Serpent rolls recipe


  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 12 sheets filo pastry trimmed to about 30 × 20 cm (12 × 8 in)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ lb (225 g) ground almonds
  • 6 oz (175 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 2 oz (50 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to Make It
  1. Place the almonds, sugar, orange blossom water and butter in a saucepan and mix to a paste. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the egg yolk and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.
  3. Stack the filo sheets on top of each other on the work top and cover with a cloth.
  4. Remove 1 sheet and place on the work top with one of the longer sides nearest you. Brush all over with egg yolk and lay another filo sheet on top of it.
  5. Take one sixth of the almond mixture and arrange it in a ridge 3.5 cm (1½in) in from the edge nearest you and reaching right to the 2 shorter ends.
  6. Fold the 3.5 cm (1½in) of pastry over the filling and then roll up in the rest of the pastry.
  7. Brush the top edge with egg to stick it down. Repeat with remaining filo and filling.
  8. Brush a round baking tray about 22.5-25 cm (9-10 in) in diameter with a little melted butter. Take one roll and very carefully curl it around itself to form a coil. Do this gently or the filling will burst out. Place this coil in the middle of the tray. Take another roll, place one end of it next to the outside end of the coil on the tray and coil this roll around the first one.
  9. Continue using the rolls to extend the coil, sticking the ends of each roll together with a little of the egg yolk.
  10. When all the rolls are on the tray brush all over with the remaining egg yolk.
  11. Place in an oven preheated to 190C (375F) gas 5 and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Place on a serving plate, sift the icing sugar over the top and decorate with the cinnamon.

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