Garnish the kataifi with chopped pistachios and drizzle the syrup over. Serve warm.

Kataifi with Ashtah Cream

Kataifi with Ashtah Cream

Kataifi with ashtah cream is a popular Mediterranean dessert you’ll find at buffets or on fancy restaurant menus. There are recipes that use shortening instead of butter to soften the kataif, but shortening leaves an aftertaste that doesn’t go well with this dessert. Kataifi with ashtah cream is a delicacy traditionally made by using the cream that develops when milk is boiled and cooled. I use half and half and whipping cream instead because it is more convenient and renders the same result. There are recipes that use cream cheese and whipping cream instead. But trust me, the cream cheese will make your filling much more dense and thick. Since the kataifi recipe contains cream the syrup is added at the very end. This kataifi with ashtah recipe is surprisingly light and the cream is extremely smooth. This is in contrast to the Kataifi with Walnuts where you drizzle the cold syrup over the entire warm kataifi and leave it to cool. 

Skill level: Intermediate
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Kataifi with Ashtah Cream
Serves 12
Velvet Edition: “Mediterranean” Recipe
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1 package 16 oz. Kataifi shredded phyllo dough (see note #1 below)
  2. 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  3. 1 (16 ounce carton) whipping cream
  4. 1 (16 ounce carton) half and half
  5. 2 tablespoons sugar
  6. 3 tablespoons corn starch
  7. 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  1. Ground unsalted raw pistachios
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  1. In a saucepan and on medium high heat cook the half and half, whipping cream, and cornstarch.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat and cook till the cream thickens. (see note #2 below)
  3. Leave to cool until it becomes room temperature. About 15 minutes
  4. Combine the butter and the kataifi together, shredding the kataifi while incorporating the butter.
  5. The kataif will soften as you incorporate the butter into it.
  6. Spread half onto a 3 quart glass heatproof baking dish.
  7. Pour the cooled cream over the kataifi and spread the remaining half of the kataifi over the cream.
  8. Bake in a preheated 350° oven till golden brown. This will take about 40 minutes
  9. Decorate with chopped pistachios.
  10. Prepare the syrup by placing the sugar and water in a saucepan and bringing the mixture to a boil.
  11. Once it starts to boil add the lemon juice and continue to simmer on medium low heat for about 3 minutes. The syrup should not be thin. If you find that it is thin after it cooled, reheat and simmer it for another 2 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat, add the rose and flower water and leave to cool. (see note #3 below)
  13. Serve the kataifi warm by drizzling syrup over it and garnishing with chopped pistachios.
♣ Notes
  1. 1. Kataifi shredded phyllo dough is available in most supermarkets and Middle Eastern stores in the freezer section.
  2. 2. The whisk will leave a trail. Also called the “ribbon” effect.
  3. 3. Add the rose and flower water when the syrup is cool. If you add it when the mixture is hot, the essence will evaporate.
Velvet Edition

Kataifi with ashtah cream slideshow:


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