Konafa is a tooth-achingly delicious Arabic pastry. It is sure to have you hooked from the first bite!
One 16oz. package of Kataifi shredded phyllo dough (found at any Arabic or Mediterranean grocery store)1 stick of butter1 teaspoon of orange blossom water2 cups of ricotta cheese (16 ounces)
For the syrup:
1 cup of sugar1 ½ cups of water½ of a lemon*If you would like the konafa to be softer, make more syrup by doubling the syrup recipe.
Directions:Remove the Kataifi shredded fillo dough from the package and place in a large bowl.
Using your hands, delicately pull apart the dough to separate the strands as much as possible.
Next, melt the butter over low heat and then pour the melted the butter over the fillo dough. Work the melted butter into the dough thoroughly, with your hands.
Then, take half of the buttered fillo dough, and press it onto a round baking pan. Use a butter knife to spread the ricotta cheese on top of the dough, making sure you distribute it evenly. Try not to get any ricotta cheese too close to the edges.
Next, press the remaining fillo dough on top of the cheese. Using your fingers, try to seal the edges of the pastry a bit. Because the dough is buttered, it makes this task quite easy.
Last, sprinkle the orange blossom water over the pastry, and then bake in the oven at 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Pour the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Wash the lemon and add to the saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook at low heat for 15 minutes.
When the edges of the pastry start to get slightly brown, switch the pastry to the top rack of the oven. When the top of the pastry becomes golden brown, remove from the oven.
Immediately, pour the syrup over the konafa. Make sure you leave about 2 tablespoons of syrup for later. Wait a few minutes to let the konafa absorb the syrup.
Then put a serving platter upside down over the baking pan, and invert it so that the konafa is place on the platter. Pour the remaining syrup over the konafa and serve immediately. Konafa is best when its warm!