Desserts

Kunafa : Ricotta cheese version

I’ve always wanted to make kunafa or kunafe. The first time I baked this it was a disaster because sometimes it’s not just about following a recipe, but about using the right tools to make it a success.

I discovered this Egyptian food blogger who has beautiful, absolute beautiful, pictures posted of her baking. Definitely a professional set up but besides being a pretty blogface, her recipes look very doable and simple, especially for Asians who cannot get the right kind of ingredients to make Middle Eastern fare.

Her ricotta cheese recipe is simple to do. And the substitute that I used in place of eshta or Arabic cream works – good old English clotted cream, readily available in our supermarkets though only one brand  of it makes it way to our shores. No matter.

However, I still made a mistake. The mistake which I made when I first made kunafe two years ago was to bake it in a glass dish. No no no. Never again. What happened was the bottom layer did not get browned and the insides pastry were not crispy. So this time round, I used a baking pan. This time round, my mistake was not raising the kataifi pastry up to the sides of the pan. The result? An ugly cheese line all around the pie. Sigh.

Cosmetics aside, the end product was fantastic and I’ll definitely be making this when guests come. If we can ever have guests this year… 😞

You can find the recipe and the blog site which I’m in love with Here

Ingredients for the filling: ricotta cheese, clotted cream, sugar and vanilla essence
Spreading the filling on to the kataifi pastry. This pastry has to be covered in ghee first. Make sure to raise it to the sides of the pan!
Ready for the oven. I got exactly two round pans and a ramekin dish to bring to work.
Remove only after the pastry is golden brown and shrinks from the sides of the pan. Pour the sugar syrup all over and let it sit for 10 minutes. After that, take a knife and go around the edges to loosen the pie.
See what I mean by the ring of cheese that is exposed? 😅

Decorate with rose petals and crushed pistachios. See what I mean by the ring of cheese? 😅

Top view of the kunafa that I brought over to mom’s.
Inside view of this delicious Middle Eastern dessert that we can’t get enough of.
Best eaten warm straight out of the oven. 💓

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