Here’s one for the sweet tooth crew and general dessert lovers out there.

Our resident home cook Rally shares her recipe for this delectable Ekmek Kataifi, combining layers of cream, custard and of course kataifi.

The vanilla tones and succulent bed of kataifi will melt in your mouth, and is sure to become a favourite among your family and friends.

If you’re struggling to find the kataifi, make your way over to your local Greek/European deli and take a look into their fridge.

Happy cooking!

READ MORE: Eating your way through Lent: Rally’s Imam Bayildi (stuffed eggplant)


For the syrup
500ml water
600g castor sugar
Peel of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick

For the base
1 packet Antoniou kataifi (375g)
150g butter

For the custard
1 litre milk
200g caster sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
100g corn flour
100g butter, cold

For the whipped cream
500g thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g icing sugar

To serve
Crushed pistachios or slivered almonds

Photo: NK


The syrup
1. Over low heat, place water, sugar, lemon rind and a cinnamon stick in a pot and bring it to a boil.
2. Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool.

For the base
1. Preheat your oven to 160C fan forced
2. Take out your kataifi pastry from the packet and pull it apart gently with your hands to separate to ‘detangle’ it and make it fluffy
3. With some butter, grease a 25×35 cm baking pan. Take around 1/3 of your kataifi pasty and cover the base and sprinkle 1/3 of the butter over the top
4. Repeat the process twice over, layering the remaining kataifi and butter
5. Place in the over to bake 1 hour, turning the kataifi base over halfway through to ensure both sides turn golden brown
6. Once it has baked on both sides, take it out of the oven and pour the syrup that you made earlier over it slowly
7. Allow it to sit for a half hour so that the kataifi has a chance to soak up the syrup and become soft and damp

For the custard
1. Add 900ml of milk, sugar and vanilla sugar in a pot over medium to low heat. Remove the pot from the stove once the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Pour your remaining milk into a large bowl along with the egg yolks, whisking it until combined.
3. Continue whisking as you add in the corn flour.
4. With a soup ladle or a small cup, slowly add the warm mixture into the bowl, making sure to whisk continuously, but do not put the pot to wash just yet.
5. Once all the ingredients for the custard are combined, pour it back into the pot and cook over a medium heat, allowing it to thicken
6. When the consistency is right, remove the pot from the stove and add your cold butter, mixing it in until it has disolved into the mixture
7. Carefully pour the custard into the pan of syrupy kataifi, making sure it covers it all evenly.
8. With some cling wrap, cover the top of the baking tin and allow it to touch the surface of the custard. This will ensure the custard does not form a film. Place this in your refrigerator for up to 4 hours or until your custard has full set.

For the whipped cream
1. Place your thickened cream, vanilla extract or sugar and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
2. Combine the mixture together on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Once the cream is thick and easily forms peaks, it will be ready to go!

To assemble
1. Once you’re sure that your custard has set, remove it from the refrigerator and with a spatula scoop on your whipped cream
2. Create ridges in the whipped cream using a fork, dragging it from one side along to the other
3. Top off your creation with some crushed pistachios or slivered almonds depending on your taste