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YIELDS:

4 – 6 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 5 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

TOTAL TIME:

24-36 hours 15 mins

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ingredients

2 cups honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups unsalted pistachios or almonds (toasted)

2 cups tahini (stirred until smooth)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the honey in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 240 F or the softball stage. (When the syrup is dropped into cold water it should form a soft, flexible ball.) Allow the honey to cool slightly and add the vanilla and nuts.

2. Gently fold in the tahini and stir until the mixture is well blended.

3. Lightly oil a 6-cup mold, loaf, or cake pan.

4. Pour the mixture into the pan and cool completely.

5. Wrap the halvah well and refrigerate it for 24 to 36 hours so the halvah’s characteristic crystallized texture can fully develop.

6. Cut the halvah into slices while it’s cold but serve at room temperature. The halvah will keep in the refrigerator for several months.

7. Enjoy.

NOTES:

  • To toast the pistachios, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in a 350 F oven until golden brown, about 7 minutes or so. Check often to make sure the nuts don’t burn.
  • It is crucial that you use a candy thermometer to make sure you have reached (and not surpassed) the soft-ball stage.
  • It can be a challenge to achieve the flaky texture found in Israeli halvah, so if your version ends up having more of a fudge- or caramel-like consistency, it is OK—it will still have that delicious, signature taste. Just try again!  It took me several attempts to get it right (But the mistakes were delicious and it was so much fun trying!).
  • Once you make the halvah, you can do more than eat it simply on its own. Consider crumbling it and sprinkling it over ice cream or using it in other recipes. See my Halvah Dessert Recipes for ideas.

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