Halwet el ma'joon literally translates into "sweet of preserves". I thought that ma'joon meant "jam", for the longest time. I learned that it actually means "preserve", about 5 minutes before I started writing this post. I spent the next 5 minutes trying to decide if this sweet was a cookie or a cake. And acccording to my mother, it is a tart. Apricot preserve tart, to be precise.
My mother has made this tart ever since I was a child, and I don't think I ever gave it the credit it deserves. Well, now it's time for it to shine.
Oh, and my inspiration for this post? Well, besides how amazingly good this tart is, my dear friend Israa, has recently become obsessed with it and I promised her a recipe, so that she doesn't have to come all the way to my house to indulge...although, I surely wouldn't mind seeing her beautiful face :)
Halwet el Ma'joon (Apricot Preserves Tart)4 eggs1 heaping cup of sugar
2 sticks of butter, melted5 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of vanilla powder
4 - 5 cups of all purpose flour (the amount you will use depends on the consistency of the dough. the dough should be soft and sticky, but not too soft, just enough for you to transfer it to the pan)
One 18 oz. jar of apricot preserves (you can use strawberry preserves too, or any other preserves )
Directions:In a large bowl, beat eggs, butter, and sugar with a hand mixer. Then, add baking powder, and vanilla powder, and beat for 1-2 minutes.
Last, add the flour, one cup at a time. You may have to stop using the hand mixer at one point, and just use your hands to incorporate flour because it will start to get hard. But remember, do not let it get too hard. It should be soft.
Grab a fistful of dough, about the size of an orange, and set it aside. This will be used later on.
*Spray the pan with cooking spray before transferring the dough
Now, transfer the soft dough into the pan (rectangular shaped pan, preferably. mine is approximately 12 by 18 inches), and press the dough evenly into the pan, using the heel of your hand.
Pour the apricot preserves into a small bowl, and beat swiftly with a fork. This will make the preserves easier to spread out. So, when you're done beating, pour the preserves out on top of the dough and spread it out with a spoon. Make sure not to get it too close to the edges, because it will burn when you put it in the oven.
Lastly, take the orange-sized piece of dough from before, and add about a cup of flour to it, or as much flour as it takes for it to become hard.
Using a grater (make sure you use the small holes), grate this dough slowly on top of the preserves, to produce little tiny dough bits. This is just the way my mother does it, however, if you want to just roll out the dough, cut out strips, and top the tart with them, you can do that as well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes, and then transfer to the top oven rack for the last 5 minutes).
Let it cool in the pan, and then cut it up into whatever shapes you prefer.