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Kunafah

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Level: Easy

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Description

Kunafah is a Middle-Eastern dessert: a cheese-based pastry, made with crispy kataifi dough, salty akawie cheese, and gooey ricotta, all soaked in a rosewater syrup for a sweet and floral finish. It’s popular all over the Middle East, and is a staple dessert at special events (with good reason!).

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Akawie Cheese
  • 454 grams Kataifi Shredded Dough, Thawed
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, Melted And Slightly Cooled
  • ½ cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Rose Water
  • ¼ cups Raw Unsalted Shelled Pistachios, Chopped

Preparation

Place akawie cheese in large bowl; add enough cold water to cover. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 12 hours, changing water at least once. Drain, rinse well. Pat dry. Finely grate akawie cheese on small holes of box grater and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place kataifi in separate large bowl. Using fingers, separate and loosen strands. Drizzle with butter and toss to coat. Transfer half of the kataifi to greased 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with 2-inch (5 cm) high sides, pressing gently into bottom of pan.

Sprinkle akawie cheese over top, spreading evenly. Spread ricotta evenly over top. Add remaining kataifi, spreading evenly and pressing gently into pan. Bake until golden, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool on rack 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring sugar, lemon juice and water to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in rose water. Set aside.

Run thin knife around edge of pastry to release from pan. Invert serving platter over top of pastry and turn pan upside down onto platter. Carefully lift away pan. Sprinkle pastry with pistachios. Drizzle 3/4 of the sugar mixture over top. Let stand until absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining sugar mixture. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.

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