Apopular Middle Eastern dessert. This delight has a buttery flavor coming fromGhee and consists of two layers. A crunchy layer of shredded phyllodough. However, we will not use Phyllo dough!!
Keyword kunafa, kunafa with cream, kunafeh
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 35minutes
Author Muna Kenny
EGG-FREE PASTRY CREAM INGREDIENTS
2cupslow fat milk
3 ½tablespoonscornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup low-fat milk
½teaspoonvanilla you can use rose water
100gm breadcrumbsAround one cup. Read notes.
THE SYRUP INGREDIENTS
Few drops of rose wateroptional
MAKING THE SYRUP
In a saucepan, add both water and sugar, mix for a few seconds and let it boil for 5 minutes. Keep aside to cool.
If you wish to add a flavoring to the syrup, do so after taking it off the heat.
MAKING THE EGG-FREE PASTRY CREAM
In a pan, add the milk, butter, and sugar. Stir for a few seconds and let it come to a simmer.
Add vanilla to the cornstarch mixture, add it to the milk and keep stirring to avoid forming lumps.
When the milk is thicker and covers the back of the spoon, and a straight line made by your finger stays clear, it is done.
Remove the pastry cream from heat, pour in a plate, wait for it to cool, cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
MAKING THE CRUST
- Grease an 8x8 inch square or round baking pan with few drops of butter and keep aside. Use a nonstick pan.
- Add one tablespoon of butter to the breadcrumbs and mix by hand; rub the mixture between your hands until well combined.
- Evenly spread the breadcrumbs in the greased pan and press it down with your hands or the back of a spoon.
- Evenly spread the cool pastry cream over the breadcrumbs.
- Bake the kunafa in a preheated oven 350F/180C, for half an hour or until the bottom is light brown. Make sure that the oven plate is placed instead of the oven rack. Oven plates usually come with the oven. Placing the oven plate in the oven and then heating it, allows the kunafa crust to get that beautiful golden-brown color.
- Take out the Kunafa from the oven. Keep the kunafa in the baking pan and after 10 minutes, flip it on a serving plate.
- Pour cool syrup on the hot Kunafa. Use only ¼ cup of syrup; it will be enough. You can use the whole half cup if you wish though.
- Garnish with crushed pistachios.
- Do not use skim milk; it will not tolerate the heat in the oven or on the stovetop and might burn quickly.- Do not use almond or soy milk.- Use white bread. Remove the brown edges before processing the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.- Make sure the oven is preheated, or the kunafa will take a longer time.- Before preheating the oven, make sure to place the oven plate in the oven instead of the oven rack. Heating the oven plate before placing the kunafa makes sure that you will get a golden-brown color to your kunafa.- Never pour hot syrup over hot kunafa. It will become soggy.- The syrup can be prepared ahead. It keeps well for a month in the fridge.- The pastry cream can stay up to 4 days in the fridge. Make sure to place the plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream to prevent the forming of hard skin over it.- This post was originally published in 2014. Updated with more details.