Knafeh is a Middle Eastern dessert often served for breakfast. There are hundreds of ways to make it. Typically it’s made with a stretchy cheese such as mozzarella to get that famous cheese pull. I learned how to make knafeh with ashta from my mother in law and although I do enjoy the cheesy version, I absolutely love the creaminess of the ashta filling.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange blossom
1 pkg kataifi dough (shredded filo)
1 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 litre heavy cream
1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup fine semolina
1/2 cup sugar
Mix together then put on the stove.
Mix until thickened, then add:
1/2 akawi cheese, shredded (desalted)
1 store bought ashta container
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp rose water
For the simple syrup:
In a pot on high heat add sugar & water
Once it comes to a boil add 1 tsp lemon & 1 tsp orange blossom
Boil for 10 min
Remove from heat & allow to cool completely
For the dough:
Shred kataifi dough in a food processor. While the food processor is running, add the semolina and butter. Mix until combined. Set aside.
For the ashta/cheese filling:
In a pot, mix cream, cornstarch, ¼ cup semolina, ½ cup sugar together then put on the stove.
Mix until thickened, then add akawi cheese, ashta container, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, 1 tsp orange blossom water, 1 tsp rose water. Mix until smooth and remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400°
Add 2 tbsp melted butter to a 14” round baking dish and add half of the filo mixture. Flatten using your hands.
Add ashta filling then top with remaining filo and gently press down.
Bake uncovered until golden brown (about 45 min)
As soon as it’s done pour 1 cup simple syrup over the entire surface.
Turn the oven off and put the knafe back in to let the syrup soak in for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow it to set for 10 minutes then flip it onto a serving platter.