Brick leaves or brick pastry (Malsouka) available at Afritibi market is very useful in pastry. Its name ‘Ouarka’ or ‘pastry leaf’ comes from the Maghreb, in Morocco, in Tunisia, malsouka which means leaf that sticks. The brick leaf is in the form of a disc about 25 cm in diameter, interspersed with a sheet of baking paper. Thicker than filo pastry, the sheet of brick pastry is also more ‘rustic’ and more resistant.
Use the right filling with the brick pastry sheet. Minced meats with herbs, grated or diced vegetables, eggs, fresh cheese, herbs, or even, in a sweet version, honey, dried fruit, marzipan… let your culinary creativity express itself. But remember these two rules:
- Stuffings must not be liquid so as not to soak the pasta.
- If the fillings are hot, let them cool down or cool down before garnishing so as not to weaken or even tear the puff pastry.
The art of folding brick pastry sheets
Once the fillings have been chosen, they fill the sheets of brick or filo which are then shaped into triangles, cigars, rectangles, pastillas, balluchons, candies, chaplains … and other compositions. Before embarking on innovative artistic creations, learn to master the classic folding process:
- Triangles: this folding is often very appreciated because once the principle is understood, it is very easy to implement for a pleasant result in the mouth and always amazing. The triangles are also perfect for a neat aperitif or a finger food buffet.
- Cigars: in the same spirit, cigars always make their little effect. They can be eaten as they are but also, why not, dipped in a dip or a velouté (cigars with raw ham to accompany a gazpacho, chocolate cigars to wake up a fruit soup…).
- Rectangles: a simple and perfect folding for a plate service, accompanied for example by a salad. This is the family version par excellence.
- The mini-pastillas: still for serving by the plate, but in a chic version, a perfect fold to dazzle your guests.
If you really have trouble “sealing” them when you fold them, use egg white!
Cooking the brick sheets
Are your folds done? Now all you have to do is cook them. For baking (recommended because easier to control, less fat and just as crispy), you must first brush them with your choice of:
- 1 fat: neutral or flavoured oil depending on the stuffing, ghee or simply melted butter.
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water or milk: this second solution is then used to sprinkle the puff pastry with spices and/or seeds: sugar and cinnamon for a sweet puff pastry, sesame, black cumin or cumin seeds for savoury puff pastry…
To finish, place the puff pastry on a rack covered with baking paper or a silicone tray and place in the pre-heated oven. It usually takes 15 minutes at 180 °C (th. 6), but remember to adapt the baking time to your recipes. In all cases, the puff pastry must be well browned.
Caution: if you want a perfect crispness, cook them at the last moment.