Almond Tarts, Algerian Style (Dziriat)

    6 hours 25 minutes

    This recipe with all its variants is prepared only for special celebrations and weddings. It is a challenge to prepare, but is well worth the time and effort.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 40 

    • Sugar Syrup
    • 1 cup (220g) white sugar
    • 1 cup (250ml) water
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
    • Dough
    • 2 cups (250g) plain flour
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
    • Filling
    • 4 cups (570g) raw almonds
    • 1 cup (220g) sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla custard powder
    • 1 lemon, rind grated
    • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
    • Extra
    • 1/4 cup (30g) cornflour, for rolling out the dough
    • 1/2 cup (60g) pine nuts, for decoration

    Preparation:2hours  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:4hours Other  ›  Ready in:6hours25min 

    1. Prepare the almonds the day before. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the almonds. Let the almonds soak in water for about 5 minutes then drain and peel. Spread the almonds on baking trays and bake at 95 degrees C until completely dry and toasted. This takes several hours and needs to be prepared ahead. Be careful not to burn the nuts, as this will give a bitter taste to the filling.
    2. Combine 1 cup (220g) sugar and 1 cup (250ml) water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, reduce heat to low and let it simmer until syrupy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange blossom water and remove from heat. Set sugar syrup aside.
    3. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the centre and pour oil, egg, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water into the centre. Mix with fingers until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually sprinkle with warm water while mixing until the dough becomes soft and pliable. Divide into 4 equal portions. Cover dough with a wet cloth and set aside.
    4. In a food processor, finely grind the almonds. Measure 3 cups of the finely ground almonds into a mixing bowl and stir together with 1 cup (220g) sugar, baking powder, custard powder, lemon rind and 2 tablespoons orange blossom water. Mix in three eggs one at a time, stirring constantly; mix until you get a sticky, paste-like mixture.
    5. Sprinkle cornflour on the rolling surface to prevent sticking. Roll each portion of dough very thinly, 1 to 2 millimeters. Cut the rolled dough into circles of about 10cm in diameter each. Lightly wipe the surface of each circle with cornflour and fit into a tart mould cornflour side down to prevent sticking. Gently press the dough onto the sides and bottom of the mould and trim extra dough from around the rim. Fill three quarters of each mould with the almond filling.
    6. Bake on the top shelf at 180 degrees C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the surface of the tart is golden and the dough is firm. Remove the tarts from the moulds as soon as they come out of the oven. Dip each tart in the sugar syrup while still hot. Stick a pine nut into the middle of each tart for decoration. Place on a wire rack to drain.

    Orange Blossom Water

    Find orange blossom water in Middle Eastern supermarkets and gourmet shops.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    I was a little intimidated by this recipe, but with one change, this recipe is not hard. The only change - I purchased blanched almonds. This reduced the time to prepare and bake them to under two hours. The dough is easy to work with, and did not stick at all to the metal tart molds. The orange blossom water makes this recipe, and it is important to add it to the dough and the syrup as well as the filling. I was really happy with the way these turned out, and wished I had made a double batch.  -  21 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Even though preparation is lengthy by most standards, it is the best oriental sweet recipe that made it across the pond. Thank you Hanaa.  -  24 Feb 2004  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)