Walnut and Apricot Ensaimadas

, from Issue #61. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Walnut and Apricot Ensaimadas

Trays of crispy, sugar-dusted ensaimadas were proudly displayed in bakeries and markets when we visited Buenos Aires. Usually made with a yeast pastry, these filo versions are quicker and easier and just as delicious.


50 grams dried apricots, very finely chopped 
1 tablespoon glace mixed peel, finely chopped
2 tablespoons brandy or orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
50 grams butter at room temperature
100 grams caster sugar
1 egg
60 grams roasted walnuts, finely ground
35 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch sea salt
finely grated zest 1 lemon

To assemble
8 sheets filo pastry
melted butter
¼ cup flaked almonds

To serve
icing sugar for dusting
plain yoghurt (optional)
honey (optional)
large flat baking sheet lined with baking paper


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Soak the apricots and glace peel in the brandy or orange liqueur for one hour.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale. Add the egg and beat well. 

Add all the remaining ingredients, including the soaked fruit, and mix well. 

To assemble: Working with two sheets of filo at a time (keep the others under a damp tea towel) brush one lightly with melted butter then top with the 2nd sheet. 

Cut in half lengthwise to give you two rectangles. 

Spread 2 tablespoons of the walnut mixture over each rectangle, leaving a 1 cm border. Brush the border with butter then starting with the longest edge, roll up into a long sausage. Brush the ends with butter and pinch to seal. 

Transfer to the baking tray, placing it seam side down, then wrap around to form a coil.

Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling to make 8 ensaimadas. 

Brush each coil with butter and sprinkle with almonds. 

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the oven to 150ºC fan bake.

Bake for another 10 minutes until golden and crisp, turning the tray for even browning.  

Cool for 10 minutes then dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature with plain yoghurt and a drizzle of honey if desired. Makes 8