Qatayef - Arabic Pancakes
A delicious cheese or nut filled dessert that is great for a dinner party. Not only is it delicious, but it is extremely easy to make. You will amaze your guests and have them believing you are a professional chef even if you're not.
Qatayef is a Middle Eastern dessert. Traditionally, it is served only during Ramadan, and often referred to as "Arabic Pancakes". It is a sweet and yummy dessert filled with either cheese or nuts and then deep fried. Your friends and family will be completely surprised when you serve this at your next dinner party. They will be even more surprised when you tell them you made it yourself.
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
1/8 teaspoon salt
For nut filling:
1 cups walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
For Cheese Filling:
8 oz. ricotta cheese (grated mozzarealla can be substituted)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or grated lemon peel
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange blossom or rose water
1/3 cup warm water
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water and set aside to rest for 10 minutes, or until the yeast proofs (becomes frothy).
In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Then add the proofed yeast 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 walnuts with sugar. Add orange blossom water if desired. Cover and set aside.
If you're making cheese filled qatayef, then 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.
To Make 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. Once all of the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat and set it aside until ready to use.
To Make the Pancakes
Preheat griddle or frying pan to medium high heat. Spray with non stick cooking spray to keep from sticking. 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. Your pancakes should look similar to the one in the image. Repeat until all batter has been used.
Preheat 1 inch of oil in a frying pan to medium high heat. While oil is heating, take one 1 tablespoon of filling* and place it on top of the uncooked side of the pancake.
Fold the pancake in half and seal edges by pressing together.
Repeat with remaining pancakes and filling.
Place filled pancakes in the heated oil and fry on each side until a light golden brown color (about 15-30 second each side).
Place on a towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.
* You fill the qatayef and fry them the same for both the nut and cheese filling.
Once you have fried all of the pancakes, arrange for display and drizzle syrup generously over qatayef and serve. Qatayef can be served both warm or cold depending on your preference. Hope you enjoy!! Let me know if you like them!!
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