Saturday, November 28, 2009


I think of this as Arabic pie. You can use store-bought or homemade jam. The unique thing about this dish is that the top is made out of grated dough. The consistency is most similar to shortbread, but it is somewhat cakier than shortbread. In August and September, figs become ripe. When I was a kid, my cousins and I would pick figs until our fingers were red and sore. Fig trees ooze a cloudy white sap that can be irritating to skin. My aunts and grandmother would make marba tin, or fig jam. Those preserves usually went into mabroosha. (Desserts are really popular in my family.)

This is my aunt's recipe, translated. I think she is heavy handed with the eggs and the oil, but she is a great cook so I left it as is. When I make it I use three eggs and a teaspoon of baking powder. It's much less cakey that way.

5 eggs
3 c flour
3/4 c margarine
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 packets vanilla powder (about 3 tbsp)
3 tbsp baking powder
3/4 c milk
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Ground nutmeg to taste

Beat eggs, add vanilla then butter and oil and stir a little, then add sugar, milk and flour a little bit at a time. Finally add baking powder and mix everything thoroughly. Grease a round pan with oil, and press about 3/4 of the dough into the pan. Spread jam over top and add a little cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
Add flour to the rest of the dough until it feels stiff. Using a grater, grate the dough on top until the surface is covered.

Bake with oven at about 350F, until golden brown. Should take about a half hour.

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