Greek Sweets…. Oh How I Love Them!
It’s a hate- love kind of relationship for me when it comes to Greek pastries and sweets. I love them, but my body doesn’t. No I am joking, but yes if I ate galaktoboureko once a week, I think I would have some severe weight issues!! 🙂
I wanted to share a wonderful Greek recipe with you from a place in Greece called Ioannina. I spent some time there and from what I remember their pastries were to die for! I had to adopt this recipe from a bakery in Ioannina, and now I am sharing it with you.
Kataifi Ioannina Style
- ¾ pound unsalted butter
- ½ pound blanched almonds (you can use walnuts too.)
- ½ cup ground rusks
- 1 tsp. grated orange rind
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2-3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 pound kataifi/shredded wheat pastry
- ½ pound thin commercial phyllo pastry
- For the Syrup
- 4 cups sugar
- 5 cups
- 2 tsp.strained fresh lemon juice
- To clarify butter:
- Place butter in a small saucepan and heat slowly over low heat.
- Remove pan from heat and cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
- With a spoon, skim the milky foam from the top of the butter and discard foam.
- Pour the remaining clarified butter in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 Celsius)
- Lightly butter a 9x12x3 inch baking pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the nuts, ground rusks, orange rind, cinnamon, and sugar, set aside.
- To prepare the kataifi dough, remove from refrigerator and unwrap. Do the same with the phyllo dough. You will only use half of each pastry.
- Make sure to keep both pastries covered, as they will dry out if you don’t cover with a slightly damp cloth.
- Start by layering the phyllo, one sheet at a time on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- Brush each sheet with the clarified butter.
- Spread half the kataifi over the phyllo dough, and brush with clarified butter.
- Spread the nut mixture over the kataifi pastry.
- Cover the remaining kataifi over the nut mixture.
- Use the remaining phyllo to layer over the kataifi, and brush with butter.
- Once done, tuck the phyllo sheets into the corners and brush with remaining butter.
- Score lightly into diamonds.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown.
To Prepare The Syrup:
- In a medium size saucepan combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil.
- Simmer uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add in the lemon juice, remove from heat.
- When the baking pan is done, remove from oven and spoon over the warm syrup. (Very similar to baklava.)
- Cool before serving.
*Having trouble finding kataifi dough, click on the link below.