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Kunafa bil jibn (kunafa with cheese)

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For the sugar syrup
  • 1.5 cup of granulated sugar
  • 0.75 cup of water
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice
For the kunafa bil jibn
  • 400g kataifi (shredded filo dough)
  • 10 tbsp melted ghee
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 1000g shredded mozzarella
  • 1 handful ground pistachios for decoration
  • Cooking Time
    20 mins
  • Serving
    Serves 10
  • Skill Level
    So Easy


If you have had kunafa before, you will understand why I say this is one of the most popular and delicious desserts out there! There is something about stretchy sweet cheese with a crispy pastry, drenched in sugar syrup that is just tooooo good to be true!
  1. Start by preparing the sugar syrup, as you want it cooled down by the time you finish with the kunafa. Add the sugar and water into a pot. Stir over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is vigorously boiling, squeeze the lemon juice and allow to bubble away for a further 30 seconds to 1 min. Then turn the heat off and set aside
  2. Using your hands, break the kataifi into small shreds, as best you can. Add a tablespoon of melted ghee to the oven proof pan (I used a 14 inch round pan) and spread it evenly. Add 3/4 of the shredded kataifi to the pan. Top with the remaining melted ghee. Mix with your hands to incorporate it
  3. Flatten out the pastry very well, ensuring you have given equal amounts of pastry to all sides of the pan, and have flattened out the edges (the more you flatten out and condense the pastry, the better! So put in all your strength and ensure you get a good flat, equal surface)
  4. Add the sugar to the ricotta cheese and mix
  5. Place the ricotta cheese over the pastry, and top with the mozzarella cheese. Cover equally over the pastry, avoiding the edges
  6. Top with the remaining kataifi, then place into the oven at 220 degrees celsius for 15-20 mins or until the top is golden brown
  7. Leave for 5 minutes to rest before turning it over into a larger serving dish (mine was 15 + 1/2 inch). If the top needs more colour (and your serving dish is oven proof), add it for a minute or so under a broiler to give it some colour
  8. Pour your sugar syrup over your kunafa, decorate with pistachios and serve

I recommend you eat this warm, but it can also be eaten cold. Both are so delicious! You may also wish to leave the sugar syrup for individuals to pour over their pieces. Either way, it is that simple and you will be sure to fall in love with it once you give it a go! Enjoy :)


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