And you say I can't make knefe :)
When people speak about knefe or künefe in Turkey, they always say that the best knefe is in Antakya or Hatay or Adana region. Anyway, all these places are close to each other. Last December during Sacrifice holiday ( Kurban Bayram) my husband and I went to his hometown Iskenderun and visited his friends and of course travelled around as I still have a soul of a tourist in Turkey. After spending three days in there and drinking hundreds of glasses of Turkish tea and instant coffee ( Nescafe as they call), I was ready to try the famous knefe in Antakya. So with my husband we spend the whole day travelling around the area and finally stopped in one place to have a go on it. To my surprise, there was the whole street devoted to this delight and it seemed that people in Antakya eat only knefe. My husband even phoned his friend for advice which place to go to in order to taste the BEST knefe! Here we go... it was definitely sweet, crispy and just like the one I made!!! ( I hope the Turkish won't read this sentence as they would really laugh at me!!!) Below you can see Antakya from a hilltop leading to St Peter's Church.
And one more photo of not a very beautiful part of Antakya but still charming... As a taxi driver told us, not far from this place they were filming a Turkish soap opera Asi... and they were really proud of it!
And now it's time for knefe. Knefe is made from a very fine vermicelli-like pastry which is sometimes known as shredded phyllo or kadayif.
In Turkey, kadayif pastry is used for making künefe. Kadayif is not rolled around the cheese as in other regions. Cheese is put in between two layers of kadayif. It is cooked in small copper plates, served very hot in syrup with clotted cream "kaymak" and pistachio/walnut.
Often the top layer of kadaif pastry is colored using orange food coloring. Crushed pistachios are typically sprinkled on top as a garnish. But here's how I made it:
What we need:
200gr Shredded pastry
125gr unsalted butter , melted
2 tbsp milk
200 gr white cheese, unsalted
I also used some nuts for decoration
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Prepare the syrup by adding the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer for few minutes.
2. Place half of the shredded pastry ( kadayf) into a baking tray ( a thin layer). Brush with melted butter.
3. Add the cheese.
4. Put the remaining dough. Brush with the butter again.
5. Preheat the oven 185C and bake it until it gets light brown. When it's ready, take it out and immediately pour the lukewarm syrup all over evenly.
6. Traditionally I serve it with kaymak or vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!