Ever since I tried kanfa bil smeed (Kanafa with semolina) this summer in Lebanon, I made it my mission to experiment with it once I got home. But of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I didn’t, until yesterday.
After some research online and from what I recall, I decided on a recipe and bought the necessary ingredients; Akawi cheese ( جبن عكاوي) and semolina (سميد). As akawi cheese is quite salty, you need to slice the cheese and soak it in water for at least 4 hours, changing the water every hour. What I did was soak it overnight and when I got back home from work, I changed the water a few times. After the last soak, place the cheese in a tea towel and let it dry for at least an hour. That method was not too successful with me as there was still some water left. I suggest you get yourself proper cheese cloth.
3 cups coarse semolina (سميد)
2 sticks butter melted (200 grams)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (or as much needed)
2 tablespoons orange blossom water (ماء زهر)
Remove the dough from the oven and leave it to cool to room temperature, then put it in a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
*you might be wondering why the cheese looks crumbled, well that’s because I squeezed the hell out of it!
Preheat the oven to 175 C
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts completely.
Remove from oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water (ماء زهر)
In a small saucepan on medium heat, mix sugar, water and orange blossom water until boiling. Boil for a few minutes until it’s syrupy then remove from heat.
Pour the sugar syrup on the kanafa and sprinkle some chopped pistachio.
And there it is! Kanfa bil smeed
It was quite the hit at my grandmother’s last night. I will definitely be making more of this.