---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  Categories: Desserts, Nuts, Italian
       Yield: 10 servings
 ----------------------------FOR SEALING THE 
       1 c  All-purpose flour                 1/2 c  Water
       1 c  Couscous, not instant               3 c  Water
 --------------------------FLAVORING & 2ND 
       1 tb Water                               1 ts Almond extract
     1/2 ts Salt                                1 ts Cinnamon
   1 1/2 c  Shelled green pistachios          1/4 c  Almond oil
            - unsalted and very green                -=OR=- Mild 
 vegetable oil
     1/2 c  Sugar                                    - finely grated
       2 tb Water                                    Candied cherries
     1/4 c  Confectioners' sugar                     -=OR=- Other 
 Candied Fruit
       1 oz Semisweet chocolate                      - (to garnish)
   Couscous is normally a savory dish found in Morocco. This unusual 
   version is the specialty of a small convent in Sicily.
   FIRST PREPARE THE PAN for steaming the couscous: For the sealing 
 dough, mix
   the flour and water together in a bowl and scrape onto a floured work
   surface. Knead briefly to form a rough, sticky dough, adding a 
   or 2 of flour if necessary. Roll into a rope as long as the 
   of the bottom pan and apply the dough to the rim of the pan. Add water 
   the pan so that the water is below the bottom of the couscousiere or
   colander and press the couscousiere into place. Bring the water to a 
   on high heat, until steam is escaping freely through the perforations, 
   lower to a simmer, so that the steam escapes very gently. While the 
   is coming to a boil, prepare the couscous to be cooked: Place the 
 grain in
   a bowl and add the water. Swish the water through the grain with the
   fingers of one hand splayed apart, “raking” through it. Tilt the bowl 
   drain away excess water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Line the 
   with a dampened napkin or cheesecloth and add the grain. Cover and 
 steam 15
   minutes. While the grain is cooking, prepare the flavoring. Half fill 
   saucepan with water and add the pistachios. Bring to a boil; drain in 
   strainer. Pour the pistachios onto a towel, fold the towel over them 
   rub to loosen skins. Separate pistachios from skins, going over them
   carefully. Combine the freshly blanched pistachios, extract and 
 cinnamon in
   a food processor bowl and process for 2-3 minutes, until very finely 
   and starting to become pasty. Add the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, and
   continue processing mixture to a smooth paste, stopping the machine 
   scraping the inside of the bowl 3-or-4 times. Reserve pistachio paste.
   After the couscous has steamed 15 minutes, remove it from the 
   in the cheesecloth and put it in a large, non-reactive roasting pan. 
   it out with a fork and let cool. Combine the salt and water and work 
   into the cooled couscous, raking it through with 1 hand. Add the 
   paste in 3-or-4 additions, working it in by rubbing it and the 
   together with the fingertips. Return the water in the bottom pan to a
   simmer, and line the couscousiere again with the dampened cheesecloth. 
   the seasoned couscous to the couscousiere, cover and steam 15 minutes.
   Remove the couscous to the roasting pan, spread out with a fork, 
   compressing the mixture, and leave uncovered until cool. To finish the
   couscous, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve 
   sugar granules, and cool the syrup. Work the cooled couscous between 
   palms of the hands again to separate the grains and toss in the syrup 
   5-or-6 additions, fluffing the couscous with a fork. Allow the 
 couscous to
   dry uncovered, several hours, in a cool place, fluffing it with a fork
   occasionally, until all the grains are separate. For advance 
   cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to several days. To
   serve, fluff up with a fork so the grains separate well and mound the
   couscous on a platter. Sprinkle the couscous evenly with the grated
   chocolate, then the confectioners' sugar. Decorate with no more than 
   pieces of the candied fruit.