Ekmek Kataifi

A mouthwatering Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe for the lovers of the Greek cuisine! Ekmek kataifi is an all-weather Greek dessert made with layers of kataifi dough baked until crispy and golden, bathed in lemon scented syrup, topped with creamy thick custard and whipped cream and garnished with cinnamon and pistachios…Yummy! This is a very easy to follow Ekmek Kataifi recipe for you to recreate this traditional sweet delight from scratch. (See also the preparation shots below.)

This easy to follow ekmek kataifi recipe never fails to impress and is always a crowd pleaser. The essence of this traditional Ekmek kataifi recipe can be summarised in three key stages: preparing the syrupy kataifi basepreparing the creamy custard and preparing the airy whipped cream. Each stage will require using quite a few pots and pans, but i think you will agree that the end result is well worth the mess!

Ekmek kataifi recipe – Tips for the perfect creamy custard and whipped cream

The creamy custard is the most essential part for a traditional Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe and probably the trickiest part too. To achieve the perfect texture the key is to constantly whisk the milk while it is boiling, so that it doesn’t get lumpy. The perfect custard for your ekmek kataifi should be smooth and creamy. Prepare the custard over medium-low heat in order to prevent it from burning and sticking on the bottom of the pan, but be cautious not to undercook it. Give it a taste while stirring. Its ready when you can’t taste the flour and its texture is thick.

To prepare the whipped cream for this traditional ekmek to perfection, chill a clean bowl along with the whisk attachment from a stand mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes and make sure that your whipping cream is very cold. Be careful not to over beat the cream or else it will become like butter.

Ekmek kataifi recipe – Prepare the base

It is very important to defrost the kataifi dough overnight. The secret is to let it defrost in the fridge and not at room temperature as this will prevent it from getting soaked with melting ice water. When it comes to buttering, don’t be thrifty! Drizzle with enough butter to help the dough bake and get a golden brown colour. Plus butter adds plenty of extra yummy flavour! Kataifi dough is actually shredded phyllo dough and dries out very quickly, so it’s best to keep exposure to the air at a minimum. Work the dough gently with your hands on a large surface or over the sink, so that you don’t end up with a kitchen filled with scattered shredded dough, drizzle with butter and straight to the oven!

The key for the most flavorful homemade Ekmek Kataifi is to use good quality fresh butter for buttering. The authentic Greek ekmek kataifi recipe calls for ‘galaktos’ butter made from cow’s milk, which really gives a unique flavour and amazing smell! The base for the ekmek kataifi should be crispy and moist at the same time. To achieve that it is important that you bake the dough very well until its crispy and nicely golden, or else it will become mushy when pouring the cream over it. Ladling with the syrup is the final “gotcha” to this dish. Make sure that the syrup is lukewarm and your ekmek kataifi is cold. Always ladle the syrup over the cold pasty really slowly, enabling each ladle to be absorbed, so that the syrup is spread our evenly through the dough.

And the final step… Even though it will be really difficult to follow, you should wait for the ekmek kataifi to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours for a before serving! So go ahead, give this traditional Ekmek Kataifi recipe a try and indulge yourself to this little sin! And don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family using the social sharing buttons above and at the end of this recipe!

  • 250g kataifi dough (9 oz.)
  • 50g butter, melted (2 oz.)
  • 80-100g pistachios, chopped (3.5 oz.)
For the syrup
  • 200g sugar (7 oz.)
  • 200g water (4/5 of a cup)
  • lemon peel from half a lemon
  • 1 cinammon stick
For the custard
  • 750g whole milk, cold (3 cups)
  • 150g sugar (5.5 0z.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g corn starch (2.6 oz.)
  • 4-5 egg yolks (depending on the size of the eggs)
  • 75g butter (2.6 oz.)
  • a pinch of powdered mastic (optional)
For the whipped cream
  • 500g cold heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
  • 60g icing sugar (2 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract