Halvah is a multicultural sweet confection present in Jewish and Arab cuisines. This type of halvah has a crumbly texture as it is made from tahini (sesame seed paste). It can be stored for a good while in the fridge, so it is a great option to make ahead of time and keep on hand for when guests come over.
Reprinted from Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves by Kenden Alfond. Copyright (c) 2020 Kenden Alfond, reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing Company, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 cup smooth tahini
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 tsp rose water (optional — you can replace with a tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp almond extract)
1. Add the honey to a small pot with a candy thermometer attached and place over medium heat. Heat until the honey reaches 240 degrees F.
2. While the honey is coming up to temperature, give the tahini a good stir, making sure it’s even and no oil is separating, then set it aside in a second small pot.
3. Once the honey reaches temperature, set it aside and clean the candy thermometer.
4. Place the candy thermometer into the pot with the tahini and place over medium heat. Heat the tahini until it reaches 120 degrees F.
5. Pour the warmed tahini into the honey and mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes really smooth and shiny. It may take a few minutes, but eventually the mixture will come together.
6. Stir in the rose water and almonds, if using, and continue stirring until it becomes fairly stiff, around 5-7 minutes.
7. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Set it aside to cool to room temperature, then transfer into the fridge for 24-36 hours. This will allow the halvah to form sugar crystals and reach the desired crumbly texture.
8. Slice with a sharp knife and store any leftovers in the fridge.