Sesame honey candy, or pasteli, is a traditional Greek confection which combines the simplest of ingredients to create a wholesome, natural treat featuring three simple ingredients: sesame seeds, honey and unrefined sea salt. Often served for Easter, though a charming treat any time of the year, sesame honey candy are dense with sesame flavor and offer pleasantly chewy candy.
Sesame seeds offer a rich source of minerals including calcium and zinc, and they frequently make the list of the best sources of vitamins and minerals. Indeed, sesame seeds are a rich source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. The hulls of sesame seeds contain oxalates, and, for this reason, I recommend using hulled sesame seeds not only for better mineral absorption, but also for improved flavor.
Sesame Honey Candy (Pasteli)
- 1 1/2 cups hulled sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil (for greasing the baking sheet)
- Generously grease a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high flame until it becomes hot to the touch. Pour the sesame seeds into the hot pan and stir them continuously with wooden spoon until they’re well-toasted and golden-brown in color – about 5 minutes.
- Stir honey and sea salt into the toasted sesame seeds until they become well-coated and the mixture stiffens.
- Pour the mixture of honey and sesame seeds onto your greased baking sheet and pat down and smooth out the mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Score the candy into pieces of 1/4-inch by 1-inch and set the pan aside until the candy is cool enough to handle comfortably.
- When cool to the touch, but still warm enough to be malleable, grease your fingers with olive oil and roll the pieces of honey candy into small small, round logs.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.