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Kanafeh

With every bite of kanafeh, I think of the most joyous, warmest, and happiest times in my life because growing up in my Palestinian family meant that no celebration was complete without this incredibly cheesy, yet somehow delicately flavored, dessert. With a layer of cheese between two sheets of crispy phyllo dough, all drowned in a simple syrup bath, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory. It’s my personal favorite and I’m sure it will become yours, too!

Tasty Team
92% would make again
Total Time

30 minutes

30 min

Prep Time

20 minutes

20 min

Cook Time

10 minutes

10 min

Kanafeh
Total Time

30 minutes

30 min

Prep Time

20 minutes

20 min

Cook Time

10 minutes

10 min

Ingredients

for 8 servings

  • 12 oz ackawi cheese (340 g)
  • water, for soaking
  • 1 ½ lb kataifi (shredded phyllo dough) (635 g)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 oz sweet white cheese (340 g)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (150 g)
  • ¾ cup ghee (95 g), melted
  • 2 teaspoons powdered orange dye
  • 2 cups simple syrup (720 g)
  • ½ cup ground pistachios (60 g), for garnish

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 909
  • Fat 71g
  • Carbs 35g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugar 1g
  • Protein 33g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Soak the ackawi cheese in room temperature water for about 6 hours to reduce the saltiness.
  2. Add the kataifi to a food processor with the melted butter and pulse until the strands of phyllo have broken down to the size of rice grains. Transfer to a large bowl, then clean and dry the food processor bowl.
  3. Drain the ackawi, then add to the food processor with the sweet white cheese and process until the cheese is broken down to small, evenly-sized chunks.
  4. In a small bowl, stir the powdered orange dye into the ghee until the color is homogenous.
  5. Brush a 16-inch, round baking tray with the orange-dyed ghee. Reserve 1½ cups of the shredded phyllo, then sprinkle the rest over the baking sheet to cover completely, pressing down into a flat, even layer. Scatter the ackawi and sweet cheese mixture and the mozzarella cheese over the phyllo layer, then top with the reserved phyllo.
  6. Place the baking tray directly on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Cook, using tongs to shift and rotate the pan continuously to prevent burning, until the cheese is completely melted, 8–10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low if needed if the phyllo is browning too quickly.
  7. Place a second baking tray over the top of the kanafeh, then carefully flip over so the orange side of the kanafeh is facing upwards. Remove the top baking sheet, then quickly pour the simple syrup over the kanafeh and garnish with the ground pistachios.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Love this recipe? Download the Tasty app to save it and discover others like it.
Kanafeh