Baking and Finishing K’nafeh

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,027
    Chef Amy Riolo demonstrates how to bake and finish Pistachio K’nafeh.

    Amy Riolo: Hi! I am Amy Riolo. Today we are making Pistachio K'nafeh. We have just we have just finished assembling our K'nafeh, and I am going to show you how to weight the K'nafeh and refrigerate it, so that you can cut it bake it.

    All that we need to do is we have to take our finished K'nafeh and then we cover it with tin foil and we press the tin foil actually down right onto the top of the surface. You want to make sure that all of it is covered and that it's nice and even and flat, and then we take five pound weight and this can be any kind of weight you would like. It can be a bag of sugar, a bag of flour or regular weights, because we are working here today in the kitchen we have got pie weight, so I am going to actually put that bag of pie weights right on to the top. You can also use rice or beans, if you have them, and we are just going to transfer this to the refrigerator.

    You can do this to up to an hour or overnight, and the reason that we do this is because it really helps the K'nafeh, the strains to melt and to get more compressed into the filling. That way when we pour the syrup over, it grabs onto everything and it tastes really well. If we were to do it without doing that, the Kataifi would be lighter less dense or a little bit more difficult to eat. So we are going to transfer to refrigerator and we are going to leave it there for one hour or as early as overnight and then we will come back we will bake the K'nafeh.

    So it has been over an hour and now we can remove the weights from our K'nafeh and cut it. So I am just going to take this weight off and set them aside and take off our tin foil and you can see that the K'nafeh is kind of pressed down. It's much more compressed than it was before, and then we are just going to take a knife and we are going to even sized square. You can use whatever size you like, but I would like to make ones that are a little bit less than an inch.

    So I am going to make about seven lines across the top of our Pan here and we are cutting down. We are only going about three quarters of the way down. You don't want to go all the way down because if you do when you pour this syrup over the top it will just go right to the bottom and you won't get any of this syrup on the top of the K'nafeh and we will have an even consistency. So cut down about three quarters of the way and you can just patch if you get any little broken pieces as you go through. But you can see, if you want to do this in muffins or in mini muffin tins, you can have very easy little circular shapes or you can make the little nests as we talked about earlier.

    One of things that's very traditional in the Middle East -- I am going to make about five cuts going down this way -- but one of things that's very traditional in the Middle East is to make the Kataifi into little nest which looks like bird's nest and then fill them with the sweet cheese, which is like a sweet version of mozzarella kind of a cheese, and then they put little pine nuts on top and bake them. So it's looks like a little bird's nest and the pine nest look just like bird's egg. This is very cute and it's a very common sweet that is eaten.

    So we are just done, we have about 35 pieces now. We are going to put our extra here into the pan and what we can do now is bake this. This bakes for about an hour, maybe an hour and ten minutes, and we put it into our preheated oven, which is preheated to 350 degrees. So now our K'nafeh has its baking for about an hour and ten minutes; it's nice and golden brown, and we are going to go the oven and remove it.

    Sometimes I like to turn the K'nafeh during baking. If we rotate the pan during baking, it gets a nice even golden consistency, and this is what it looks like, when it's golden and when it's ready to serve. I am just going to cover it with some sweet syrup which we made earlier and because it's nice and hot and the syrup is cool. This is really going to grab onto the K'nafeh and make a nice delicious sweet dish. So this is why it's important not to cut down all of the way.

    you can pour it on but I'd like to label it on, because I think you can see what you are doing better and get a little bit more control, and then you just let this cool all the way to room temperature and then you can finish cutting it very carefully and then serve it. And there you have you Pistachio K'nafeh. Enjoy!