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

Ingredients:

  • 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
Directions:
  1.  To clarify butter:
  2. Place butter in a small saucepan and heat slowly over low heat.
  3. Remove pan from heat and cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. With a spoon, skim the milky foam from the top of the butter and discard foam.
  5. Pour the remaining clarified butter in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 Celsius)
  7. Lightly butter a 9x12x3 inch baking pan.
  8. In a bowl, stir together the nuts, ground rusks, orange rind, cinnamon, and sugar, set aside.
  9. 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.
  10. Make sure to keep both pastries covered, as they will dry out if you don’t cover with a slightly damp cloth.
  11. Start by layering the phyllo, one sheet at a time on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  12. Brush each sheet with the clarified butter.
  13. Spread half the kataifi over the phyllo dough, and brush with clarified butter.
  14. Spread the nut mixture over the kataifi pastry.
  15. Cover the remaining kataifi over the nut mixture.
  16. Use the remaining phyllo to layer over the kataifi, and brush with butter.
  17. Once done, tuck the phyllo sheets into the corners and brush with remaining butter.
  18. Score lightly into diamonds.
  19. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown.

To Prepare The Syrup:

  1. In a medium size saucepan combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Add in the lemon juice, remove from heat.
  4. When the baking pan is done, remove from oven and spoon over the warm syrup. (Very similar to baklava.)
  5. Cool before serving.

Image

*Having trouble finding kataifi dough, click on the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Athens-Kataifi-Dough-Shredded-Phyllo/dp/B000LQMXI0

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