Recipe: Rose Adam’s Knefe

As part of Food Editor Mandy Hall's Nourishing Connections series Rose Adam, Co-Owner and Cook at The Middle Store, shares her recipe for Knefe.

Rose Adam writes, “Growing up Lebanese sweets were part of any big family function, there was always an array of mixed treats, biscuits, baklava, semolina cakes the list goes on, but the one dessert that everyone waited for, the centrepiece, especially on those cold nights was knefe. We’d all wait patiently for the largest Bessemer tray to come out of the oven with the jar of attar (rose water syrup) by its side. You chose the edge or middle piece, the edge always being more coveted, and poured on as much syrup as your heart told you to, these things were never measured. The first mouthful of the warm, or in my case piping hot because I could never wait, syrupy custard and crunchy top sent the room silent. And even now after all these years, mum will surprise us after a dinner with a tray that’s somehow magically been waiting patiently in the oven and it takes us right back.” 

Served on a cold night on the couch with a cup of tea is the definition of comfort and family. 

Recipe: Rose Adam’s Knefe

Ingredients

  • 300 ml cream
  • 300 ml milk
  • ⅓ cup fine semolina (you can find this in the pasta section at the supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • rose water and/or orange blossom
  • 2 cups cornflakes blitz fine or with a little crunch, up to you

Method

Syrup

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and on a medium heat bring to a simmer, let it simmer until it coats the back of the spoon, this will take about 8-10 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of rose water after its finished cooking, set aside (if you pop it into a clean glass jar it’ll last weeks in the fridge) you can adjust the amount of rosewater to taste. If you’re unsure, add just add a teaspoon at a time.

Prepare tin

  1. Melt butter and coat a small pan with the butter and half of the cornflake crumbs to create a layer. Set aside.

Custard

  1. Combine milk, cream, cornflour and semolina into a medium pot and turn onto low heat, stir until it’s thick and the semolina has dissolved. Add the rose water, about 2-3 teaspoons or none at all and replace with some vanilla or orange zest, if you’re not a fan. Give it a good stir in and pour into your prepared tin.
  2. Pop the final layer of cornflake crumbs on top and bake in the oven at 165-170 degrees for 20 min. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes to cool slightly and serve with the syrup on top and I love it with fresh raspberries! Enjoy xx

Image credit: Jordan Aird


@rose_adam_cooks

This is a multi-part series where we’ll go on a journey with renowned chefs and cooks where they share with us their cherished memories and their beloved recipes.

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