Kunefe (Sweet Cheese Pastry) Recipe
Kunefe is one of our traditional desserts. But for some reason, unlike kadayif and baklava, it is usually in the category of "desserts eaten outside", it is not often made at home. However, it is no different from kadayif in terms of construction difficulty. Cheese is used instead of walnuts or peanuts.
What is Kunefe Cheese?
I admit, it's not easy to find this cheese. For those who don't know, künefe is made with a special cheese produced in Hatay. But there are no alternatives. I tried it before with mozzarella and unsalted buffalo cheese. The result was the same for all of them. It is probably not a substitute for Hatay künefe cheese for someone accustomed to Hatay künefe. However, it is suitable for those who are not so addicted like me. In fact, I confess that it is more edible for me than the künefe I ate in places where I was taken, as I would not die without eating the künefe of this place.
Because I normally can't eat künefe. I get incredibly uncomfortable when all the cheese in the dessert comes into my mouth. Since the cheeses I use in my own making are not that dominantly sweet, I can eat them very easily. Again, out of the blue, I wouldn't say eat it even if it's a künefe, künefe doesn't have such an appeal to me. But at least I can do it for my friends who love it and accompany it this way.
What is the serving size
With these materials, a 15 cm thick künefe comes out. Ideal for 2 people. But if you want to make it thinner and smaller, you can also make it in 2 portions on 2 separate 12 cm künefe plates. By the way, I prefer to make it in a cast iron pan instead of a künefe plate. It cooks more evenly because the bottom is thicker. While the künefe plate is getting close to burning in places, there are places where it is not fried. Of course, this is probably due to my inability. But if you haven't made künefe at home before, you will probably face the same situation. After all, none of us are künefe masters and we will never make enough künefe to master it. But it is possible to close this gap with this kind of trick.
- 150 g of kadaif
- 125 g of unsalted, shredded mozzarella cheese or any other white, stringy, unsalted cheese,
- 3 heaping spoons of butter.
- 1 cup of sugar,
- 1 cup of water,
- A few drops of lemon juice.
- In a medium pot, combine sugar, water and lemon juice, put on the stove,
- Let it boil for 15 mins., then remove from heat and let it cool,
- Melt the butter,
- Chop the kataifi,
- Place half of kataifi in a 15 cm pan and press hard with your hands,
- Pour half of the melted butter over,
- Press with your hands very hard (make all kataifi stick together very well),
- Place sliced mozzarella cheese on top,
- Place the remaining kataifi on top, add butter,
- Press again with your hands,
- Put on the stove in low heat,
- Cook until the bottom turns golden, constantly turning the pan,
- Then turn the kunefe upside down and cook under again constantly turning the pan,
- Remove from heat and pour syrup immediately,
- You can garnish with ground pistachios,
- Serve immediately.