Brick pastry is known by many names, but they are far exceeded by the number of applications for which this multi-monikered ingredient is perfect.
Known variously as brik pastry, Tunisian brick pastry and warqa (among others), these wonderfully thin sheets are most commonly used to wrap savoury or sweet ingredients, before being sealed and fried.
Brick pastry’s delicate lace-like texture becomes light and flaky when cooked, the texture between that of spring roll pastry and filo pastry.
Most commonly, brick pastry has been used to make bastilla, a traditional Moroccan pie that beautifully combines savoury and sweet flavours (try this exclusive Rabbit B’Stilla recipe prepared for The Essential Ingredient by renowned chef and Middle Eastern cuisine champion Greg Malouf).
Brick pastry’s properties make it perfect for a wide range of fillings and dishes, however.
Fill it with your ingredients of choice- sweet or savoury- fold into your chosen shape (triangles, square parcels and thin ‘cigars’ are popular), then shallow or deep fry.
Brick pastry is also delicious when baked, though as with filo pastry, you’ll want to brush the sheets with oil or melted butter first to help them get crispy.
Some ideas for flavour combinations:
- Minced lamb, garlic, sumac and spices
- Ricotta and lemon
- Prawn and harissa
- Chopped boiled egg with onion, tuna, parsley and harissa (this is the most traditional flavour combination)
- Rabbit, saffron and flaked almonds
- Prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella
- Spinach and feta or ricotta
Alternatively, simply fry shards or circles of brick pastry into thin, crispy crackers that are perfect with antipasto.
Brick pastry is versatile and ideal for a wide range of dishes, its applications limited only by your imagination.