Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

bestilla a Moroccan pigeon pie made on special occasions and often very large. The name is generally derived from the Spanish pastel, ‘pie’. It is the Moors’ adaptation of the large medieval European pie, using their own variety of layered pastry.

This pie is made in a large dish lined with half a dozen thicknesses of a pastry similar to filo, called warqa. Above this comes a layer of sugar, cinnamon, and browned almonds; then a creamy mixture of eggs and stock; more sheets of pastry; small pieces of meat from as many pigeons as required, previously cooked; more of the egg and stock mixture; and a crust of several more sheets of pastry, the top one cut in a decorative pattern, glazed with egg, and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.