ΕΚΜΈΚ ΚΑΤΑΪ́ΦΙ – Greek Ekmek Kataifi
A Greek dessert perfect for a hot summer. It became known to us by the Greeks of Constantinople aka Istanbul and now we cannot do without it in any celebration. Luscious layers of kataifi fillo drenched in sugar syrup flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom and lemon peel, followed by the vanilla cream patisserie, topped with a layer of cloud-like scented with orange blossom water and rose water Chantilly cream, then finished with ground cinnamon and chopped walnuts for that crunchy element. Perfection! Every bite is a piece of heaven in your mouth!
- 1 packet of kataifi pastry (I use the Antoniou brand of 375g found in Greek grocery stores)
- 100 g butter melted
Spiced Sugar Syrup
- 3 cup water
- 3 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cardamom pods crushed open
- 2 lemon peels
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Vanilla Cream Patisserie
- 1.100 ml full cream milk
- 150 g caster sugar (or more to your taste, I don’t like it too sweet)
- 100 g cornflour
- 2 free range eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or more if you like)
- 600 ml cream (full fat)
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp rose water optional
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom water optional
- Chopped walnuts or chopped pistachios
- Ground cinnamon
- Kataifi base + Sugar syrup Preheat the oven to 180C. Unpack the Kataifi pastry inside your baking tray and with your fingers untangle and fluff it up. Spread it evenly over the surface of your tray and pour the melted butter over it. Bake until golden brown, 15mins approximately.
- In a saucepan add all the ingredients for the sugar syrup, except for the lemon juice, mix over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil for 5 minutes, add the lemon juice boil for 2 more minutes. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and strain to remove the cardamom seeds. With a ladle pour over the kataifi as soon as it’s out of the oven and let it soak up the syrup and cool. (We don't want for either the kataifi pastry or the syrup to be cold, both must be hot.)
- Vanilla Cream Patisserie In a bowl, mix the 100ml of milk, the cornflour, the eggs and the egg yolks with a whisk & set aside. In a large pot, pour the remaining milk, the sugar, the vanilla and over medium heat warm it up without bringing to boil.
- Turn off the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar, then with a ladle start pouring slowly some milk to the bowl with the egg / cornflour mixture whisking continuously so the eggs won’t scramble. Continue tempering the egg mixture until half of the milk is used.
- Return the egg / cornflour mixture to the pot with the milk & over low-medium heat keep whisking until the cream patisserie becomes thick and creamy. Bubbles will start popping at the surface so keep whisking for 1-2 minutes more.
- Before removing from the heat, taste the cream patisserie for right amount of sweetness to your liking and to make sure cornflour is not detected, otherwise continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes. Once the kataifi has cooled down pour the cream patisserie and spread evenly. Cover the top with cling film so it doesn't create a skin and let it cool in the fridge.
- Cream Chantilly In a bowl beat the whipping cream with the sugar, the rose water and the orange blossom water if you’re using, until light and fluffy.
- Once cream patisserie has cooled in the fridge spread the cream Chantilly on top evenly and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon followed by the walnuts or pistachios or both if you like! Return the Ekmek kataifi to the fridge and serve cold.