Last Sunday was baking day. I made the famous baklava and shared with you the recipe. Today, I want to continue with famous Turkish / Ottoman dessert recipes. In this post, I would like to share with you how to make Kadaif.
What is Kadaif
Kadaif (Kadayif) is a Middle Eastern dessert prepared with kataifi, a spun pastry soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup and stacked ingredients like pistachios, or pecans, depending on the region. Variants are also found in Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans.
“In Turkish, the string pastry is known as tel kadayıf, and the cheese-based dessert that uses it as künefe. In the Balkans, the shredded dough is similarly known as kadaif, and in Greece as kataifi, and is the basis of various dishes rolled or layered with it, including dessert pastries with nuts and sweet syrups.“
Kadaif and Knafe
“In the Hatay region of Turkey, which was formerly part of Syria and has a large Arab population, the pastry is called künefe and the wiry shreds are called tel kadayıf. A semi-soft cheese such as Urfa peyniri (cheese of Urfa) or Hatay peyniri (cheese of Hatay), made of raw milk, is used in the filling. In making the künefe, the kadayıf is not rolled around the cheese; instead, cheese is put in between two layers of wiry kadayıf. It is cooked in small copper plates, and then served very hot in syrup with clotted cream (kaymak) and topped with pistachios or walnuts. In Turkish cuisine, there is also yassı kadayıf and ekmek kadayıfı, none of which is made of wiry shreds.”
Where to Buy Kataifi Pastry
You can find Kataifi Pastry (Shredded Fillo (Phyllo) Dough Kataifi) in many Turkish and Middle Eastern grocery stores, or online. For this recipe, you only need 500 gr (17 ounces) kadaifi Pastry.
How to make Kadaif | Kadaif (Kataifi) Recipe
Prepare the syrup
Bring the water to a boil, add sugar, and cook for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, mix weel, cook for another 2-3 minutes, turn the heat off and set aside. Let it cool.
Butter meets kadaif pastry.
Place the kadaif pastry in a large bowl and shre it into strings. Add melted butter and mix very well. Make sure it’s coated all over.
This is the first layer.
Put half of the kadaif pastry into a baking tray, spread evenly.
Use your hands
Press the pastry down using your hands.
It`s time for the walnuts.
Sprinkle the walnuts over the first layer.
Put another half of the kadaif pastry into the baking tray.
Use your hands again
Press the pastry down again.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
It`s time for syrup
Remove it from the oven and pour over the cold syrup immediately. Allow it to rest for 1.5 - 2 hours so the syrup absorbs fully.
How to serve kadaif
Always sprinkle extra chopped walnuts over kadaif. My favorite topping is vanilla ice cream. Vanilla ice cream and kadaif is the perfect combination in my opinion. Enjoy your kadaif with your loved ones:)
- It is very important to make sure that all of the kadaif pastry is properly buttered. By doing so the mixture will bake evenly.
- Instead of walnuts, you can use pistachios
- Very important: Pour cold syrup over hot kadaif.