1 hour

    A delicious Palestinian dessert that everyone will love. Shredded filo pastry is blended with clarified butter, pressed into a tin, topped with a layer of creamy sweet cheese, baked and then drenched in a rose water syrup. The cheese filling is traditionally made from Nabulsi cheese that is desalted. The ricotta-mozzarella mix is a great substitute.

    60 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 450g shredded filo dough (kataifi)
    • 425g ricotta cheese
    • 120g grated mozzarella cheese
    • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 340g unsalted butter
    • For the syrup
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 125ml water
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon rose water

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    2. Use a food processor to finely chop the frozen, shredded filo dough. The strands should be about the size of a grain of rice. Pour the dough into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella and 5 tablespoons sugar.
    3. Place the butter in a large liquid measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Heat the butter in a microwave until completely melted and let it sit for several minutes until a thick white foam has formed on top. Clarify the butter by using a spoon to skim off the foam.
    4. Carefully pour the butter into the bowl of filo dough. Avoid pouring in the white milk solids at the bottom of the clarified butter. Use your hands to mix the butter and dough together. Make sure that the butter is absorbed by taking handfuls of the dough and rubbing it between your palms.
    5. Evenly spread the buttered filo dough into a 20x30cm tin and firmly press it into the bottom and edges. Spread the cheese mixture onto the dough, avoiding the edges of the tin.
    6. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is slightly golden and the edges of dough are brown and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.
    7. While the kanafeh is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine the water and 100g sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the lemon juice. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not let the mixture turn golden and caramelise.) Remove from heat and add the rose water; set aside.
    8. Remove the kanafeh from the oven. Place a large plate or baking tray over the baking dish. Using oven mitts, carefully invert the baking dish onto the plate so the filo is on top. Pour the syrup over the kanafa. Cut into pieces and serve while hot.

    Shredded filo dough

    Also known as kataifi, this can be found in Greek or Middle Eastern speciality shops or online.

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    Reviews in English (17)


    I'm Palestinian and love your recipe ,i agree  -  10 Aug 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    MMM delicious!! make sure you serve it with chopped pistachios!  -  16 May 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Its great , just make sure you use the shredded dough n then shread it in small grain size .i made a mistake by using the regular dough n shredding it, though the taste was awesome ,the texture was completly messed up.  -  23 May 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)