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Hello and welcome back to Dede’s Mediterranean Kitchen. Today I’m going to be making Atayef, some places call it Katayef. It’s a pancake that’s filled with custard; it’s served a lot during the holidays, during Ramadan, during Easter, during all of the holidays it’s served. It’s a really filling, it’s kind of a heavy dessert but it’s very traditional, you’re going to love it. I’m going to show you how to make the pancakes first or the pancake mixture then we’ll make the custard feeling and then we’ll put them altogether. If you want this written out recipe, you make sure you go to my website at www.DedeMed.com. And if you need any Rose water or Orange Blossom water, go to my store link on my website. Join my social network and there you can ask questions and I can answer all kinds of people all around the world talking about Mediterranean Cuisine.
Now we’re going to start off, I’m going to show you the ingredients for the pancake mixture. We need flour, some wheat flour, milk, some baking powder, some active dry yeast, some sugar and some water. You just mix them all up in a bowl just like that and you get a nice thick mixture but not as thick as pancake mixture. It’s a little bit thinner and that’s how you want it because these pancakes are not going to actually rise too much. We don’t want them to rise too much or to be too thick because we’re going to pinch them together to make these a little boat versions that are stuffed with the custard. You’re going to mix all the ingredients together and then you want to let this batter sit for about 20 minutes to let that yeast activate. After you let it sit for 20 minutes then we’re able to make the pancakes. Now come over and I’m going to show you how to make the custard.
Now this custard we’re going to make is called Ashta and it’s a milk based custard. I’m going to start off wit two cups of whole milk. All right, two cups of, 2 % or Fat Free milk which everyone. Some people make this with just straight up half and half. Some people mix it up and then I want to add cup of heavy cream. Now we’re going to put all the ingredients on the pot and then we’re going to stir it up until it’s well combined and thick. I love adding cream because it adds such a wonderful flavor and creaminess that’s why it’s called heavy cream to the custard. Next we’re going to add about three tablespoons of sugar, just like that and then we’re going to add—keep it on low heat, medium low heat. We’re going to add the cornstarch, I dissolved the cornstarch and some water because you don’t want clamped up. You always want to dissolve the cornstarch before adding it to anything because you don’t want it clamped up. I have some white bread, I’m going to add seven pieces of white bread, just plain white bread, I took the crust off. You don’t want the crust in there. I’m just going to piece it up into the mixture. It’s kind of like a bread-custard filling. The breads are really going to dissolve in the milk as it warms up and as we stir it. So you’re not going to see any chunks of bread so don’t be afraid, just clump it up like that until it’s all inside. Give it a stir in between, you don’t want to scold the milk and as you’re stirring and adding the bread you’ll see that it does start to get thicker. After we finished adding all of the bread, we’re going to add some Orange Blossom water and some Rose water. We’ll also add a great aspect of flavor to the dish. I just finished adding all of the bread and as you can see, it dissolves in the milk mixture.
Now I want to tell you this, some people do not add bread, some people add just corn flour and the milk and they let it go until it gets thick. Some people add rice flour to thicken it, so there’s a lot of different ways that you can thicken milk custard. I like doing the bread just because that’s how my mom made it, my grandmother, all my aunts so it’s a tradition in our family to make it this way. So you can see all the pieces of bread are dissolved, just want stay it by the oven and keep stirring it and as you stir it you’ll see it starts to get thicker. You want to stir until it’s really thick, a really thick custard pudding consistency. When you get to that part we’re going to take it off the stove, we’re going to put it in a bowl.
As you can see, our custard is really thick now. I’m going to turn down the heat all the way. I want to add a little bit of Rose water and I want to add a little bit of Orange Blossom water and you want to stay stirring, you don’t want to move away or you’re custard is going to get stuck to the bottom. So just like that, it’s thick enough now we’re going to take it off the heat. So I’m going to put the custard into a bowl. What we’re going to do after that is you want to leave it out on the countertop and you want to stir it every about 10 to 15 minutes. As the custard, it will start to dry out and it gets even thicker. So after an hour, you want to cover it with saran wrap and you would want to put it in the refrigerator.
You can do this ahead of time if you’re preparing this dish. You can do the custard the day before the day or two before so that you don’t have to do it last minute. I’m going to show you this, see how thick it is now? I’ve prepared this earlier, I had it in the refrigerator and it’s thick and that’s what you want because that’s what we’re going to use to stuff the pancakes. I’m going to put this aside and I’m going to show you how to make pancakes now.
So I have a non-stick pan here, some people like to use oil or butter when they’re making their pancakes, I don’t because the non-stick makes it so that they don’t stick and I don’t have to use any of the extra fat. So I have it on medium low heat, I just want to add enough until it’s about a three-inch diameter just like that. We’re not going to touch it, we’re going to live it and we’re going to watch it. You’re going to see how the bubbles form and as the bubbles form, the pancake cooks. Now we’re going to let it cook until the top is no longer wet until you can’t see any of the wet batter anymore, that’s when it’s done. We do not flip this pancake, this is how we make it, you cook it on one side and the rest of it cooks from the heat of the bubbles so just watch.
See how the, it’s no longer shiny and it’s cooking in the center so it just takes about 30 seconds to cook each pancake if we have a nice large pancake pan. You can cook them in there. You can cook them faster that way. It’s good to cook them all at the same time and then let them cool a little bit and then we’re going to stuff them. See it’s pretty much done, give it a couple more seconds, that’s it, we’re ready to go. You want to cook it until it’s nice and I want to show you the other side. Nice and brown, put it in a plate and just keep going until you’re done.
So I’ve finished cooking up my pancakes, it took about 20 minutes to finish the whole batch. I want to show you how pretty these pancakes look and you can see all the holes in all of them. They look like Swiss cheese but it’s not. I’m going to make them into these. The way we get this little pocket, you see there’s a whole in the pocket. It’s a nice little boat shaped, you want to grab one of these. Fold it over and you want to pinch just one side, just like that. The reason we don’t cook the top side of the pancake is so that we can close it up without having to use anything and it stays as close as long as you pinch it up really tight, you can see like that, see how it’s nice and closed. We’re going to fill this part with the cream, a little bit of pistachio. Now I do want to tell you there are some people who fill these with sweet cheese. Sometimes you can fill them with grounded up walnuts or pistachios with a little bit of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon. You can fill it up with the nuts, close it all up and then some people deep fry them and then cover them with the Atter or the simple syrup. It does taste amazing, it’s a little bit more work, you cannot fry them if you’re going to use a custard filing, it will just melt away so you don’t want to do that. But if you do want to experiment with that, fill them with the nut filling which is just any kind of nut that you want, a little bit of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon, stuff it in and then close it all the way and then just deep fry it for a couple of minutes until it’s a little bit more brown. Take it out, put it on a paper towel, let the oil you know absorb in the paper towel and then just cover it with some of the simple syrup. Today I’m just making it with the custards.
So we have another one of these. I just want to do a couple more. I’ll show you how they’re, it’s done. It’s really easy. And then we’re going to fill them with our custard, these are so easy to make. You can make them a day in advance if you’re going to have guests over, make them a day in advance, store them in the refrigerator or you can just assemble them the day that you’re having your guests over. You can assemble them the day before, they have a pretty good shelf life of about you know two days if they’re refrigerated. So just like that and so it’s simple, see? So we have a couple of these, I want to show you, if you have a piping bag, it’s a lot easier, I know a lot of you don’t have a piping bag readily available but you do have one of these plastic bags. So we’re going to get that custard and I want to put it in here because we’re going to pipe it into our little pancake pocket. Just pour it on in, just like that. I’m going to—you want to go to fold of the corners, twist the top and then we’re going to cut a hole in it. I’m going to move these over so you guys can see. Get a pair of scissors, you want to cut a whole and then we’re going to pipe it in here so you hold it with one hand, piping in the other. Just fit it in there and just pipe it out, just like that.
You would want to make sure it sits right. You don’t want to overfill it. I think we overfilled that one. Just like that. You’re going to keep doing them. I’ll show you how easy it is. So you have three there. You want to make sure you let your pancakes cool off before you fill them with the custard. Just like that, what you’re going to do is you could either sprinkle some of the pistachio on top with your hand or you can just get it and dunk in it like that and then arrange it in the plate, I’m going to show you how to, it is all nicely arranged. Dunk it in, just like that and you can serve this with either the Atter or you can serve it with this Mediterranean simple syrup or you can serve it with some honey if you don’t feel like making the simple syrup. You just form it like that. We just put these guys over here. I’m going to finish doing this and I’m going to show how it looks so nicely arranged.
So I finished filling my pancakes, I want to show you how pretty this dish looks. When you arrange it like that and if you take it somewhere, make sure you do refrigerate this because this is the custard and you don’t want it to get warmed. They are served cold, you can serve them with some simple syrup or some honey just like that and then just let it on top. You don’t want to overdo it with just little, little drizzle on top, it goes a long way. It’s a great dessert. It’s beautiful, it’s great to eat with the eyes as well as the mouth. You’re going to like it, you’re friends are going to like it. It’s easy to put together and I hope you email me, leave me comments let me know what you think and join me again for Dede’s Mediterranean Kitchen.