While I am no expert on making Middle Eastern desserts, I do love to eat them, who doesn’t? I am happy to have a go at making them at home, but at times I really do not have the patience involved in making such delicate little treats. However, this sweet made with layers of kataifi pastry and pistachios, slowly fried in ghee and sweetened with a rosewater syrup is pretty easy. Just keep an eye on the temperature of your stove top and brown, do not burn the kataifi.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 packet of kataifi (shredded fillo pastry)
- 1 cup melted ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 cups roughly chopped pistachio
In a saucepan bring the water and sugar to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring it to the boil for 10 mins without stirring. Remove from heat, add rosewater and squeeze of lemon. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl pull the kataifi apart. Separate at the pastry as much as possible.
In a large frying pan, brush some ghee into the bottom before taking half the kataifi and evenly spreading a layer into the bottom of the pan.
Drizzle over 1/2 cup of the melted ghee and evenly spread the chopped pistachio over the top of the kataifi.
Take the remaining kataifi and make another even layer over the top of the pistachios, pressing down firmly.
Using a pastry brush, dab the remaining 1/2 cup of ghee over the top of the pastry.
Place the frying pan over a low heat and cook the kataifi until golden.
Check that the kataifi is browning nicely by using a spatula to gently lift one side a little to look underneath. If the side lifts easily, it is holding together nicely and you will be able to see if it is an even golden brown.
Once golden and crisp on one side flip the kataifi onto a large plate or tray and slide it back into the frying pan to finish cooking on the non-cooked side.
Once golden on both sides, remove from the heat and pour the cooled sugar syrup all over the top of the hot kataifi.
Allow to cool, if you can wait long enough, before cutting into bite sized treats.
*As an alternative to refined sugar, I often use honey and it is delicious.