If you have never had Tabrizi Latifeh, you’re in for a delightful surprise. Tabriz is famous for this pastry that I will be sharing with your today. In a few days spring will arrive with all of its beauty and glory. Iranians as well as the people in many other countries such as Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, North Caucasus and some parts of Turkey are getting ready to welcome spring’s arrival and Nowruz, meaning New Day! Please click here for different time zones: http://
This Tuesday evening, is the eve of last Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh) before Nowruz and it is called Chaharshanbeh Suri which is a significant event in preparation for Nowruz. Small bonfires will be built and while jumping over them the young and young at heart will sing merry songs to bid goodbye to the old year and embrace the warmth, energy and joy of the new year to come. Ajil Chaharshanbeh which is an assortment of nuts and dried fruits will be passed around along with sweets and delicious food throughout the evening.
Nowruz celebration starts at the precise moment that spring arrives, Tahvil e Saal (the transformation of year). Families sit around a modest but colorful table with sweets, nuts, fruits, flowers, candles, gold fish, colored eggs and sprouted seeds. This table, called Haftseen, represents the simple things in life that make it special and dear when we share it with loved ones, such as health, beauty, rebirth, spring, humanity, patience, love, prosperity, light, warmth and joy. For a more detailed description of these ceremonies please refer to the Culture section of my blog: Nowruz, Persian New Year Celebration.
Colored eggs on the Sofreh Haftseen represent fertility. They are prepared with the help of young ones in the family a day before Nowruz.
Sabzeh (the sprouted seeds) at the Haftseen table represents rebirth and spring. Sabzeh is kept for 12 days and then on the morning of the 13th day (Sizdeh Bedar), families take a festive picnic to the countryside, in the foothills or by the river and after spending a fun day outdoors, they throw the Sabzeh in the water for good luck and to symbolize the ultimate return to nature.
Special sweets and pastries are baked at this time of year to be enjoyed with family and friends who visit each other’s home with well wishes for the new year over 12 days following Nowruz. Some of the popular desserts are: Baklava Cake also the traditional Baklava that you may visit on this blog to get the recipes.
The pastry that I’m making today is called Latifeh, which means soft, delightful, heavenly, light, nostalgic!! Well, it really just means soft in translation, but in my opinion Latifeh is all that and more! It is a delicate, airy pastry with a vanilla and rose scented whipped cream. I always loved the Latifeh that a pastry shop in my hometown of Tabriz, called Noushin, used to make, but there is a town near Tabriz called Ardabil that is famous for their Latifeh, which is something truly special. Reminiscing about the joy of biting into a pastry so light and amazing was my inspiration for making this recipe.
Draw eight 4-inch circles on the parchment paper then flip it over and line the baking sheet. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #12 plain round piping tip with the batter (the batter is not very thick, so block the tip with your finger if it starts to come out while doing this)
Pipe out spiral patterns starting from the center, in the size of the circles. Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown. Peel away the parchment paper. The circles might stick together slightly as they bake, separate them carefully with the tip of a paring knife.
Gently fold the pastry rounds in half and allow to cool under the pastry cloth. Fill a clean pastry bag,fitted with a star or plain piping tip, with whipped cream and fill the pastry rounds and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
And enjoy your Latifeh with a glass of Persian tea! Nowruz Mobarak (Happy Nowruz)!
Bake time: 6-8 minutes
Yield: 8 Pastries
You will need: A 12-inch pastry bag fitted with Wilton #12 plain nozzle flute to pipe the batter.
You will also need a star tip, Wilton 2F for piping the whipped cream to fill the pastries, but the #12 plain round would be fine for this purpose as well.
- FOR PASTRY ROUNDS
- ¼ cup +2 TBSP flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp vanilla powder, or ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 4 eggs, separated + 1 extra egg yolk
- ¼ cup +2 TBSP sugar, divided
- 3 TBSP (1 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- WHIPPED CREAM FILLING
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 4 TBSP granulated sugar
- ⅛ tsp vanilla powder (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 TBSP rose water
- 3 TBSP chopped unsalted pistachios
- Powder sugar for dusting the pastries
- Preheat oven to 425 F, center rack.
- Line a large baking sheet (11 x 17 x 1) with parchment paper. Draw eight 4-inch circles on the paper (I used a 4-inch lid) and turn it over so the pencil side does not touch the pastries.
- Lightly grease the paper with butter-flavor Crisco. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Using the whisk attachment of your mixer beat 4 egg whites until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add half the granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a heat proof medium bowl (large enough to fit over a 2 ½-Qt saucepan without touching the water) add 5 egg yolks and the remaining sugar. Set aside.
- Add an inch of water to the bottom of the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and place the bowl containing the egg yolk and sugar over the saucepan.
- Beat the egg yolks with a hand-held mixer until thick and creamy.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a microwave in 10-second increments. Do not let it get too hot.
- With a spatula fold the sifted flour mix and the melted butter into the thickened egg yolk mixture.
- Fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture only until combined. Do not beat the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the pastry bag with plain #12 round tip. Pipe batter onto the prepared parchment paper. Starting in the center of the circle pipe batter out in spiral pattern. Smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the pastry rounds are light golden brown.
- Meanwhile wash and dry the bowl and the whisk attachment and chill in the refrigerator. Also wash and dry the pastry bag and the piping tip.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and invert the parchment paper with pastry rounds onto a pastry cloth.
- Sprinkle or spray the paper with cold water and gently peel it away from the pastries.
- Fold the pastry rounds in half, cover with the pastry cloth and cool completely (about 10 minutes).
- Place 1 ½ cups heavy cream in the chilled mixer bowl. Add 4 tablespoons sugar. Use the whisk attachment to whip on medium speed until the cream thickens. Add the vanilla and 1 TBSP rosewater. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fill a clean pastry bag fitted with a star or plain tip tube with the whipped cream. Gently lift the top flap of each pastry, fill it with whipped cream and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachio and close the flap. Place the filled pastries on the serving platter and dust lightly with powder sugar. The pastries may be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
- The recipe for the pastry rounds was adapted from a book by Annette Wolter & Christian Teubner
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