City Palate

The Wine and Beer Issue - May June 2017

Halawet el Jibn (Sweet Cheese Rolls)
Untitled Document

May June 2016

from Matthew Altizer

For the syrup:

1-1/2 c. sugar

1 t. lemon juice

2 t. orange blossom water

2 t. rose water

For the pastry:

1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated

3/4 c. fine semolina

scant 1/2 c. rose water

2 c. English Devon clotted cream

or mascarpone

1/4 c. finely ground pistachios

1/4 c. dried rose petals (optional)

To make the syrup, combine the sugar with 1 c. water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, add the lemon juice and simmer over medium heat for 8 minutes or until the liquid thickens slightly. Stir in the orange blossom and rose waters and simmer for a few seconds more, then turn off the heat and set aside.

Measure 1/3 c. of the syrup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the syrup starts to boil, stir in the mozzarella cheese and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. When the cheese starts to melt, stir in the semolina and rose water. Continue stirring vigorously until all the cheese has melted and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.

The next part is sticky – just resign yourself to this proposition, but it is easy to clean up.

Brush a clean work surface liberally with the simple syrup and put the dough on top (or pour onto your counter and brush evenly). Moisten a rolling pin with syrup and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Leave the dough to cool, then trim it into a large rectangle, then into smaller 3"x 5"rectangles. Place the clotted cream into a piping bag, cut a small hole in the bottom, pipe a lengthwise line of cream onto each rectangle and then fold one long side over the remaining pastry to form a roll. Repeat with the remaining pastry pieces and then cut each roll into 4 to 6 equal pieces, depending on how small you want to make them. Make sure to clean your knife between cuts so the clotted cream doesn't smear. Transfer the pastries to a serving platter, brush or drizzle them lightly with some of the remaining syrup, then top them with a sprinkling of ground pistachios and a few lightly crushed rose petals, if desired. Makes at least 36 pieces.

 

 


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