Ekmek Kataifi, Thermomix Recipe
Ekmek Kataifi is a classic Greek dessert that uses a shredded phyllo base (kataifi) spiced with syrup and then layered with custard and topped with whipped cream and chopped nuts. I love serving this dish at my pop-up dinners. For those, I usually break up the kataifi into single servings and bake them in muffin tins and then individually add the custard and whipped cream on top. For less formal affairs, you can make it in a standard 9 x 13-inch baking ban.
What I love about this wonderful, dreamy dessert is that it’s so decadent and flavorful, but light at the same time. What I hate is that it takes SO LONG to make. So long that I almost took it off the menu. That was before I started working with my Thermomix. You can read about all the revolutionary functions of this new-to-the-U.S. appliance here. For this recipe specifically, because there are so many individual components, I would use so many pans and appliances. That equals a ton of cleanup. It also means that I’m spending active time on all these components, something that Thermomix takes care of with any recipe. Making custard in a Thermomix is a breeze, so easy that I want to make it (and eat it) all the time.
There are a lot of steps to this recipe, so I recommend making the syrup and custard a day ahead of time and have them chilled and on hand when you make the rest of the pastry.
As with any custard dessert with whipped cream, it helps to make and serve it in a cooled environment so it doesn’t melt. To more easily cut the dessert, refrigerate it for around 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
- 1 pound kataifi (shredded phyllo pastry)
- 6 ounces butter
- 1 liter whole milk
- 8 ounces sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 scraped vanilla bean
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces corn starch
- Whipped Cream
- 500 ml heavy whipping cream chilled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces powdered sugar
- 8 ounces sugar
- 8 ounces honey
- 12 ounces water
- 1 lemon, peel and juice
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- 1 cup walnuts or pistachios
- Chop the nuts
- Put nuts into the mixing bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 6. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Clean mixing bowl.
- Make the syrup
- In the mixing bowl, put sugar, honey, water, lemon juice, lemon peel, orange juice, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Cook 10 min/212 F/reverse/speed 1. Empty into a clean container and allow to cool and infuse for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Make the custard
- In the mixing bowl, add milk, egg yolks, sugar, salt, corn starch, and vanilla. Cook 7 min/194 F/reverse/speed 3.
- Transfer custard to a clean dry mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so the film directly touches the custard. Cool for at least 3 hours or over night.
- Make the base
- Put butter into the mixing bowl and melt it 5 min/122 F/speed 1.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. Separate the shredded phyllo dough, making sure it is spread in one even layer and there aren’t any knots or any large clumps. Drizzle with butter and continue to finesse until it’s one even layer. Bake for 1 hour, turn over after 30 minutes so both sides get brown.
- Right before the base is done cooking, remove the cloves, peel, and cinnamon stick from the syrup. Ladle the cool syrup over the hot pastry base. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to let pastry soak up all syrup.
- Make the whipped cream
- Insert butterfly whisk. Place cream, vanilla, and sugar into mixing bowl and whip speed 3 without setting a time, until you get stiff peaks. Watch carefully to avoid over whipping.
- Assemble and serve
- Spread custard over base and top with whipped cream. Garnish with nuts. Cut into rectangle pieces of desired size. This yields 12 generous pieces, but could also be portioned into smaller pieces.
- This recipe may seem complicated, but it’s actually very easy, especially with Thermomix. Save time by making the syrup and custard a day or two ahead and have them chilled and on hand when you make the rest of the pastry.
- To more easily cut the dessert, refrigerate it for around 20 minutes before cutting and serving.