Kadaifi is a traditional Greek dessert made with shredded phyllo pastry. Each region of Greece has its own version of this dessert, but everyone will saturate the cooked kadaifi with syrup. With ready-made kadaifi now available in supermarkets, it’s easier than ever to make this decadent dessert.

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1 package kadaifi phyllo
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 cup butter, melted

Ingredients – Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
5 to 6 cloves
1 Star anise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Peel of 1/2 lemon

Remove the phyllo pastry from the packaging and cover it with a damp towel to keep it moist. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 10” baking dish with butter.

Grind the walnuts, pistachios, almonds, sugar, and flour in a food processor. Ensure to leave some of the nuts in chunks. Carefully pull and disentangle some of the phyllo from the batch. Pull apart to a 1” thickness. Brush the pastry with the melted butter and add one tablespoon full of the nut mixture on one end. Roll up the phyllo carefully, starting at the end with the nut mixture. As you roll, pull in the sides of the loose phyllo to tightly wrap. Place with the seam side down into the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining phyllo, placing each kadaifi roll tightly next to the other (they will act as support so the kadaifi don’t unroll). One package will make approximately 14 to 15 kadaifi. Once all the kadaifi have been prepared, brush the tops with the remaining butter.

Bake the kadaifi for 40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.

While the kadaifi cools, prepare the syrup by mixing together the sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Add the spices and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and allow the syrup to simmer until it thickens and the sugar is completely dissolved. Once ready, strain the syrup into a measuring cup to remove the spices and lemon peel. Pour over the cooled kadaifi to saturate completely. Do not pour over warm kadaifi as the pastry will become too soft. Note: Adding lemon juice to the syrup keeps it from crystallizing.

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