Gastrin Recipe - Ancient Version of Baklava

Close up of Baklava
Markus Pellmann / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 15 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
702 Calories
49g Fat
61g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 702
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 102mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 14g
Calcium 272mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sesame seeds, pepper, and poppy seeds are only some of the unusual ingredients in this ancient Greek recipe for gastrin (in Greek: γάστριν, pronounced GHAHS-treen). Petimezi (a sweetener made from grapes), used long before sugar arrived in Greece, adds to the unique taste. If you're hooked Greek desserts or into historical foods, give this recipe a try. This traditional dessert is quite similar to contemporary baklavas.


  • For the Dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 1/2 ounces sesame seeds (toasted and ground; a little over 2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 pounds hazelnuts (unsalted, chopped)
  • 2/3 pounds almonds (unsalted, chopped)
  • 2/3 pounds walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/5 pound sesame seeds
  • 1/5 pound poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ​​petimezi

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the dough ingredients and knead to form the dough.

  3. Roll out into 3 equal-sized sheets about 1/8 inch thick, large enough to cover a medium baking pan.

  4. Combine all filling ingredients.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

  6. Place one sheet of dough in the bottom of a lightly oiled baking pan. Cover with half the filling.

  7. Add the second sheet of dough and the remaining filling.

  8. Place the third sheet of dough on top. Cut into squares and then diagonally to form triangles. Sprinkle with a little water and sesame seeds.

  9. Bake on the rack just below the middle of the oven at 350 F (180 C) for about 30 minutes.

  10. When the pastry is cool, combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour the hot syrup over the cooled pastry and let sit until syrup is absorbed (about 3 to 4 hours).


  • Sugar is used in this syrup, to keep the cost down.

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