What are Shaabiyet or warbat?
Shaabiyat is a very popular dessert not only in Lebanon but all over the Middle East. Layers of phyllo dough are brushed with a mixture of shortening and butter or ghee, then filled with homemade Ashta and baked to golden perfection. In some countries, they are called Warbat Bil-Ashta and they are widely served during the month of Ramadan.
How to make Shaabiyat or warbat?
You will need to prepare the filling first so that it cools down at room temperature before filling the pastries with it. This is because you want to allow the filling to hold up really well after you cook it. If you are making this on a busy day, you can always prepare the homemade Ashta filling 1-2 days ahead.
See More : Ka’ek Eid [ Arab kaak ] Recipe
How to make homemade Ashta Ingredients you’ll need?
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons rose water
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
In a medium sized pot, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Bring to boil on medium heat while whisking almost the whole time. You do not want clumpy texture but rather a very smooth creamy texture. Once the cream thickens up very well, lower the heat and continue whisking for another minute.
Remove the mixture from heat and, add some water to the tray to help you cut the mixture then transfer it onto a tray or Pyrex dish, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes after 30 minutes, I cool it in the fridge for another 15 minutes or leave them until I use it the next day.
While you are waiting for the Ashta to cool, prepare the sugar syrup and let them cool.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 1/2 tbsp rose water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
1.Pour all ingredients in a pot and let them boil. Once it starts boiling time it, 5 minutes. Then add the lemon juice, orange blossom and rose water, lower the heat and let them simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool.
Next, you will prepare the phyllo sheets. Do not do this until the Ashta is ready to be used.
Ingredients you’ll need:-
- 1 pack phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup melted ghee
- 1/4 cup ground pistachios for garnishing
To prepare the phyllo dough, place a flat sheet on a board or clean the kitchen counter. Brush the butter mixture on the surface of the sheet, and repeat to stack 15 sheets on top of each other.
Cut the sheet into even squares. Add a full teaspoon (normal spoon) of the Ashta mixture in the middle and fold to close. Repeat the process for the rest of the sheets.
• To save time I got the ready cut squares sheets .
Place the pastries in a non-stick pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown in color.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1 to 1 1/4 cup of sugar syrup. You can add more to the pastry while serving, this way you don’t over sweeten it.
Let it cool at room temperature for 2 hours and refrigerate without wrapping for another 2 hours before serving.