Al Mabroushy (Palestinian Bakewell Tart)

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

1½ hours

Makes 12 bars

Palestinian Bakewell Tart. Photo by Jenny Zarins.
Palestinian Bakewell Tart. Photo by Jenny Zarins.

This is our take on the Bakewell tart. Kids love these, adults love these, Mr. Kipling himself would have loved these, we’re sure!

Keeping notes: Once baked, this keeps well in a sealed container for up to three days.

Reprinted with permission from “Falastin: A Cookbook” by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.


  • For the Rose jam:
  • ¾ cup/250g strawberry jam 
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • For the Shortbread:
  • 1⅓ cups/165g all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cups/75g confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 lemon: finely grate the zest to get 2 tsp
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp/150g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut into ½-inch/1cm dice
  • For the Halva spread:
  •  2¼ oz/60g halva 
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1½ tbsp water
  • ¼ cup/25g sliced almonds
  • ¾ oz/20g halva
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (optional)


  1. Make the rose jam: put the strawberry jam and rose water in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease and line the base and sides of an 8-inch/ 20cm square baking dish and set aside.
  3. Make the shortbread: put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse for about 15 seconds, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Remove 2¼ oz/60g of this—about an eighth—and keep in the fridge until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the prepared baking dish, so that it evenly covers the bottom, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. Make the halva spread: put the halva, tahini, and water into a bowl. Beat with a fork until smooth.
  5. Evenly spread the halva mixture over the cooled shortbread base. Top this with the jam and set aside.
  6. Combine the reserved 2¼ oz/60g of shortbread in a bowl with the almonds, halva, sesame seeds, flour, and salt. Using your hands, rub together until this topping consistency is that of crumble.
  7. Sprinkle the shortbread topping unevenly over the jam. Bake for a final 25 minutes, or until golden, then set aside for 1 hour, to cool. Remove from the pan and slice into 12 pieces. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve either warm or at room temperature.

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