AMPAL


Recipes

Desserts

Baklava

A universal dessert. Baklava is known in many cultures including the Middle East, Greek, Eastern Europe, and even in Western Europe and the United States. Each culture has its unique mixture and ingredients combination. The one listed below is just one of the many possibilities. Honey is used here as a topping syrup, but you can use home-made syrup made from white cane sugar, or, you can serve it dry.
1 1/2 pounds chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pound melted sweet butter
2 pounds Athens thin Fillo
1 cup honey
To make the stuffing, combine and mix walnuts, sugar and cardamom. Set aside.
Brush a baking dish measuring about 9x13x2 inch with some of the melted butter.
Spread one Fillo sheet flat in the pan, brush with about 1 teaspoon butter. Stack about 15 Fillo sheets using this method.
Spread one half of the stuffing mixture on the Fillo sheets.
Spread and butter about five Fillo sheets on top of the first layer of stuffing.
Spread the remaining half of the stuffing on top.
Spread and butter about 15 Fillo sheets to make the top and final layer. Use more butter if you run out, or use less for each Fillo layer.
With a sharp knife, cut in diamond, or square shapes.
Pour remaining melted butter on top.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the surface turns light golden color.
Pour honey over Baklava. When at room temperature, transfer individual pieces onto a serving dish.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.

 

Konafa

The dough for this pastry can be purchased frozen at Middle Eastern stores, health food stores or your local grocery store. It looks like vermicelli or shredded wheat, only soft, white, and uncooked Shell
1 pound Konafa pastry
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
Cream Filling
4 tablespoons cream of rice (or finely ground rice)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cups milk
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Syrup
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rose water
Prepare the cream filling by mixing the cream of rice, sugar and 1/2 cup milk to form a smooth paste.
Bring the 2 cups milk to a boil, then add the rice paste to the boiling milk slowly with continuous stirring.
Let simmer with continuous stirring until very thick. Ensure that it does not lump or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Allow the milk mixture to cool, then add the heavy cream. Mix well.
Prepare the syrup by stirring the sugar, water and lemon juice over medium heat until thick to the point that it coats the metal spoon.
Add rose water and cook with stirring for a few more minutes until well mixed.
Remove from heat and cool slightly in the refrigerator.
To prepare the Konafa, pull out and separate half Konafa pastry strands.
Pour half of the melted butter over the konafa pastry. Work the pastry to ensure that each strand is coated with the butter.
Spread the pastry on the bottom of a 9x9x2 inches oven dish.
Pour cream filling on the pastry.
Cover the cream filling with the rest of the pastry strands using the same method described above.
Bake in an oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until slightly golden in color.
Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cold syrup over the hot Konafa.
Serve hot or cold.

 

Basbousa

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cups almonds, chopped
1/2 cup yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup semolina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whipped cream
Syrup
1 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon rose water (optional)
In a frying pan, melt the butter and fry the almonds in the butter until slightly brown. Strain the butter to remove the almonds bits. Set aside, keep at room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the yogurt and sugar until creamy.
In the mixing bowl, combine with the yogurt and sugar mixture the almonds, their frying butter, semolina, baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
Pour the mixture into a well oiled oven pan measuring about 9x9x2 inches.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by stirring the sugar, water and lemon juice over medium heat until thick to the point that it coats the metal spoon.
Add rose water (optional) and cook with stirring for a few more minutes until well mixed.
Remove from heat and cool slightly in the refrigerator.
Remove the Basbousa from the oven and pour the cold syrup over the hot Basbousa.
Cut into diamond shapes, then bake in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Pour melted butter over Basbousa, then spread whipped cream over it.

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