Happy to have just made it in for this months The Cookbook Guru book of the month – The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden.
Okay, this one was really hard to get a hold of but persistence pays off. I ordered it from one library who ordered it in from another library and finally…..
My thought was to go straight to the sweets section and make something from there. I’ll have a better look at the rest of the book a little later.
My mum and I have been making something very similar to these little stuffed pancakes for years and because the only time I follow recipes to the T is when I’m at work, I sort of combined the two recipes and ended up with these…
Light pancakes with a sweet walnut and cinnamon filling with just a hint of rose water. I like them as they are but for the sweet tooth the syrup is thick, sweet and sticky.
This recipe will make about 30 Ataif.
For the pancake batter:-
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/3 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
In a bowl mix together the yeast, sugar, flour and salt. Add the water and use a whisk to mix it all together making sure there are no lumps of flour left. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for an hour in a warm spot until it’s all frothy. Give it a good whisk.
Lightly wipe a non-stick fry-pan with a little oil and put over a medium-high heat. When it’s hot pour in tablespoons of the batter a few cm apart so they don’t touch. You’ll only be cooking one side of the pancake. It’s ready when the top is full of little holes and it’s lost it whiteness. If you let it dry out too much you won’t be able to get the edges to stick together.
Place on a plate and continue cooking the rest of the pancakes.
For the Walnut Filling:-
120g shelled walnut pieces
50g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp rose water
Put the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very fine. Add the rose water and give it another quick mix and its ready.
For the Syrup:-
150g white sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 star anise
2 Tbls rose water
Stir the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan until the sugar melts, add the star anise and bring to the boil without stirring. Let it boil for 10 minutes until its thick and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the rose water then let it cool.
Take one pancake, put a 1/2 – 3/4 tsp of the filling in the centre. Fold in half and close by pinching the edges with your fingers.
Arrange on a serving dish with the syrup in a little bowl or glass.
Sound like a big job but really its just pancakes. Anyway, every time I’ve made these people always come back for more so they’re worth the effort.