Kataifi

Way back, maybe 20 years ago, I went to Greece for a few weeks. While there I developed an intense relationship with a wonderful Greek treat, Kataifi. In my opinion this pastry, usually made for kids, should be the front running candidate for ambrosia, the mythical food of the gods.

The picture to the left is kataifi. It's very rare when I can find it in the states. Even in Greek restaurants the wait staff frequently say they've never heard of it. So all I can do is make it myself. It's a fairly simple dish if you have the ingredients handy.

I'm thinking of making some for my parents when I go there later this week. As they grow older they've become very fond of sweets--and I've always loved them. Honey is a close friend of mine and I have intense feelings for confectioners sugar and chocolate. Kataifi is a lot sweeter than baklava, if that gives you any indication of just how much of a sugar punch this confection can pack.
  • 1 lb. shredded phyllo dough
  • 1 lb. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 lb. butter
Syrup:
  • 1/2 lb. honey
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • dash of lemon juice
Directions:
Mix the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves, then melt the butter. Brush the bottom of a medium pan, around 9 x 13, with the melted butter.

Open the kataifi dough and divide into 5 equal parts. Take one part, loosen the dough and spread on bottom of pan, sprinkle with walnut mixture. Repeat this three more times. Spread kataifi on top then pour butter with a spoon evenly over entire pan. Cut into pieces.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slowly pour hot syrup over the kataifi letting it soak in before pouring more. Cover tightly.

Comments

flleenie said…
okay, I love to bake, but what the heck is "shredded phyllo dough"?

I can't recreate the recipe if I don't know...
Into the Light said…
This seems like baklava made shredding the phyllo and spreading it instead of the painstaking layering and buttering. The proportions of ingredients may be a bit different though -- I haven't made baklava in quite awhile, so I don't remember.

Should the pieces be cut in a particular shape or size???
utenzi said…
Teresa, normally if you buy kataifi it'll look like those in the picture but if you make it yourself it's a lot easier to cut it into bar shapes or squares while in the pan. For some reason it seems better when in those roll-like shapes but maybe that's just cause it's a lot easier to just buy it ready made and I'm quite lazy.
Jean-Luc Picard said…
It looks a tasty dish. Too many people abroad will eat only what they eat at home rather than sampling new dishes.

Michele sent me here.
Bob-kat said…
Oh, it has cinnamon in it; I love cinnamon! It sounds nice and tasty and I must admit to having a sweet tooth too.

Michele sent me over to say hi again!
kenju said…
Dave, if it is sweeter than baklava, I couldn't stand it! I do love baklava, though. Michele says hello.
panthergirl said…
Oh yum!!! I love phyllo dough!!
November Rain said…
I agree what is phyllo dough

I will have to make some of this for my party

michelle sent me
Diane Mandy said…
I love this dessert one of my favorites!! My ya ya used to feed it to me for breakfast when i visted in Greece. Yum!
Deana said…
I like to use phyllo dough over brie and bake. Your recipe sounds delish! I hope to go to Greece one day. Martin lived there for a while doing his intership, we have some neat greek artwork in the house because of that.
KSHIPPYCHIC said…
Oh man I love baklava - we always get it at Christmas time. This sounds really good too!
Ivy said…
it looks good! I'm not big into sweets. But I do love honey!
texasblu said…
hi, Michele sent me.

Sounds nummy. :)
Square1 said…
This sounds like Bakklava to me too. I found a pastry from the middle east I absolutely love now too! It's called Mamoul. It's a not so sweet kind of short bread-like cookie exterior with a date or other fruit filled center. I love them because they're not rot-your-teeth sweet, but they satisfy my little pastry cravings.

Michele sent me. You have a lovely blog.
SassyAssy said…
Yum! I will have to try this! Greek desserts are sooooo good. I got to try some different ones at the Greek festival I went to over the summer.

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