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Quatayef with Cheese

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Qatayef is a special dessert, commonly served during Ramadan. Sometimes called "arabic pancakes", qatayef is filled with sweet cheese or nuts and then fried or baked. This is recipe is for cheese qatayef and is fried.

Ingredients:

  • **To Make the Pancakes**
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (wheat flour can also be used)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • **For the Filling**
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese (grated mozzarealla can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or grated lemon peel
  • **For the Syrup**
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom or rose water
  • 1/3 cup warm water

Preparation:

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water inside the measuring cup for 10 minutes, or until proofs (become frothy). If your yeast does not proof, it means the yeast is bad or the water was not warm enough or too hot. Remember that yeast is a live organism and needs the proper environment to work properly!

In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the proofed yeast and sugar water mixture. Combine well, cover, and allow to sit in a warm area for 30-45 minutes.

While pancake mix is proofing, prepare filling. In a small bowl, mix cheese with sugar. Add lemon juice and mix well, either by hand or in blender or processor. Cover and set aside.

This is now a good time to prepare the syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, add orange blossom or rose water. Stir well to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low and allow to sit until ready to use.

Preheat griddle or frying pan to medium high heat. Using a ladle, make a five inch pancake with the batter. Once the batter begins to bubble on top, remove pancake from griddle and set aside. Do not flip, you are only cooking one side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Preheat 1 inch of oil in a frying pan to medium high heat. While oil is heating, take one 1 tablespoon of nut filling and place it on top of the uncooked side of the pancake. Fold the pancake in half, to make a half moon shape and seal edges by pressing together. Repeat with remaining pancakes and filling.

Fry on each side until a light golden brown color (about 15-30 second each side). Drain on a towel lined plate.

Drizzle syrup generously over qatayef and serve immediately.
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