Authentic Knafeh or Kunafa holds so many memories. 😁
This past summer we went back to Amman for the first time in 6 SIX years. It feels like a lifetime. And in some ways it really is. We were so blessed to be able to visit and see family we hadn’t seen in a long time. We got to spend so much quality time with so many people.
But . . . let’s be real. We all LOVE to eat. And so we did just that. We ate so much amazing food. By far, my favorite, was going to the Balad and getting Knafeh. Habiba is known to have the best Palistinian Knafeh and it really never disappointed. It’s a little hole in the wall shop in the midst of the chaotic farmers market and local souk. It’s tucked in behind a little book stand. And lemme tell you, half the enjoyment comes from the experience.
Since we’re being real, NO Knafeh will ever compare, but when a craving hits you just gotta make it. This is my absolute favorite way to make Knafeh, and it has yet to fail me. I hope you’ll recreate this and enjoy it with your family and make it an experience of your own.Print
Crispy shredded filo dough and shredded gooey cheese soaked in a sweet syrup and topped with pistachios
- Prep Time: 25 Minutes
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Total Time: 40 Minutes
- Yield: 12-16 1x
- Category: Desserts
Melt your butter and set it aside. I like to do this in a clear container. The milk proteins will settle at the bottom. We only want to use the yellow part (fat) so the knafeh is crispy.
Chop your shredded filo dough into 1 inch pieces. Separate the strands and place into a bowl. Mix in the knafeh dye powder and distribute evenly.
Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until all the dough is coated in butter and evenly colored. Set aside.
Roughly break up your cheeses and chop on a food processor. You can also grate them.
To assemble, brush the bottom of your standard sheet pan with some ghee. Add 3/4 of the shredded filo dough and spread evenly. Cover with a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap and place another sheet pan on top. Press firmly with a lot of pressure to compact it down.
Remove the sheet pan and parchment paper and then evenly spread your cheese. Repeat the compacting process. Evenly spread the istha on the compacted cheese. Spread the remaining filo dough on top and compact one last time.
Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the melted cheese. Flip onto another sheet pan. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until the top is crisp and the cheese is melted.
Top with chopped pistachios and serve with simple syrup. Enjoy!
The Simple Syrup Recipe is the same as the one here.
You can use the ishta recipe here instead of buying prepackaged one. Only use half the quantity.
Make sure to coat the sheet pan with ghee so the knafeh doesn’t stick. Don’t use the leftover white part of the butter!
You can soak the whole knafeh in room temp simple syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven. I choose not to so everyone can dictate how sweet they want their slice.
Make sure the syrup is room temp and not hot, otherwise your knafeh will get soggy.
Reheat at 400 in for 3 minutes in the airfryer or for 30 seconds in the microwave. The airfryer makes it crispy again.
Keywords: knafeh, dessert, arabic, simple syrup