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How to Make Cream Pastry Rolls of Znoud El-Sit!

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Adjust Servings:
25 sheets Filo Pastry Dough Frozen. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to thaw it before starting
397 gr (1 can) Condensed Milk Sweetened
90 gr (3/4 cup) Corn Flour
3 cups water
2 cups Vegetable Oil for frying
2 tbsps Pistachio Nuts crushed
1 tbsp Orange-Blossom Water
For the Syrup
500 gr Sugar
1 tbsp Orange-Blossom Water
1 tbsp Rose Water
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
250 ml (1 cup) water

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How to Make Cream Pastry Rolls of Znoud El-Sit!

      • 45 minutes
      • Serves 10
      • Medium


      • For the Syrup



      Cream Pastry Rolls: Spotting the Lights on the Lady’s Arms!

      Now, this Cream Pastry is something to remember…. even before you taste it!

      Znoud el sit EasyLebaneseRecipes

      I was very young when my father relocated us, the family, to Lebanon. It took us time, of course, to learn the language. Yet, soon enough, these amusing nicknames started to pop up in our ears. Because we have many, I assure you. Some really fascinated us, like Znoud El-Sit and its meaning. Ah, but yes, we had to ask for every translation.

      This one, in particular, would made me more pensive than amused. Somehow, our father would skip the explanation. Yet, the flicker in his blue eyes when saying “Let’s eat some Znoud El-Sit” intrigued me, so did the teasing twist of his mouth.

      Well yes, my father had a legendary good humor. However, this one is a nationwide one.

      Somewhere, somehow, some old-time pastry baker must have taken upon himself to bestow a flirty name on this culinary chef-d’oeuvre of his, as a tribute to the Lady of his heart; particularly her upper-arms!

      Go figure it out then, saying, “Let’s eat some Upper-Arms of the Lady!” because this is exactly the name of this pastry. Not funny at all in any other country, but this is our Lebanon, a culture where praising nicknames could range from silly to extravagant.  🙂

      In a more simpler and blunt explanation: The Ashta Cream Pastry rolls earned the name of Znoud El-Sit because of the shape, texture and look, somehow compared to the upper-arms of a certain local lady.
      Ashta Cream Pastry Rolls

      Cream Pastry Rolls: The Culinary Aspect

      Znoud El-Sit is made of fine layers of buttered wheat-flour, resulting in a dough similar to the filo in texture.

      That dough is wrapped around the Ashta Cream, in rolls, and fried to golden-brown crispiness. They are then soaked in sugar-syrup that has been flavored with rosewater and orange blossom water.

      It is best to serve it hot to maintain its crispy texture.

      When ordering your Znoud El-Sit, you will know if it is fresh by that warm yet crispy texture.

      Today, there is an easier homemade version of this delicious pastry, and I am delighted to share it with you here!


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      Start by Preparing the Filo Sheets

      You are going to cut the filo sheets in equal rectangles.
      The approximate size is 6"x 3". It could be a little less, but this is the standard I go for.
      Once done, cover with a moist towel so they won't dry, and set them aside.


      Making the Syrup

      Boil water and sugar in a saucepan then leave it to simmer for about 6 minutes or until it condenses.
      Turn off the heat, and add orange blossom water, rosewater and lemon juice.
      Stir well.
      Leave it aside to cool at room temperature.


      Preparing the Ashta Cream

      In a large saucepan, mix the corn flour with the condensed milk and the 3 cups of water.
      Stir non-stop while boiling, at medium heat, until it thickens.
      When the mixture turns into a creamy texture, flavor it with the orange-blossom water, and blend well for all the cream to absorb the flavoring.
      Remove it from the heat. and on the side to cool.


      Preparing the Stuffed Rolls

      Place 2 filo sheets, flattened on the counter, on top of each other, in a cross shape. You should place it in a double-layer at the center.
      Stir the cream to smoothness.
      Scoop out a tablespoon's quantity, and place it, in length, on the prepared double filo sheets.
      Fold the 2 extremities on both sides of the cream.
      From one of the other opened sides, wrap it all gently into a tight roll.
      Repeat the same procedure for the remaining filo-sheets.


      Frying the Rolls

      Preheat the oil to 374°F (190°C). and deep fry the rolls.
      Make sure you don't put them all together at once to leave some space in between.
      You will know your rolls are done when they turn golden brown.

      With a slotted cooking spoon, remove the rolls and into the prepared syrup for few seconds, then remove them into a strainer.
      Leave them to drain the excess of syrup.



      Dip both extremities of each roll in pistachios. As you do, place them in the serving plate, one after the other.

      Drop gently a teaspoon of cream on the top side of each, and sprinkle some pistachio on, or glazed rose jam.
      This is optional, yet nice when receiving guests.

      This dessert is better served hot or warm.


      Family-oriented and former Gourmet Group member with decades of culinary experience, Claudys is well-traveled, a writer, a humanitarian, and a public speaker, holder of a M.Sc. in Psychology, a diploma in Event Production, and decades of executive roles in both the business and humanitarian fields. ~~ Conveying Lebanon Culture and its Heritage, this blog features related stories, recipes, and exclusive interviews; an online Cultural Community welcoming Lebanese friends and descendants, and all food lovers.

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