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Monday, October 9, 2017

QATĀ ‘IF (AR), QATAYEF WITH MEDIEVAL RECIPE FOR SWEET ARAB CREPES

Frying Bottom Side of Crepes
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Eng, qatayef[1], filled and folded crepes suzettes . The original recipe at the Alhambra is from the 13th C. Today, this is the traditionally famous dessert served every evening during Ramadan and not the rest of the year.

[ES: Anon/Perry. 2000:ftn 187; and Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:153]

RECIPE FOR ABBASID QATAYEF, STUFFED PANCAKES, 
ADAPTED FROM HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN, AL-ANDALUS 
#441 RECETA DR LOS "QATĀIF” ABBĀSIES, p 262

Ingredients

FOR THE PANCAKES:
2 c breadcrumbs[2]
½ tsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
Stuffing the Crepe
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 1/3 c lukewarm water
2/3 c rosewater
1 c milk
1 raw egg
olive oil for frying


FOR THE FILLING:
½ c peeled and finely chopped almonds[3]
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp spikenard
¼ tsp cloves
¼ cinnamon
2 tbso rosewater plus rosewater for dampening pancakes
¼ tsp camphor

Garnish
rosewater syrup,  julep or skimmed honey

Preparation

FOR THE PANCAKES:

Make breadcrumbs out of flatbread. Spread this out on a plate and let dry overnight until the consistency is like semolina.

Mix yeast, sugar and ½ c lukewarm water. Let sit about 10 minutes for foam to rise. Add breadcrumbs, salt, the rest of the water and other ingredients. Whisk well. Let rest ½ hour until fluffy and bubbly.

PREHEAT SKILLET TO 375º F/190ºC

Add enough oil to prevent sticking. Pour out about ¼ c batter on the surface to make 4” pancakes. Let the batter bubble and dry. Cook until browned on the bottom, remove from heat. Cover with a tea towel to keep moist.

FOR THE FILLING:

Delicious Crepes  - Half Moons and a Full Moon!
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Mix chopped almonds with sugar, spikenard, cloves and cinnamon. Sprinkle this with rosewater containing dissolved camphor.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of this filling to each pancake. Fold them into a semi-circle[4]. Glue the edges with dough by dampening them with rosewater.

Heat 1” deep of olive oil in a pan. Add the pancakes. Lightly brow about two minutes and remove immediately. Let the oil drain off the cake.

Pour rosewater syrup, julep of skimmed honey over pancakes.  Turn them over to soak the other side.

Several cakes can be made, piling one on tip of another and after filling them, press the edges together making circles and half circles.


[1] Perry maintains that Huici’s explanation that qataif is derived from a berb meaning to sift flour is incorrect. “Qataif” is, according to Perry, the plural of the known meaning “plush velvet.” He explains that crepes were called “mushadhhada” in al-Andalus, which elsewhere is defined as flatbread. These are filled and deep fried.
[2] Today 1 ½ C flour and ½ c semolina can used.
[3] Today, half the pancakes can be filled with grated white or mozzarella cheese and half with the almond or other nut mixture.
[4] Perry suggests that instead of folding crepes that one circle could be placed on top of another and sealed with rosewater, which is easier as the crepes tend to split when folding them over after adding the filling.
HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN, AL-ANDALUS
#441 RECETA DE LOS "QATĀIF ABBĀSIES"


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