fillo pastries

Moroccan Almond Fillo Pastries Recipe

Fillo Pastries

Almond pastries

They are a staple in our Moroccan Pastry repertoire.

There is no Moroccan Dessert display without fillo pastries, first cousins of  Baklava. Although I am showcasing the glorious almond in the filling of these Fillo Pastries, you certainly could use the walnut or pistachio filling listed in my Baklava recipe link. I have streamlined this great Moroccan favorite confection, doing away not only with the pesky frying step, but with the no-less pesky syrup step (my secret: Pouring the honey straight from the jar on the piping hot fillo pastries), making it in one fell swoop less sweet and easier to prepare, and keeping it every bit as crunchy and delicious.

Do you find working with Fillo Dough daunting?

Thought so! Dear beginner, welcome to the club! But you just gotta start somewhere, for fillo pastries as well as for savories and hors d’oeuvres. Here are my Tips on Fillo: Follow them, and soon you will look like a pro. Pretty soon you will actually have fun working with it! Oh yeah, and remember this, if it can make you feel any better: In Morocco we make our own Fillo sheets for pastry, called Ouarka, by hand. Did you hear this? From Scratch! But something is telling me it’s just not happening on this continent. This is why I’m not even going there.

So, making fillo pastries with store-bought Fillo sheets?

Piece of cake! I am leaving you with all the tips you need to become a pro and make the best pastries, both savory and sweet. At first, working with fillo will be almost as daunting as learning to swim in the ocean. But mark my words: it will soon become your best friend.

Make your own almond paste in a jiffy!

For these Fillo pastries and all other pastries. Moroccan, Sephardi and beyond, based on almond paste. Here’s what you need to know: Nothing could be easier to make than almond paste. No store-bought version of almond paste could hold a candle to homemade. It’s good to know that it freezes beautifully. So don’t hesitate to make a big batch! Use only what you need for your fillo pastries, and freeze the rest for future use. Orange flower water is delightful, inexpensive and widely available: don’t skip it!

Almond paste made whole almonds?

The finished almond paste won’t look as pristine as if you use blanched almonds, but it will be no less delicious! By the way, you can save time by ordering either ground blanched almonds or ground whole almonds online. Do not be afraid to get a large bag: They freeze beautifully, and will give you a big head start for these fillo pastries as well as for many other favorite recipes


  • 3 cups blanched almonds (no need to blanch them, store-bought OK)
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water, a little more if needed to make a smooth dough
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest


  • I pound fillo leaves, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (300 degree oven for 15 mn) or ready store bought


Make the almond paste:

Grind the first set of ingredients in a food processor until very smooth and malleable. The almond paste is your filling.

Preheat the oven to 350*f.

Shape the fillo pastries:

Cut the pile of fillo leaves crosswise into thirds. Take out two leaves, with the narrow side facing you. Brush the top leaf lightly with oil.

Place one heaping tablespoon of filling down the center. Roll the fillo over the stuffing, part-way up, jelly-roll style. Fold the sides toward the center, and roll tightly all the way up. You will get perfect little rolls, or "cigars". Place the fillo pastries seam-side down on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling, always working with two leaves at a time.

You can also shape the fillo pastries into triangles:

cut strips, take two strips at a time (just as for cigars), place your filling in one corner of the oiled strip, and roll the strip, at an angle with each turn, all the way up. You will get perfect little triangles.

Bake the fillo pastries for about 30 minutes, or until just golden brown and very crisp. Do not overbake or the filling will harden.

Immediately pour the honey slowly and evenly over the hot fillo pastries.

The pastries will absorb the honey as you pour it. Sprinkle the pastries with the sesame seeds. Let the fillo pastries cool, and store in tins at room temperature.

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen pastries

13 replies
  1. Perdita Mathieson
    Perdita Mathieson says:

    The ‘tube’ of Almond Paste size is 200g, but, the recipe for the Almond Pastry ‘Ring’ I ‘hope’ to make today, only calls for 7 oz. . . . how do I do this? Where do I ‘cut the tube’ to get 7 oz? I hope you can help me! Thank you!

    • Perdita Mathieson
      Perdita Mathieson says:

      I am not sure I understand . . . . I only have a question regarding the amount of Almond Paste to use (to get 7oz) the tube I bought came in size 200g . . . . I am almost 88 years of age and striving to understand my IPad etc! My apologies Levana!

  2. Judy Lehr
    Judy Lehr says:

    Dear Levana:
    Your recipes look scrumptious! I am going to try to make your Almond Fillo Pastries for a Moroccan dinner party. The picture and recipe that I printed last week indicated triangular-shaped pastries. It also made reference to a demo on how to assemble. Today’s instructions seem to indicate tube-shaped pastries and no reference to a demo. Did you change the assembly process? Thanks!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Hi Judy, thank you so much! No I haven’t made any changes. That line about “see demo” was there by mistake. I delete it, and I explain how to shape them either into “cigars”, or into triangles. Shape them in the way that seems easiest to you. You’d be amazd, once you get the hang of it, you can do so much with Fillo!

    • Judy Lehr
      Judy Lehr says:

      Okay. If I make them the day before the party and store them in an airtight container, will they lose their crispiness?

  3. Joanie
    Joanie says:

    Dear Levana
    Would you know how to make Orange Flower Water?
    Right now we have an orange tree in bloom …!
    Please let me know!!!!
    Thank You

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Joanie, oh wow, lucky you! All of us apartment dwellers just buy orange flower water. I am sure there are plenty of good recipes online. Be sure to make enough and reserve some for cosmetic use, spray it on your face after removing makeup.

  4. Nell Maguire
    Nell Maguire says:

    You mention a demo to follow for rolling the almond filled pastry into triangles. Where can I find it?

    Thank you!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Nell that referred to one of the demos I gave on shaping fillo (I just deleted that line). To shape them into triangle, just cut long strips, follow instructions for oil brushing, put filling in one corner, and keep rolling the strip around the filling at an angle, forming a perfect triangle.

  5. Melissa Strait
    Melissa Strait says:

    There is one key ingredient that is not in the list of ingredients: the filly Dough! Here I am in my kitchen ready to make these cookies – with everything but the filly dough!

    I want ll have to try again another time.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Melissa, Oh wow, good catch. Where the heck did the fillo go?!? I’ll never understand the mysteries of technology. So sorry about this. I just put it back on. Good to go:-)))

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