Künefe is an awesome Turkish dessert that is very popular in the entire Middle East. This egg-free dessert tastes great but is super simple to make.
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This is my first post of 2019. Yes, I published another post on 1st but that was written in 2018 and that dish was also prepared in 2018. This is the post which I am writing on the 1st day of January'2019.
1st Jan is very special for me not only because I start a fresh year of life on this date like everyone else but also because it’s my dearest father’s birthday. My father is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet and he has a great sense of humor too. A very cute and innocent person with very high principles in life. He and my mother have played the most important roles in the life of my sister and me and we are grateful to God for choosing them as our parents.
Since it’s his birthday and he loves desserts, I decided to make something sweet today.
For a very long time, I was thinking of making a Turkish dish called Künefe also known as Kanafeh. I ate it for the first time around three years back during the National day celebration of UAE and loved it. Though not a big fan of very heavy desserts overloaded with dry fruits and butter or ghee, I loved this dessert. It doesn’t feel too heavy also.
The soft, melting cheese covered under a crispy, flaky layer tastes sooooooooooooooooo good that I can’t describe it in words. You need to try it to understand what I am trying to say.
I never imagined that this heavenly dessert will be this simple to make. It tastes great, it looks great but it’s super simple to make. What else can you ask for?
Step by step photo instructions
How to make Künefe?
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Making time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- Kunafa dough/ shredded phyllo pastry/ unsweetened Indian pheni: 2.5 cups
- Shredded mozzarella cheese: 1 cup
- Ricotta cheese: 1 cup
- Unsalted butter (at room temperature): 2 tablespoons
- Sugar: ½ a cup
- Water: 1 cup
- Yellow edible color (optional): 3-4 drops
- Finely crushed pistachio: ¼ cup
- Rose water: 1 teaspoon
- Lime juice: 1 teaspoon
- Take the Künefe dough in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of butter and a few drops of yellow color to it. Mix everything nicely
- Mix the ricotta and mozzarella cheese together in a bowl
- Grease a baking sheet and spread a thin and even layer of Künefe dough on it. You don’t need to cover the whole base of the baking tray. Spread it only up to the size you want for your Künefe
- Now spread a layer of cheese mixture on top of it
- Cover the cheese with remaining Künefe dough
- Put the tray in a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for around 15 minutes or till the crust starts becoming golden brown
- While the Künefe is getting baked, add sugar and water in a bowl and boil till the sugar gets dissolved completely. Once the sugar is dissolved, add in the lime juice and cook for another 10 minutes or till the sugar syrup becomes slightly thick. Switch off the gas and add in the rose water
- Once the Künefe is baked, take it out. Cover the baking tray with a plate and flip it over gently. Künefe is very delicate so do this step carefully
- Now spread the warm sugar syrup evenly on top of the Künefe
- Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve warm
- If you don’t have an oven, you can also cook it on a normal pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook till the crust turns golden brown.
- Though in an authentic way, Kunefe dough is used to make this dessert. I have experienced that it tastes even better if prepared with Indian pheni. Just make sure that the pheni is not sweet. You can buy pheni from any Indian grocery/ sweet shop.