Kunafa (Middle eastern dessert)
Today's recipe is a traditional dessert that I grew up eating it,one of my favorite middle eastern sweets, a well known and very famous in Arabic world. Kunafa is the kind of treat that you can pamper your self with! The most loved, the most celebrated. It comes with various fillings and shapes. The more creative , the more delicious Kunafa you can get! :)
Now, I am sure you are wondering what is Kunafa?!
Well, typically it is butter shredded fillo dough that is stuffed with sweet Arabic cheese ( Akkawi or Nabulsia), or fresh Arabic style Ashta (clotted thick cream) in the middle, drizzled with simple sugar syrup on top and garnished with crushed pistachios. yum, yum! :)
Lots of people use mozzarella in their kunafas, which makes it a very common and acceptable, and i did use it here craving for gooey yumminess :)))) I bet you are now feeling in a hurry to jump in to the recipe, ha! :)
You’ll prepare the kunafa crust by shredding kunafa pastry dough into short strands,
then coat it with melted ghee or melted butter. greasing the baking pan too.
Take 3/4 of the kunafa, and firmly press it on the bottom and around the sides of the greased pan, you can use a bottom of a measuring cup to do that, then spread Ashta followed by 2 kinds of cheese Akkawi and Mozzarella cheese.
then cover the cheese mixture with the remaining Kunafa pastry, pressing lightly with your hand to adhere. And bake! As soon as Kunafa comes out of the oven,drizzle it all over with generous amount of syrup.
garnish using some pistachios, and let the show beginnnnnnns!
Cheese Kunafa Recipe :
250-300 gm Kunafa pastry fresh or frozen
1/2 cup melted butter
For the Filling :
100 gm fresh Ashta
200 gm shredded Mozzarella
200 gm desalted Akkawi cheese
For the Scented Sugar Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon rose water
for garnish : some Pistachios
to make the Syrup :
- Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and on medium heat, cook until the syrup begins boiling. Cook for another 2 minutes, until mixture will have a thick consistency. Let it cool, and set aside to use later over the Kunafa.
To prepare the Kunafa crust :
- Heavily grease a 30cm round cake pan with ghee or butter,set aside.
-Shred the konafa pastry into 1inch/ 2.5cm long pieces,and pour the melted butter over the kunafa.
- Mix the butter evenly with you hands, into the kanafeh shreds, making sure it gets well coated.
- Transfer 3/4 the amount of konafa in the prepared pan and firmly press it on the bottom and up the sides. Make a wall with the konafa around the sides of the pan; this will help contain the filling during the baking process and prevent it from burning.Press Kunafa as tight as possible using the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Spread Ashta followed by cheese mix(desalted Akkawi and Mazzarella),then cover with the remaining amount of Kunafa pressing lightly with your hand.
- Bake in a preheated Oven on 180 Celsius degrees, until the top and sides of the konafa are deep golden brown in color.. The longer it bakes, the crunchier it gets.
- Remove the konafa from the oven and immediately pour on about ¾ of the scented syrup, let the konafa rest for 5 minutes to allow for the syrup to soak in, then flip on to a serving platter. Garnish with some pistachios, and serve hot.
Bon Appétit :) *Recipe inspired by the beautiful Cleobuttera