Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
My Dad is Palestinian and this was his FAVORITE dessert. I had it as often as he could find it or convince my Mom to make it while I was growing up. I am surprised how difficult it can be to find this in middle eastern eateries. So I thought I'd finally post the secret recipe. It is simple and delicious. The cheese doesn't have to be goat, just on the sweet/not salty side, fresh mozzarella works, just soak it to remove some salt if needed.
- 1 (16 ounce) boxshredded phyllo dough
- 8 ounces butter, unsalted
- 1 1⁄2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 lb fresh goat cheese or 1⁄2 lb light cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
- Make Syrup first:.
- Bring water and sugar to a boil, reduce heat.
- Add lemon juice and rose water (optional).
- Simmer until all sugar is dissolved, about 5-10min.
- Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Drain ricotta of excess liquid and mix with other cheese.
- Remove shredded phyllo dough from box and loosen shreds in a large bowl.
- Toss the shreds with melted butter to coat evenly.
- Arrange half of the buttered dough evenly on a 9X13 pan or baking dish.
- Spoon cheese mixture on top in an even layer.
- Place the remaining dough on top and press lightly with hands.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 min at 350°F.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 30 min or until crisp and golden .
- Serve warm or room temp with lemon syrup.
I made this but instead of the cheese filling I made my own custard... it is amazing!