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Kataïfi: Almond & Walnut Pastry in Syrup

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Kataifi Pastry

A look into the middle of a piece of kataifi

© Jim Stanfield

In Greek: καταϊφι, pronounced kah-tah-EE-fee

The first time I made rolled kataïfi, I bought a huge bag of fresh dough and ended up with a kitchen filled with scattered shredded dough and about three pieces of the actual pastry. With today's packaged dough, you'll find these easier to make and delicious to eat! This is a great recipe for beginners and can be adjusted later to include different tastes.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of kataifi dough, defrosted per package instructions
  • 1/2 pound of butter, melted
  • --------------
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of almonds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup of fine granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • ---------------
  • For the syrup:
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • thin strip of lemon peel
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of thin honey

Preparation:

Prepare the syrup: Heat the water in a saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the lemon juice, peel, and cloves, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the honey. Remove from the heat, strain, and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the filling and blend well with a wooden spoon.

A word about kataïfi dough

This dough comes commercially packaged in a long strip, about 3 inches wide. To prepare it for this recipe, lay the long strip out on a clean work surface and divide it into 18-24 pieces, gently spreading the strands out a bit if they clump together. Each piece will be used to create an individual kataïfi roll. Keep unused dough covered with a piece of waxed paper and a damp towel on top of that to keep it from drying out.

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

Brush a strip with melted butter. Place a tablespoon of the filling at one end of the strip and roll up into a cylinder, tucking in any stray pieces of dough. Take care to roll the pastry tightly so that the filling is securely enclosed. Place the rolls seam side down in a lightly buttered baking dish, close together but not squashed, and brush well with remaining butter. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown and crispy looking.

Remove from oven, pour cool syrup over the pastry and cover with a clean towel. Let cool about 3-4 hours as it absorbs the syrup.

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  6. Greek Almond and Walnut Pastry in Syrup (Kataïfi) Recipe

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