Nammoora: Palestinian, Semolina-Filled Filo Pastry

Generally, Nammoora is another word for ‘Basbousa’ but when we were in Palestine, this was Namoura for us: layers of fine, crispy filo pastry, with a sweet semolina filling, soaked in sugar syrup. Eating this fresh on the streets of Jerusalem is as good as it gets & I finally found a recipe that matches pretty close

For the Pie

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 50g white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g fine semolina
  • 1 egg
  • 125g butter
  • 195g Filo pastry

For the Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a pot over medium heat, bring the milk, sugar & vanilla to simmer, stirring constantly. Add the semolina and continue stirring until the mixture thickens into a custard. Remove from the heat, set aside 10 minutes.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of the warm custard mixture then add this mixture back into the custard pot, whisking well to combine. Mix in 15g of the butter. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4.
  4. Melt the remaining butter. Generously brush the base of the baking pan with the butter. Working with one sheet at a time, place a sheet in the base of the pan, brush with butter, and repeat until half of the filo has been used. Pour the custard over and smooth into an even layer.
  5. Repeat the filo layering & buttering until the remaining sheets are used. Roll any overhanging edges together, to make a border. Brush the top & border generously with butter. Cut into even squares
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until filo is golden brown & puffed.
  7. Meanwhile, make the syrup: place sugar & water in a small saucepan and bring to boil for 10 minutes/ until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. DO NOT STIR.
  8. When the pie is cooked, remove from the oven & pour syrup evenly over the top & border. Let stand 30 minutes, then slice & serve.
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