Ataiyef - Stuffed Syrian Pancakes
- Ready In:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- oil, for frying (approximately a cup)
- 1⁄2 cup pistachios, shelled and finely chopped (or coarsely ground in a food processor)
Shira (Aleppan dessert syrup)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon orange blossom water or 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- 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.
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