Knafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with cheese. This recipe, from Tawlet Paris, uses golden-brown breadcrumbs to soak up the floral sweetness that comes from orange-blossom water as well as a simple sugar syrup.
- 3 cups breadcrumbs
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp butter divided
- 1 L 2% or whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup fine semolina
- 1 drop mastiha ground
- 2 tbsp orange-blossom water
- 1 kg desalted akkawi cheese or mozzarella grated
- 30 g ground pistachios
- 60 g sugar syrup see note
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat frying pan over medium heat. Melt ½ cup of the butter; add breadcrumbs and fry, stirring, until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a large pot, combine milk, sugar, semolina and mastiha and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until creamy. Stir in orange-blossom water.
- Rub a shallow oven dish with the remaining 2 tbsp butter, then sprinkle over half of the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle cheese over breadcrumbs, then top with an even layer of the semolina cream. Top with the rest of the breadcrumbs.
- Bake until light golden and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Serve hot, drizzled with sugar syrup and sprinkled with ground pistachios.