This is one of the most popular Ramadan pastries. I was always critical of the ones sold in stores as being too cloyingly sweet and too dense. Instead, I devised some nammoura bars and a batch of nammoura muffins. The nammouras are still sweet, but with a soft tender texture and full of tanginess from the lemon (or orange). This dessert is easy to prepare and does not contain eggs. The syrup can be prepared ahead by several days. INGREDIENTS: 24 bars or muffins
- 3 cups semolina (if possible, use 1 1/2 cup coarse and 1 1/2 cup fine semolina)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter (or oil, I recommend butter)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 cups full-fat yogurt (plain)
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (or other flavoring)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons oil or tahini to grease the pan
1. Prepare the syrup, cool and set aside for a while or several days.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 lemons or oranges or a combo, sliced thin (about 1 pound)
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer uncovered and cook about 8 minutes. Add the lemon or orange slices and cook about ten minutes longer over very low heat. If the syrup starts to caramelize, watch it and add a bit of water (1/4 cup) if needed. Cool. Store in the fridge until needed. 2. Make the bars: Place the semolinas and baking soda in a mixer bowl; add the butter then yogurt and mix until the consistency is thicker than pancake dough. Cover and let the dough rest all day. When ready to bake, grease a 9 or 10″ pan, preheat the oven to 350F and bake the nammoura for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Pour the syrup when out of the oven and garnish with the citrus slices if desired. Cool and serve. NOTE: If you have any Seville orange syrup, or Seville orange juice, you can add it to the syrup; it is a good combo of sweet and sour. If making muffins, fill the muffin cups only about 3/4 full and place a candied orange slice (or lemon) on top.