuits)
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 25 min, plus 1 hour chilling. Oven time 12-15 min

Food writer Angela Zaher gives the traditional dessert syllabub a Lebanese twist with arak and orange blossom water, served with pistachio biscuits.

Angela says: “I love how simple and elegant a syllabub is but wanted to inject Lebanese flavours into it – the arak makes quite a difference, as it cuts through the creaminess and gives a punchy note of anise. Ghraybeh are crumbly buttery cookies popular in Lebanon.”

Feeding a larger group? Try our syllabub pavlova.

Nutrition: Per serving

Calories
926kcals
Fat
67g (40g saturated)
Protein
8.3g
Carbohydrates
70g (24g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
0.1g
Calories
926kcals
Fat
67g (40g saturated)
Protein
8.3g
Carbohydrates
70g (24g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
0.1g

Ingredients

  • 300ml double cream
  • 50ml orange blossom water
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp arak (optional, see Know-how)
  • Pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and ground pistachios to serve

For the ghraybeh

  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 250g plain flour
  • 25-30 shelled pistachios

Method

  1. Put the double cream, orange blossom water, caster sugar, lemon juice, ground cardamom and arak (if using) in a mixing bowl and use an electric whisk to mix until thickened but still soft and billowy (don’t overmix). Spoon the syllabub into serving glasses, then chill until ready to serve.
  2. For the ghraybeh, mix the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon until combined into a paste. Beat in the orange blossom water followed by the flour, starting with a wooden spoon, then using your hands. Work it into a smooth dough – if it’s dry or crumbly, add a splash of water. Wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6 and take the dough out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes to warm slightly. Pinch off walnut size chunks and form into balls – you should get 25-30. Put them on a baking sheet with a little space between them, flattening them slightly with the back of a fork. Put a pistachio on each one, then bake for 12-15 minutes. They shouldn’t turn brown or colour much, so keep an eye on them.
  4. To serve, take the syllabubs out of the fridge and garnish with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and ground pistachios. Serve with the ghraybeh.

delicious. tips

  1. The syllabub can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The ghraybeh will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

  2. Arak is a Levantine anise liqueur – you can also use ouzo or pastis.

Recipe By

Angela Zaher

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