Greek Ekmek Kataifi is a scrumptious layered dessert of syrupy crispy Kataifi pastry, topped with creamy pastry cream, airy whipped cream, ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pistachios) and ground cinnamon. This recipe for Ekmek Kataifi is one of the best!
Kataifi Ekmek recipe I usually make it on special occasions and celebrations. It's one of my go-to desserts for the Easter table. It yields a good amount of portions to feed a crowd and everyone loves it, it's always a hit!
Table Of Contents
What Is Kataifi?
Kataifi is a pastry dough just like phyllo dough. The only difference is that Kataifi dough is shredded into fine threads. Finer than angel hair pasta. It is used in making the same types of dishes just like phyllo (filo) dough. For example, crispy syrupy desserts like these Crispy Kataifi Bites. Or to make the popular Turkish dessert Kunefe.
What Is Ekmek?
The word Ekmek comes from Turkey. In Turkish Ekmek means bread. This dessert probably got its name from its original version, of stale bread drizzled with syrup and served with cream. Therefore, the Ekmek meaning is a dessert that has a syrupy base of kataifi or bread and has cream on top. If it is made with Kataifi we call it Ekmek Kataifi or in Turkish Ekmek Kadayifi, Kadaifi, or Kadaif.
See My Other Ekmek Recipes:
Kataifi Cheesecake Ice Cream Torte is a must-try kadaif recipe.
What Does Kataifi Ekmek Taste Like?
This Ekmek Greek dessert tastes like Baklava topped with pastry and whipped cream. The base is crispy and syrupy with chopped almonds and cinnamon (just like Baklava) and the cream is moderately sweet and very creamy providing the perfect balancing contrast to the sweet base.
Where Do I Find Kataifi?
Kataifi dough you can find it frozen usually next to phyllo dough in grocery stores. If you can't find it there, then try a Middle Eastern store.
How To Pronounce Kataifi
Here's how to pronounce Kataifi like a Greek, Ka-ta-i (sounds like e)-fi (sounds like fe). So it's Ka-ta-e-fe.
How To Make Ekmek Kataifi
To make this Ekmek Kataifi recipe do it one step at a time. It's not too difficult. The dough is very easy to work with and if you have made pastry cream before then it will be easy peasy for you. Here are the steps...
- Make the syrup. And let it cool down to room temperature.
- Prepare the Kataifi base. Pull apart the threads and make it fluffy, drizzle with melted butter, ground almonds, and cinnamon. Fluff it a bit for the nuts to spread evenly.
- Bake until crispy.
- Soak the base with syrup. Ladle the cooled syrup on the hot, baked Kataifi. Allow to cool down to room temperature.
- Make the pastry cream and spread it on the base. Allow to cool.
- Whip the cream and spread it on top.
- Smoothen the surface of the whipped cream with a spoon and then create decorative lines with a fork.
- Sprinkle ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pistachios) and ground cinnamon on top.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours aaand it's ready to be served!
Pan Size And Portions
To make this recipe I use a standard 9 x 13-inch pan ( 23 x 33 cm). You can use a slightly bigger pan though but not a smaller one because the dessert will get too tall and will be difficult to serve.
As for the portions, you can cut it into 12 (3x4) or 15 (3x5) square pieces that will be big enough and filling. If you want smaller square pieces cut it into 20 pieces (4x5) this is best after a big meal or a celebration with many people though I'm pretty sure they will ask for a second piece!
You can make the Kataifi base ahead of time and place it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days before adding the cream on top.
Ekmek dessert will keep nicely in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can't freeze this dessert because the texture of the cream will get ruined.
Ekmek Kataifi Calories
I'm afraid I don't have any good news when it comes to Ekmek Kataifi calories. If you cut the dessert into 15 pieces then each piece comes with 600 kcal. And if you cut it into 20 pieces then each piece will be 450 kcal. Please note that these are calculations from a plugin and might not be 100% accurate.
Greek Ekmek Kataifi - Shredded Phyllo And Cream Dessert
For The Syrup:
- 400 grams (2 cups) sugar
- 400 ml water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 stick of cinnamon
For The Kataifi Base:
- 350 grams (12.3 ounces) Kataifi dough thaw in the fridge overnight
- 180 grams (6.3 ounces) butter melted
- 60 grams (2.1 ounces) almonds finely chopped
- ⅔ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For The Pastry Cream:
- 900 ml milk
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 150 grams (¾ cup) sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 100 grams (12 tablespoons) corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For The Whipped Cream:
- 550 grams (2⅓ cups) heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons sugar
For Decorating On Top:
- 60 grams (2.1 ounces) walnuts, pistachios, or almonds finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make The Syrup:
- NOTE: The syrup needs to be cooled when added to the Kataifi pastry, therefore, you must make it first and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
- Add all of the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan or small cooking pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Boil the syrup for 6 minutes (counting time from the moment it boils and bubbles hard) do not stir!
- Set aside to cool.
Make The Kataifi Base:
- Preheat oven to 170°C / 340°F.
- Mix the 60 grams of chopped almonds with the ⅔ teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside.
- Add the Kataifi dough to a 9 x 13 inch pan (33 x 23 cm). Start to pull apart the shreds to separate them from each other and fluff them. Make sure there are no lumps left.
- Drizzle with melted butter on top. Fluff the kataifi for the butter to spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the almonds and cinnamon on top. Fluff the kataifi once more for the almonds to submerge and spread evenly (if they stay on the surface they will burn while the pastry bakes).
- Bake the Kataifi pastry for 50 minutes to 1 hour until honey-colored on top and crispy.
- Ladle the syrup on the baked pastry right as you get it out of the oven.
- Allow to cool down to room temperature and absorb the syrup (See Note 1 below).
Make The Pastry Cream:
- Heat milk, sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a small cooking pot or large saucepan over medium-low heat until steamy hot.
- Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and cornstarch inside a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs while constantly stirring the eggs vigorously with a whisk (See Note 2 below).
- Transfer all of the milk mixture into the eggs. Then transfer everything back to the cooking pot.
- Cook the cream stirring almost constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
- Spread the cream over the Kataifi pastry and smoothen the surface with a spoon.
- Allow to cool down to room temperature.
Make The Whipped Cream:
- Add the whipped cream to a large mixing bowl or your stand mixers bowl and begin beating with the whisk attachment at medium speed (See Note 3 below).
- Add the sugar in one tablespoon at a time and gradually increase the speed to high.
- Beat until stiff peaks form and the traces of the whisk stay on the surface cream.
- Spread over the custard. Smoothen the surface with a spoon and then you may decorate creating lines with a fork as shown in the pictures in the post above.
- Sprinkle the walnuts (or nuts of your preference) on top and the 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Cut and serve to 12 or 15 square pieces.