Those who know me well also know that I like to experiment and nothing fascinates me more than a new ingredient that I have no idea how to use and that I haven’t heard of before.

mahleb

mahleb

This time that ingredient is something called Mahleb which is also known as Mahlab, Mahalab, Mahlepi or Mahlebi. Mahleb has roots in Turkish, Armenian, Syrian, Lebanese and Greek baking. It is a bittersweet and fragrant spice made from the innerkernel of the sour black cherry pit. The fragrance is somewhat floral and reminiscent of almonds and cherries. 

I’ve done a little research and discovered that it is best used in baked goods in the same kind of quantity that you would use something like nutmeg. Two of the recipes it is commonly used in are Cheoreg (Armenian Coffee Cake) and Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread).

I purchased whole Mahleb from my favorite spice store, The Spice House, and I will need to grind it before using. I’m still not exactly sure as to how I am going to use it but I will post any recipes here if I have success with it. I’m hoping to create a recipe that is totally unique and pushes the envelope a bit. The flavor apparently pairs well with tea so I see some sort of breakfast cake concoction in my future.

Here are the links to a few other recipes I found online…

Mahleb Syrup
Armenian Butter Cookies
Flaounes (Easter Cheese Pies)
Ma’amoul (Lebanese Filled Cookies)

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