A delightful Turkish dessert with a zesty lemon glaze that keeps it moist and sticky, and is best served with a pipping hot Turkish coffee. Sweet bliss!
- ½ lemon
- 550 g (1 lb 4 oz/2 cups) sugar
- 125 g (4 oz) butter
- 300 g (10 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 95 g (3 oz/ cup) fine semolina
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 20 blanched almonds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 30 minutes
1. First, make the syrup. Using a fine grater or a microplane, grate the lemon zest into a bowl and set aside. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup. Mix 440 g (15 oz/2 cups) of the sugar and 625 ml (21 fl oz/2 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.
2. Gently melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat (or microwave for 30 seconds).
3. 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 reserved 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.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
5. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes, then divide into about twenty ping pong-sized balls. Brush the vegetable oil onto a baking tray. Place the balls on the tray and push into a dome shape.
6. Push an almond into the top of each dome, then bake for 25 minutes.
7. Remove the şekerpare from the oven and pour the syrup over the top. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Anatolia by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale (Murdoch Books, $79.99, hbk). Photography by Bree Hutchins.