Ataiyef - Stuffed Syrian Pancakes

YIELD: 4 dozen




  • Make the syrup: Combine the sugar, lemon juice, orange blossom or rose water and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture boils.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 15 minutes, or until the syrup slides slowly down the back of a spoon.
  • Allow the syrup to cool, then refrigerate in a glass jar until cold.
  • If it is too thick when you need it, add water and simmer again.
  • If it is too thin, heat it for a longer period of time.
  • The syrup will keep, chilled, for up to 2 months. You'll need one cup for the ataiyef.
  • Preheat a griddle over medium heat.
  • Lightly wipe the pan with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
  • While the griddle is preheating, sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the egg and about 2 cups water to the mixture (more or less depending on how you like your batter).
  • Stir the mixture until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Make the pancakes by pouring the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the griddle.
  • Shape the batter into 3-inch-wide pancakes, similar to thin crêpes.
  • Cook on one side only, removing the pancake when bubbles just start to form.
  • Keep the cooked pancakes moist by covering them with another plate. (Grease the pan as needed.).
  • Place 1 teaspoon ricotta in the uncooked center of each pancake.
  • Fold the pancake in half and pinch the sides firmly closed.
  • Fill the pancakes as quickly as possible so they do not dry out. (At this point, the pancakes may be frozen for later use.).
  • Preheat the the oil to 350F in a large saucepan.
  • Deep-fry the filled pancakes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once so both sides brown (replenish oil as needed).
  • Coat one side of the fried pancakes with the cold shira or both if you like it really sweet.
  • Dip the point of each pancake in the pistachios and arrange on a plate without overlapping.
  • Note: For a nondairy version to eat with a fleischig meal, combine 2 cups finely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; substitute for the ricotta.