Samsa Feuille de Brick (Fried Almond Pastries)

Nuvita Biscuits

These sticky-sweet fried pastries, drenched in a syrup of honey and orange flower water, are typical of the rustic desserts of Tunisia.


  • 1 lb. whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. 13″ x 18″ sheets phyllo dough
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange flower water


Make the filling: Heat oven to 350°. Place almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in oven; bake, stirring once, until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Transfer almonds to a food processor, and add sugar; process until very finely ground. Add vanilla, salt, cinnamon, egg white, and 2 tbsp. water, and process until a moist, slightly sticky paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

2. Form the pastries: Place 2 sheets of phyllo dough on a work surface and cut lengthwise into 4 equal strips. Place 1 tbsp. filling at the end of each strip closest to you. Working with one strip at a time, fold the right corner over filling so that it lines up with the left side, forming a triangle; continue folding triangle along the strip as you would fold a flag, until it reaches the end. Brush the end portion of each strip with water, and then fold over pastry to seal; repeat folding with remaining strips, and then repeat filling and folding process with remaining phyllo sheets and filling.

3. Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Working in batches, add pastries to oil and fry, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and filling is hot, about 1–2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer pastries to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain; set aside.

4. Meanwhile, bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in honey, juice, and orange flower water. Transfer pastries to a rimmed baking sheet so they sit in one even layer. Pour hot syrup evenly over pastries, and let sit until pastries soak up some of the syrup, about 10 minutes (they will not soak up all the syrup). Let sit 10 minutes before serving.



Recipe Comments

  1. posted by zaclo on Feb 10, 2013

    I have one 20 year old large orange tree that has spikes growing the branches. The other tree is about 7 years old and no spikes. I heard you need a male and female orange tree but i never get flowers to polinate? Does anyone know any tricks or know what i need?

  2. posted by MexicanDude on Feb 12, 2013

    Its planted in the middle of my grassy yard receives lots of water, I have never added any fertilizer or anything to it just water?

  3. posted by Picean on Feb 12, 2013

    We live in the foothills out side Sacramento California and have three orange trees one tangerine and one lemon.
    I would like to know how to prune the orange trees so that they produce more oranges.
    The lemon tree might produce more lemons than the three orange trees produce oranges and the tangerine does not seem to produce any tangerines.*(this is the first year in many that it has had any and they are small even for a tangerine)

  4. posted by Christopher J on Mar 17, 2013

    ”If he ( Phileas Fogg ) dined or breakfasted, the
    kitchens of the club furnished his table their succulent stores; the
    waiters of the club, grave personages in dress-coats and shoes with
    swan-skin soles, served him in a special porcelain and on fine Saxon
    linen; the club DECANTERS OF A LOST MOLD contained his sherry, his port,
    and his claret, flavored with orange-flower water” and cinnamon….”

    What does that ”decanters of a lost mold” mean?

  5. posted by Beavis on Mar 21, 2013

    I’m currently tidying up my room at school before leaving campus for winter break tomorrow, and am trying to spruce up my carpet. I never wear shoes in my room, but I don’t enforce a no-shoes policy with my friends, so my carpet is gross from their wet winter boots. We have a steam vacuum cleaner that is used by my entire sorority house, so I don’t want to mess it up. I can’t see the harm in using the fragrant water, but would love some reassurances. I’m obsessed with the scents, haha. My plan is to use BioKleen carpet cleaner, and then do a follow-up rinse with one of the waters.

    Also ~ Does anyone know how to get a stubborn acrylic paint stain out of carpet?

    Bonus Question – what scents do you love the most? : )

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