I get my love for sweets from my mom, and for good reason. She is an amazing baker (and chef), and always has some kind of dessert in the kitchen for us to enjoy with our cup of tea. She is especially known for her warbat. Anyone who’s ever tried them knows how irresistible those qishta filled, flaky triangles are! The recipe is quite simple, but I think the trick is in the technique of folding the dough and using cereal cream or half & half for the filling instead of milk.
What you’ll need…
- 1 package phyllo dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup mazola oil
- 1 baking sheet
- parchment paper
- crushed pistachios for garnish
Custard filling • Qish-ta • قشطة
- 2 cups cereal cream (or half & half)
- 3 heaping tablespoons corn starch
- 2-3 tablespoons orange blossom water/ماء زهر (You can find this at your local Arabic store or in the international section at the grocery store)
Sugar syrup • Qa-tir • قطر
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange blossom water/ماء زهر
Let’s start baking!
1. Preheat your oven to 375° F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Make the qishta by warming the cereal cream/half&half on the stove top on medium heat and whisk in the cornstarch. Continue whisking until the liquid starts to thicken. Mix in the orange blossom water, and spread out onto a flat plate. (Be careful not to over heat the qishta)
3. Melt the butter and add the oil in a bowl. Mix together with a pastry brush.
4. Unfold your phyllo dough and lay it out on a flat surface. (If your phyllo dough is frozen, make sure to defrost it in the fridge over night or at room temperature if you will be using it the same day.)
5. While stacked, cut the sheets in half and layer both halves on top of each other.
6. Start by brushing some of the butter mixture onto the entire sheet that you are working with.
7. Now, fold the sheet into thirds (like you would a pamphlet).
8. Brush more of the butter mixture onto the final fold.
9. Using a teaspoon, scoop a dollop of qishta onto the far left side of your folded panel. (Be sure to not overfill your teaspoon.)
10. Fold the top left corner of the phyllo dough panel over the qishta to create a triangle.
11. Now this is where it can get tricky and will need some practice! Carefully and tightly fold over the triangle to the right. Make sure to tightly pack the dough and qishta as you are folding over your triangle.
12. Continue tightly packing, and folding over the triangle across your phyllo dough panel until you achieve a final triangle. It is important for the triangle to be tight and secure in order to hold its shape, and prevent the qishta from leaking through while baking.
*Tip: You may need to add a tiny bit of butter mixture when you get to the very end of the triangle in order to “glue on” the edges after folding. You may also need to add a little extra mazola oil if the butter mixture doesn’t seem enough or starts to thicken.
13. After completing each triangle, place it on the baking sheet. Be sure to place the triangles close together.
14. After you’ve used up all of your phyllo dough panels, brush the top of each triangle with the butter mixture. Place your baking sheet in the middle rack and bake the warbat for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden. You want to be sure that the dough is flaky throughout the various layers.
15. While you are waiting for the warbat to bake, start making the qatir by pouring the water and sugar into a pot and mixing on high heat with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then set to low for about 15 to 20 minutes or until you start to see the consistency thicken slightly. You don’t want to over heat the qatir so that it doesn’t become too thick.
16. Add the lemon squeeze and orange blossom water to taste.
*Tip: I usually have a spoon and small plate set aside near the stove top to check on the syrup consistency. Using the spoon, pour some liquid onto the plate and touch it with your finger. It should resemble the same (or slightly lighter) consistency as maple syrup.
17. After the warbat are done baking, pour (Yes pour, not drizzle.You want to make sure each triangle is covered.) the qatir on top of the warbat while they are still hot. The best part is to hear the sizzling noise as you’re pouring the qatir. 🙂
18. Garnish with pistachios
You can make the warbat a few hours before serving them and set them out, but I love them best when they are still hot. Also, make sure to never cover the warbat with anything like aluminum foil, saran wrap or even put in a tubber ware. They will lose their flakiness and become soggy.
Enjoy & happy baking!