14 November 2012

Batheeth pies

Wow - haven't posted a recipe in ages. It's silly season again, that's why. Only time for silliness, nothing else. In the midst, I have been preparing some Christmas recipes for Ahlan Gourmet. They are a twist on the original, and bring a little of the Middle East into the traditional English recipes.

The first is Batheeth pies - a replacement to mince pies, which incidently I hate. I love looking at them, but they're so rich and unbalanced that I rarely find one I like. These however I have been eating by the dozen. Batheeth is something I was introduced to by a fellow food blogger -  La Mere Culinaire - at her own home (I wrote about the experience here - fab day, cooking with her mum.) It's a date and spice mix, with flour and ghee to bind. Very commonly seen on Emirati tables - it's very easy to make, and tastes great with a coffee (or gahwa)


For the batheeth:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 ½ cups chopped dried dates
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ¼ cup good quality ghee
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • pinch salt

For assembling the pies:

  • Shortcrust Pastry – about 300g
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Rolled fondant icing

To make the batheeth

  1. Place the flour and dry spices in a dry pan over a medium heat, and stir occasionally until it is lightly browned (about 10 minutes, careful not to burn, as it turns quite quickly)
  2. Put the ghee and the bruised cardamom pods in a small pan on a low heat while the flour is cooking
  3. Loosely chop the dates and add to a food processor, topping with the cooked flour and the ghee (pods strained off). This can be done by hand – chop the dates as finely as you can and stir well to combine. Feel free to get your fingers in there to mix it thoroughly. Place in a bowl in the refrigerator.
Next... Preheat oven to 190 C
  1. Roll pastry to ½ cm thickness and use a cookie cutter to make about 18 medium rounds. Brush with egg and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.
  2. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  3. While the pastry is cooling, take the batheeth mix and mould piece by piece (I used mammoul moulds), and place each one atop a pastry biscuit. It’s best to do this while the pastry is warm (not hot) so the mix adheres well.
  4. Use fondant icing and cut shapes with moulds to decorate ‘pies’ once they are cool.

Serve at room temperature. Will keep for at least 3-4 days. Best not to refrigerate, or the ghee will solidify.

Other recipes will be availble in Ahlan Gourmet's December 2012 issue. 



  1. I made Bathitha for Eid it was so good we love it. I never had it this way but it looks nice.



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