- 1 lb (1 box) kataifi dough (shredded fillo dough, available at Midddle Eastern or Mediterranean markets)
- 1 cup (for filling) + ½ cup (for garnish) unsalted pistachio meat, ground (preferably unroasted)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- A small bowl similar to a demitasse coffee cup to shape the kataifi balls in. Please be sure the bottom of the bowl is smaller than the top. This makes it easier to slide out the pastry.
- An oven safe round or rectangular dish with sides at least one inch high.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom of an oven tray with butter.
Remove kataifi dough from the box. On a clean, flat surface, pull the strands of shredded dough apart. Loosing it like this will make it easier to work with. Set aside.
Take a small bowl or a demitasse coffee cup. Pull a few strands of the dough, enough to fill half of the demitasse cup, spreading on the sides as well. It will look like a little bird’s nest. Press with your finger to pack it firmly. Put a teaspoon of ground pistachio over it. Take a few more strands of the dough, firmly pack over the pistachios, filling the demitasse cup. Turn the cup upside down on your palm and gently transfer the ball to the oven tray. Repeat this until you use all the dough. You’ll have about 20-25 pieces depending on the size of the bowl you use. Drizzle melted butter over the kataifi balls. Place the tray in the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside. You’ll be pouring hot syrup over the pastry.
Prepare the syrup while kataifi balls are in the oven. Place water and sugar in a pot, boil over medium heat. Add lemon juice when it starts to boil, let it simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour hot syrup evenly over the kataifi balls. Let it cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the ones you are planning to serve with ground pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bon Appetit! Afiyet Olsun!
Notes: If you think you won’t use them all at once, do not sprinkle pistachios over the ones you are planning to set aside. Covered left overs can be frozen . Before serving them, reheat in a preheated oven (350 Fahrenheit) for about 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle fresh ground pistachios and serve. They will be just as good as fresh baked kataifi balls.