Kunafa is traditionally eaten during Ramadan. A good cheese Kunafa is about as hard to find as a needle in a haystack but this recipe is it; you will never bother with anymore. An easy trick to browning your Kunafa is to sit the cake pan on the oven eye for a few seconds to lightly brown after it is taken from the oven. In addition, it is a good idea to shred some of that pastry with your hands unless you want huge strings that are not easy to work with. You can even cut it into small pieces if you have the time.
For the syrup:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water
1. On low heat, add sugar, water, lemon juice and flavored water. Stir until thick. Allow to cool in refrigerator.
1 pound mozzarella
1/2 pound ricotta
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom water or rose water
1. In a food processor add mozzarella, ricotta, sugar and flavored water, mix well. Set aside.
1 pound of defrosted Kataifi (knafi)
2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
Pistachios to garnish
1. Place kataifi in a large bowl with butter, mix and untangle strings with hands. In a 10-11 inch pie pan, place half of pastry in the bottom. Add cheese filling, pressing down with hand, add remaining of pastry strings. Bake in a 325 F over for 45 minutes.
2. After pastry has baked, place the pan on the stove eye for a few seconds to make top brown and not pale. With a butter knife, go around kunafa, place plate on top and flip. Decorate with nuts. I grind mine in a processor. You can get creative now. I add the sugar syrup before and after. However, I sit most of it on the table and let people decide how much they want.
Yields: 8 servings
Adapted from Arabsque