Iraq is in my blood, and in addition to that, Palestine is any Arab and Muslim’s duty.
These beautiful qataef (قطائف) are in honor of our beloved Palestine, land of our Holy sites and many of our prophets. May Allah protect our brave brethren in Palestine and Iraq and grant them and us victory over the injustice and brutality of the enemy, in both this world and the next.
Qataef are Palestinian and are a very common sweet served in Ramadan. They are a holey pancake that have been cooked only on one side, not too sweet, and very fluffy. They can be filled and shaped in different ways.
Today I chose to fill my qataef with ashta, topped with a tiny dollop of blueberry preserve, a sprinkle of pistachio slivers, and drizzled generously with sugar syrup.
2 cups water
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup semolina
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp rosewater
pistachio slivers or powder
For the ashta:
2 slices of American-style white bread
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch, diluted in a bit of water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water, 1 tsp rose water
For the sugar syrup:
2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp citric acid powder or 1 lemon, juice
Put all the qataef ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the contents in a bowl, cover, and let rest in a warm place for about an hour.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake.
The pancake is done when the top is dry and filled with holes.
Remove and set aside covered in a cloth until the entire batch is cooked.
Take the cooked pancake, holey-side up, and smear with about a tablespoon of mashed ashta.
Fold the pancake to enclose the filling and pinch the sides to seal about halfway through, so that half the filling is still exposed.
Arrange in the serving dish, then dollop with half a teaspoon blueberry preserve, a sprinkle of pistachio, and a generous drizzle of the cooled sugar syrup.
Best cooked, served, and consumed on the same day.
Make the sugar syrup by bringing to boil the sugar, water, citric acid or lemon juice.
Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until visibly syrupy.
Set aside to cool completely, by then it would resemble the consistency of corn syrup.
Make the ashta the night before: Cut the edges off the bread. Cut the soft white part in dices. Pour the milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add the diced bread, add the sugar; dilute the cornstarch in water; stir the milk mixture continuously until it starts to steam; add the cornstarch and keep stirring until the mixture thickens, making sure it does not burn (adjust the heat). Add the flavored waters if using, stir a few seconds more and remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, let it cool and then cover with plastic and store in the fridge overnight to give the cream a chance to thicken.