Pigeon and almond pastilla

2 lbs pastilla flaky pastry sheets
Mix together in a pan:

6 pigeons cut into small pieces

4 oz butter

1 lb onions, sliced

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp saffron

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 pints water

then cook, half covered, for about 30 min. When cooked remove the pieces of pigeon and add to the sauce:

1 large sprig coriander, chopped

1 large sprig parsley, chopped

1 tbsp cinnamon

8 oz castor sugar

Reduce the sauce before adding:

12 beaten eggs
Continue to cook for a further 5 min, stirring contin- ually with a wooden spoon, then leave to cool. In a well buttered metal flan dish, with smooth sides, arrange a first layer of flaky pastry, consisting of several thicknesses cut larger than the dish and left to overlap the edge. Two or three thicknesses in the bottom of the dish will give a firm base to your pastilla. Spread the pigeon pieces over the base, arrange the egg and herb mixture on them, then sprinkle with 10 oz of peeled, fried and crushed almonds. Cover with one or two sheets of pastry and close over this cover the overlapping edges of the base, Paint the whole surface with egg yolk before repea- ting the operation, by placing overlapping layers of pastry on top. The overlap this time should be folded carefully in under the pastilla to give it a neat, well rounded edge. Štick on a final sheet of pastry with egg yolk, to give a smooth finish. Brown the base of the pastilla over warm charcoal then turn it over by placing a flat dish on top, turning out the pastilla, then sliding it back upside down into the flan dish. Now cook the other side. Once or twice during the cooking you should gently raise the edges of the pastilla with a spatula and slide a few nobs of butter under it. To serve, place a round, flat serving plate on top of the flan dish and turn the pastilla over onto it, thus presenting the smooth surface on top. Decorate with icing sugar and cinnamon. Always serve very hot.

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