If a foreigner had to name the queen of Mediterranean desserts, we are confident that it would be a phyllo-based syrup sweet. These Cypriot fingers are indeed dressed in true Mediterranean style, sporting an original filling of almond and rosewater.
For the phylo
2½ cups flour, soft
1 cup fresh butter
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp water
For the stuffing
2 cups almond kernels
2 tbsp sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
a splash of rosewater
peanut oil or olive oil
orange peel from 1 orange
For the syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
½ lemon juice
½ cup almond kernels, roasted and grated
½ tsp cinnamon
Preparing the dough for the phylo.
1. Grate the butter and add to the flour. Then add the salt, the lemon juice and the water little by little. Knead all the ingredients until you have a smooth mixture. Leave the dough to rest for approximately 1 hour.
Preparing the stuffing.
1. Grate the almond kernels and add the sugar and the cinnamon. Pour some rosewater, as much as is necessary to give enough moisture to shape them.
Making the Phylo fingers.
1. Roll open the dough with a rolling pin to make a thin layer of dough/phylo.
2. Cut the phylo into small square pieces approximately 5×8 cm, then moisten them with some water using a brush. Place one teaspoon of stuffing on each square piece and roll the phylo into a strip. Pinch the two sides of the strip with a fork so the stuffing remains in the roll.
3. In a large skillet, warm plenty of oil with the orange peel, then once the peel turns dark remove it. Fry the fingers first, at a high temperature, then at a medium heat until they turn golden brown.
4. Remove them with a fork and place them on absorbent paper and preserve them warm.
Preparing the syrup.
1. Boil the sugar with the water in a pot for 5 minutes, then pour in the honey with some lemon juice and stir until the honey melts.
2. Sink the “fingers” in the warm syrup for a few minutes and remove.
* Combine the almond kernels with the cinnamon. Place the “fingers” on a platter and sprinkle the mixture on top.