• Nikki Glekas

KATAIFI


This is a truly delicious dessert that is a lot of fun to make. Kataifi is a lot like Baklava, it consists of a sweet, crunchy nutty filling wrapped tightly in phyllo dough, baked until crispy, then soaked in a fragrant syrup before serving. I love making this for parties because it’s a real showstopper. The shredded phyllo is very pretty and bakes into a light, crunchy exterior. It can be a little messy to eat, but it’s worth it!

I recommend preparing the filling in the food processor before you begin working with the phyllo. Working with the phyllo takes time and your hands will become lightly floured as you go. Make sure you have a clean surface with plenty of space to work on. You need to divide the phyllo into evenly sized haystacks and then spoon the filling into each one and wrap it like a biscuit before placing it in the baking tray.

As the dessert bakes prepare the syrup and allow it to cool to room temperature. In order for the syrup to properly absorb into the phyllo it must be cool while the phyllo is hot. Conversely, if you are short on time, pull the baked Kataifi out of the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. When you return later you can make the syrup fresh and pour the hot syrup over the cooled phyllo. So long as one part is warm and the other is cool the process will work.

As the dessert bakes prepare the syrup and allow it to cool to room temperature. In order for the syrup to properly absorb into the phyllo it must be cool while the phyllo is hot. Conversely, if you are short on time, pull the baked Kataifi out of the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. When you return later you can make the syrup fresh and pour the hot syrup over the cooled phyllo. So long as one part is warm and the other is cool the process will work.

Serve these warm if you can, that’s when they taste the best. Yes, they are be a little crumbly when you eat them, but that’s the fun of it. If you are having a more formal event you can always serve them with a fork and knife.

You’ll find this dessert throughout Greece and in many other parts of the world. I highly recommend you try it the first chance you get, it is absolutely delicious!


KATAIFI

This is a traditional Greek dessert that is similar to Baklava, but uses shredded phyllo. It’s crispy, delicious and a fun to serve because it’s made in individual pieces.


Makes 15 pieces

  • 1 Box of Kataifi phyllo

  • ¾ cup almonds

  • ¾ cup walnuts

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground cloves

  • Zest from 1 orange

  • 1 ¼ cup butter, melted


Syrup

  • 3 cups of sugar

  • 2 ½ cup water

  • Lemon peel

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

  2. In a food processor finely chop the almonds and walnuts.

  3. Transfer the nut mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. Pour in half the melted butter and stir everything together.

  4. Divide your phyllo into 15 equal parts on a clean countertop. They should look like little haystacks.

  5. Butter each piece of phyllo with the remaining melted butter.

  6. Scoop a big tablespoon of the nut mixture into each piece of phyllo, making sure they are all about roughly the same size and the nut mixture is all used up.

  7. Roll each piece of phyllo up into a log that’s about 3-inches long and place it in the prepared 9x13 baking dish.

  8. Lay in a butter 9 x 13 pan

  9. Pour extra butter on top and top with a sprinkle of extra nut mixture

  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

  11. Make the syrup immediately by combining the sugar, water, and lemon peel in a saucepan and bringing the heat to medium until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before continuing.

  12. For the syrup to absorb properly, one of the elements must be hot, while the other is cool. Remove the phyllo from the oven, and while it is still hot pour the room temperature syrup on top of it and allow it to absorb completely.

  13. Once the syrup is absorbed, serve them warm.






Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact team@nikkiglekasevents.com or call 203.658.8659.

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