It occurred to me that maybe some of you might seek out a Middle Eastern or Greek market searching for za’atar. If that is the case, you need to search for kadayif, too. I love Middle Eastern pastries. Now most of you are probably familiar with baklava and I love that. But another fun pastry that involves another type of fillo is called kadayif. I’ve posted about it before but wanted to share this simple quick recipe, too! So in other words, to make kanafeh, you need kadayif.
Kadayif is shredded fillo dough. It comes in 1 pound packages and is made by Apollo. At least that is what I find here. I’m sure there must be other brands. I love this stuff and can only find it in the frozen sections of Middle Eastern groceries. You can do lots of things with it, as it isn’t just for pastry. You can wrap it around shrimp and give them a little pastry crust. You can use it to make little appetizer pastry cups. But I used it for this quick dessert. Kanafeh are amazing and so simple to make.
I thought of this today because I still have some in my freezer that I made for Yom Kippur. They were simple and quick and reminded me of what I ate in Israel. In Israel though, they were rolled up like little cigars. I kept this easy and just layered the pastry in a pan. Anyway, what made me think about them is that I have a friend coming over who just celebrated a BIG birthday (I, on the other hand will always celebrate little birthdays…) and I know she likes this pastry so I decided to make kanafeh. She was the one that loved the last kadayif and cous cous cake that I made some time ago, and insisted on taking some home. So, I took these out for her.
What I love about these kanafeh, besides their simplicity, is the crunchiness of the pastry and the sweet coconut filling. To keep it easy and quick I used one can of coconut cream-you know the kind they say to use for pina coladas. I had this can in my pantry for a very long time and because of all the sugar and preservatives, it was still good. I can’t vouch for the fact that it is good for you, but I can tell you that it does taste good. You can fill this with whatever you want, but the ones I had in Israel were filled with coconut and they were, like INCREDIBLE! I haven’t forgotten them so I tried to recreate them.
Quick and Simple for a fast Friday! And plan a field trip to an ethnic market for the weekend. You will have fun and feel like you are in another country!
What is your favorite ethnic market?
Time to Make: About 15 minutes plus bake time
About 1/2 lb kadyif pastry (I had 1/2 a package left in the freezer and used this) Follow thawing instructions on box.
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1 can cream of coconut
About 1 c of sugar syrup
Preheat oven to 350. Pour butter over the kadayif and toss to coat. Put half of this in an 8 or 9″ square pan. Spread on the coconut cream. Put other half of kadayif on top. Sprinkle with a few drops of water. Bake until golden brown-about 45 minutes. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 t lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for about 5-7 minutes or until this forms a thin syrup. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool. Pour cooled syrup over hot pastry.