Ginger-Spiced Persimmon-Nut Kataifi Rolls
Get creative with kataifi! Fill it with a luscious mix of persimmon flesh, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon, and a pinch of black pepper. Serve it with a glass of delicious Greek dessert wine, the liatiko from Monemvassia. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 strip orange zest
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
- 1 pound / 440 g kataifi pastry thawed overnight (if frozen) and at room temperature
- 2 large soft, ripe persimmons, flesh only (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2/3 cup ground walnuts
- 2/3 cup coarsely ground plain dried breadcrumbs
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 2/3 cup chopped dried figs
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ pound unsalted butter melted
- Special tool optional: a sushi roller
- Prepare the syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. As soon as the sugar dissolves, add the zest strips, cinnamon and pepper. Simmer the syrup for 8 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Mash the persimmon flesh in a medium mixing bowl. Add the walnuts, breadcrumbs, raisins, figs, salt, pepper, ginger, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar. Mix with a spoon to combine well.
- I like to use a sushi roller to roll kataifi and find that it facilitates the process quickly and without much mess. Spread the kataifi on a work surface. Divide the pastry into 4 sections, lengthwise. Flatten each section with your hand. Cut each section into 6-inch X 4-inch rectangles. Place the first rectangle over the surface of sushi roller, of using. Brush with melted butter. Place 3 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom edge of the pastry. Roll up on the inside of the sushi roller to form a fairly tight cylinder. Place seam-side down on a nonstick baking pan. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling until all the ingredients are used up. (One pound of kataifi will make between 24 and 36 rolls.)
- Alternatively, if you don't have or use a sushi roller, cut the pastry into 4-inch squares, brush with melted butter, place a tablespoon of filling in the center lower part of each, and roll up into a tight cylinder by hand. Place seam-side down on a nonstick baking pan, as above.
- Brush the tops of the kataifi rolls with the remaining butter. Bake until golden and crisp, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and immediately spoon the warm syrup on top. Cover with wax paper and foil for a half hour for the pastry to absorb the syrup. Using a sharp knife, cut each six-inch roll in half, to get two 3-inch rolls from each cylinder.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Store, covered, in a cool, dark place. The kataifi will keep for about five days to a week.
Go to my online Greek specialty food shop for a range of traditional and artisanal delicacies from all over Greece.