Holiday Feature

Sesame Seed and Honey Sweets



Traditionally, these small wrapped pieces of pasteli are given at baptisms. Some versions add pistachios, walnuts or almonds. Use equal amounts of honey and sesame seeds and cook as for caramel to 'firm ball' stage using a sugar thermometer.


450g/1 lb/1-1/3 cups honey
175 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup water
450 g/ 1 lb/ 3 cups sesame seeds
60 g/2 oz/ 1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely crushed
2 slices of orange zest, finely diced


In a heavy pan, bring the honey and water to "firm ball stage" (130 degrees C/250 degrees F). Take off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds, almonds and orange zest. On a flat marble surface, or metal trays moistened with water, spread the mixture evenly with a spatula or knife to 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness. Before it cools, cut into squares. When it is cool, wrap the squares in waxed paper and store in a covered container.



A Taste of the Aegean:
Greek Cooking and Culture

By Andy Harris
Photographs by Terry Harris
Abbeville Press
ISBN: 1-55859-361-6
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006