Gastrin Recipe - Ancient Version of Baklava

Close Up Of Baklava
Markus Pellmann / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 15 Servings
Ratings (6)

Sesame seeds, pepper, and poppy seeds are only some of the unusual ingredients in this ancient recipe for gastrin (in Greek: γάστριν, pronounced GHAHS-treen). Petimezi (a sweetener made from grapes), used long before sugar arrived in Greece, adds to the unique taste. If you're hooked on the Ancients, give this recipe a try.

What You'll Need

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 3 1/2 ounces sesame seeds (toasted and ground; a little over 2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 pounds hazelnuts (unsalted, chopped)
  • 2/3 pounds almonds (unsalted, chopped)
  • 2/3 pounds walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/5 pound sesame seeds
  • 1/5 pound poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ​​petimezi
  • 3/4 cup honey

How to Make It

  1. Combine the dough ingredients and knead to form the dough.
  2. Roll out into 3 equal-sized sheets about 1/8 inch thick, large enough to cover a medium baking pan.
  3. Combine all filling ingredients.
  4. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F (180-degrees C).
  5. Place one sheet of dough in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan. Cover with half the filling.
  6. Add the second sheet of dough and the remaining filling.
  7. Place the third sheet of dough on top. Cut into squares and then diagonally to form triangles. Sprinkle with a little water and sesame seeds.
  1. Bake on the rack just below the middle of the oven at 350-degrees F (180-degrees C) for about 30 minutes.
  2. When the pastry is cool, combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour the hot syrup over the cooled pastry and let sit until syrup is absorbed (about 3-4 hours).

Note: sugar is used in this syrup, to keep the cost down.