Ready in 30 mins + chilling Makes 2 logs 2 cups pitted prunes, coarsely chopped 1 cup sugar ¼ cup honey finely grated zest of 1 orange ½ cup fresh orange juice 2 cups walnut pieces, pistachios or toasted, skinned hazelnuts ¾ cup desiccated or thread coconut Place prunes, sugar, honey and orange zest and juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat until the prunes are soft and the mixture comes together into a paste ( about 10 minutes). To check whether it’s ready, place a small spoonful in a bowl of iced water or in the fridge for a couple of minutes — it is ready when it’s firm enough to be moulded, like toffee to soft- ball stage. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts. Divide the coconut between two pieces of baking paper. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, divide it in half and form two evenly shaped logs, each about 30cm long. Roll in the coconut to coat, then roll up in the baking paper and refrigerate until set. Slice thinly to serve. Pastila keeps for a couple of months in a sealed container in the fridge or can be frozen.
Annabel says: This rich Middle- Eastern sweetmeat makes a great after- dinner treat, and is a lovely gift to take to a dinner party. It’s great with any combo of nuts – tr y a mixture of pistachios and hazelnuts for a change.