In a large bowl combine the rapeseed oil, melted butter, mahlep (or cardamom) powder, salt and hot water. Make sure the water is not boiling, but just hot.
Gradually mix in the flour in 3 stages and stir with a wooden spoon to combine well. Once you get a relatively solid mass, use your hands to gently combine the dough until you get a smooth surface, but do not over-knead. We need the dough to just about hold shape.
Place your dough in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let prove for 15-20 minutes. You can start pre-heating your oven to 180 °C (360°F) fan-assisted while the dough is proving.
Grate the cheeses or chop in small pieces. Combine the cheeses, spices, egg and all the other ingredients. Mix well until a sticky cheesy mixture forms.
Assembling the pastries
Divide your pastry into 24 equal parts. This can be done by using a scale roughly and making 22-25g pieces. Alternatively, it’s easier to roll your dough in a roll, then cut in half, and keep sub-dividing each half in two parts until you get 24 small pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Lightly flour your working surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball out into a circle of roughly 3-4mm thickness.
Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese filling in the middle of the circle, then fold it in half to create a half-circle. We don’t want to overfill the pastries with filling, as this will cause them to crack while baking.
Press down with your finger to ‘glue’ the top and bottom part together. Use a fork to press on the edges along the rounded border so you create a perfect seal, and also give the pastries a traditional feel.
Place the pastries on a lined baking tray. Quickly beat your egg and using a pastry brush, gently brush your cheese pastries with the egg wash. Optionally, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for extra crispiness.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the tray for 15-20 minutes. Serve with a side of yoghurt.
I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
Mahlep powder is a fruity and aromatic spice made from cherry seeds. It can be found in most Middle Eastern shops. If you cannot find it, you can replace it with cardamom powder.
Kashkaval cheese is a yellow cheese that melts easily and becomes quite stretchy. It's similar to a mild cheddar, and can be found in most Middle Eastern or Eastern European shops. If you cannot find it, it can be replaced with any type of cheddar cheese.
Middle Eastern Cheese Pastries https://sugaryums.co.uk/middle-eastern-cheese-pastries/ April 16, 2020