From Simone Lester, a reduced-sugar version of this classic Middle Eastern dessert, and just as delicious
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 250 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 500 g filo pastry, (10-12 sheets), defrosted
  • 225 g chopped mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios and almonds
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • � tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp fructose, (fruit sugar)
  • 4-5 tbsp rose water

For the honey syrup:

  • 275 g fructose, (fruit sugar)
  • 300 ml water
  • 175 g clear honey


1. Combine all the ingredients for the honey syrup in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, or until the mix starts to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

3. Brush the sides and bottom a 23 x 33cm baking dish with some of the melted butter. Carefully place half the filo sheets, one at a time, in the dish, brushing each sheet with melted butter.

4. Combine the nuts, spices and sugar in a bowl. Spread this mixture evenly over the top layer of pastry in the dish. Cover with the remaining filo sheets, buttering them as the previous layers. Be sure to brush the top sheet with butter.

5. Cut deep diagonal lines down and across the surface of the pastry, about 5cm apart, to form diamond-shaped portions.

6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 230°C/gas 8 and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden colour.

7. Remove from the oven and whilst still hot, pour the cooled honey syrup over the warm pastry. Let stand for at least 1 hour before serving.

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