Semolina Domes

Şekerpare

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    20

Appears in

Anatolia

By David Dale and Somer Sivrioglu

Published 2015

  • About

This is one I learned from my grandma, who would make vast quantities of şekerpare (which means ‘piece of sugar’ in old Turkish) and invite twelve or more people at a time to share it for afternoon tea or dinner. I like it because semolina makes a lighter texture than you find in flour-based desserts.

It is vital to pour the syrup over the domes while they are hot, so there is maximum absorption, and to leave plenty of space around each dome so they can expand—along with your waistline.

Ingredients

  • ½ lemon
  • 550 g (1 lb 4 oz/ cups) sugar
  • 125 g ( oz) butter
  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 95 g ( oz/½ cup) fine semolina
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 20 blanched almonds

Method

First, make the syrup. Using a fine grater or a microplane, grate the lemon zest into a bowl and set aside. Squeeze the lemon into a cup. Mix 440 g (15½ oz/2 cups) of the sugar and 625 ml (21½ fl oz/ cups) of water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the lemon juice, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Gently melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat (or microwave for 30 seconds). Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the semolina. Make a well in the middle and pour in the butter. Break in the egg. Add the remaining sugar, then add the lemon zest and the baking powder. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Knead the dough again for 5 minutes, then divide into about twenty ping pong-sized balls. Brush the oil onto a baking tray. Place the balls on the tray and push into a dome shape. Push an almond into the top of each dome and then bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the şekerpare from the oven and pour the syrup over the top. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving.