Kataifi is a very fine vermicelli-like pastry. Sometimes known a "shredded phyllo". Basically it's like a cousin to the Baklava. You can find it in any Middle Eastern store but sometimes I can find it in my local supermarket. You have to work very fast with it so it doesn't dry up and keep it moist. You can do various fillings but this is my husband's favourite. He grew up with this as he originally is from Turkey.
Most Turkish women I find there don't make it at home themselves because all over the cities they have these cute lil' Pastry shops filled with any kind of "phyllo" pastry thing you can imagine. So why bother with some of this labour intense baking.
But I find living in Toronto not too many Turkish pastry shops unless I go to a Greek pastry shop I will find some kind of homemade tasting 'phyllo' dessert......... but me being a good wife learned to whip these desserts for myself.
This dessert has an alarming and heart attack amount of butter and sugar but hey a lil' piece goes a long way.
Source; On the back of frozen Cedar Kataifi box.
16 oz. [1lb.] Kataifi, defrosted
1 lb. walnuts, finely chopped
1 lb. [2 cups] butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 deg . F.
Tear 1/2 of Kataifi into small shreds. Spread evenly over bottom of ungreased 15" x 10" baking pan.
In medium bowl, combine walnuts.
Spread evenly over the Kataifi in pan.
Tear remaining Kataifi into small shreds. Place evenly over mixture pressing lightly................
Spoon butter evenly over the entire surface of Kataifi.
Bake for 30 to 40minutes until golden brown.
Spoon syrup over Kataifi immediatley after removing from oven.
Let stand covered at least 30 minutes before serving warm.
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice, fresh
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.......bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and then pour over hot baked Kataifi.
Makes 36 servings.
Shredded Kaifi dough in pan.
Chopped walnuts on top of Kataifi shredded dough. Sometimes I like to add in chopped piatschio's, but that day didn't have any on hand. It gives it a lil' green colour.