If you like baklavah, you’ll never eat it again! Not after you taste this dessert I’d never even heard of until we had our book discussion/feast based on Nancy Mehagian’s foodoir, Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey. Nancy says this is actually an old (Armenian) family recipe, similar to what she remembers eating in Beirut, but with a bit of artistic license taken and her own touches added.
Serves 12 to 14
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 pound Kataif dough (available in Middle-Eastern specialty stores), thawed overnight in the refrigerator if frozen
1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 T orange water
1 t. rose water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Blend the cheeses, eggs and honey using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl begin pulling apart the dough, which comes twisted and shredded, with your fingers until all the strands are loose. Pour melted butter on the dough and toss lightly until the dough is coated with butter. Cover the bottom of a baking tray (approximately 10 by 14 by 2 inches) with half the buttered dough. Next, spoon the cheese filling on, stopping one inch from the sides. Spread the remaining dough on top.
Place tray on the lower rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes; then place on the top rack and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the dough is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To prepare syrup, boil honey, water, lemon juice, orange and rose waters together for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pour hot syrup over cooled pastry and serve slightly warm. To reheat, put in a 250 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Other Recipes from Nancy