Kataifi (ka-ta-e-fee), also known as shredded wheat dessert, Kataifi, along with the more well known Baklava, is one of the most popular and delicious Greek Desserts. It is made with a special type of pastry called kataifi or kadaifi. The pastry is like angel hair pasta and when rolled up resembles shredded wheat. A delectable nutty centre is rolled inside crisp, thread like strands of pastry, baked, then soaked in a sweet syrup. Like many Greek dessert recipes a sweet syrup is poured over the cooked sweets, which keep them from drying out and preserves them. Some traditional Greek recipes use only almonds, but a mixture of walnuts, pistachios and almonds – even pecan nuts and pine nuts could also be used.
Kataifi should be treated in the same way as phyllo pastry with regards to thawing and storing.
450 g Kataifi pastry, thawed overnight
225 g butter, melted
50 g walnuts, finely chopped
50 g pistachios, finely chopped
50 g flaked almonds, finely chopped
125 ml sugar
5 ml ground cinnamon
1 ml ground cloves
1 egg white, lightly beaten
180 ml honey
500 ml sugar
625 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 ℃ and line a baking sheet with a Wizbake baking sheet.
- In a food processor, pulse your nut mixture until you’ve achieved a crumbly nut mixture. Empty into a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients of the filling.
- Unroll the Kataifi pastry and work the pastry with your hands, tearing apart the shreds and gently spreading it out a bit. Cover the Kataifi pastry with a damp towel.
- Work with one piece of pastry at a time and drizzle the surface of the Kataifi with melted butter.
- Spoon 15 ml of the nut mixture at one end of the Kataifi strip.
- Roll the strip up tightly into a small cylinder. Do the same with the rest of the pastry and filling.
- Pack the the assembled Kataifi rolls tighlty on the baking sheet and drizzle with some more of the melted butter.
- Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool.
- To make the syrup, combine all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and it bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Keep the syrup hot until your Kataifi has cooled from the oven. The Kataifi must be cool and the syrup hot!
- Using a ladle, pour 3/4 of the hot syrup over the kataifi.
- Set the Kataifi aside for 10 minutes. Ladle the rest of the syrup over the kataifi and allow to cool before serving.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.