Shredded Pastry Filled with Cheese in Lemon Syrup



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Of all of the traditional sweet, syrupy pastries, this one is my favourite, with its melted cheese and hint of lemon....

Of all of the traditional sweet, syrupy pastries, this one is my favourite, with its melted cheese and hint of lemon. Called "konafa" ("kunefe" or "kadayif" in Turkish), it is made with thin strands of pastry, similar in appearance to vermicelli. Unfortunately, they are almost impossible to make at home, as the batter requires tossing through a sieve onto a hot metal sheet over an open fire, but you can buy packets of ready-prepared strands in Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Greek food stores; you can also buy individual nonstick pans that are specifically designed for making konafa. The pastry is called "kadaif," which is also the name given to many of the sweet dishes prepared with it. The cheese most commonly used for konafa — dil peyniri — has a slightly rubbery texture and can be pulled apart into strings, so the standard pizza mozzarella is an ideal substitute. Perfect for the mezze table or, in fact, at any time of day, konafa is a sweet dish for reunions and celebrations — in other words, a dish to be shared.

Mezze by Ghillie Basan, photography by Jan Baldwin, is published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 8 Ounces ready-prepared kadaif
  • 4 Ounces samna melted
  • 12 1/2 Ounces dil peyniri, or mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon shelled pistachios, coarsely ground

For the syrup:

  • 1 Cup plus one tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose blossom water
  • 3/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 16 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 9 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry), broken into 3/4-inch pieces and thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios

Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes stir in orange blossom water and rose blossom water.

Preheat oven to 400°F with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Generously grease a 13- x 9-inch pan with ghee or butter. Stir together mozzarella and ricotta in a medium bowl until combined cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your hands, mix together kataifi and melted ghee in a large bowl until combined. Scatter half of the kataifi mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly with your hands to evenly cover bottom. Dollop spoonfuls of cheese mixture evenly over top, and, using damp hands or an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Scatter remaining kataifi mixture evenly over filling, and press firmly.

Bake in preheated oven on lower rack until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Invert pie onto a serving platter. Immediately drizzle with enough of the cooled syrup to soak the cake (about 11/2 cups). Sprinkle with pistachios, and serve with remaining syrup.



Comments:

  1. Eimhin

    In this something is. Before I thought otherwise, I thank you for the help in this question.

  2. Fauhn

    Trying is not torture.

  3. Teoxihuitl

    No, not myself .. I read it somewhere



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