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Palestinian Knafeh, v 1.0

Ok it was our first time making knafeh (kunafa), the traditional Palestinian dessert (popular throughout the Middle East as well), so it doesn't quite look like what we had at a restaurant last year but the taste is very, very good and I wanted to share our latest experiment in the kitchen!

I first tasted knafeh/kunafa at a Turkish restaurant outside of Seattle and fell in love with its simplicity. Then after scoring some of the dough (some refer to it as shredded phyllo), I found this Palestinian recipe that offered some shortcuts which appealed to the newbie in me.

Unfortunately, the directions didn't tell me to chop up the knafeh dough up before pouring the butter into it, so it turned out initially to look like baked noodles! But other than that it was YUMMY.

Some subs I made:

  • Knafeh is VERY sweet, with a heavy sugar syrup at the core of its sweetness. So I made it with a lighter honey-based syrup. Just as good, I promise.

  • No pistachios on hand (my husband's favorite nut) so for the 'green and crunchy' I sprinkled some pepitas I had. Not ideal! So next time I'll do it differently.

  • We used Miyoko's organic vegan butter, a staple in our house as we veer away from more dairy. With that, it means the butter is white instead of yellow, so the dessert doesn't get nearly as golden-brown as one might be used to. The taste is still lovely!

Because our co-op has a sub-par selection of international cheeses (sigh...), we were stuck with using mozzarella, but for next time, I'm going to check the Mediterranean grocer that we are lucky enough to have 30 minutes north of us for the sweet cheese that is traditionally used in most versions of the dessert. I also am rarin' to try the 'mini-kunafa' video recipe I found for individual servings via muffin tins. She uses ricotta so I may incorporate that as well as Samish Bay Cheese makes a gorgeous organic ricotta just a few miles away....


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