Kadayif with Mozzarella and Lemon

Kadayif with Mozzarella and Lemon

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After our trip to Istanbul, I became intrigued with Turkish cooking. Kadayif in Turkish or Kataifi in Greek, is filo dough that’s been rolled up and sliced thinly. When you unwrap the packaging, you see that it looks like rolls of shredded wheat. Kadayif is used as a base for many desserts.  Baklava made with Kadayif and pistachios is beyond delicious. The easy recipe I’m posting here uses the Kadayif as the base and cover for shredded mozzarella. It is all baked together and then drizzled with fresh home made lemon syrup. The result is mouthwatering. Crunchy dough and oozing mozzarella enhanced by lemon is just a perfect dessert.

Kadayif with Mozzarella and Lemon

By Gloria Kobrin Published: March 24, 2017

  • Yield:

  • 12 Servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large lemon juiced and strained
  • 8 ounces Kadayif (Kataifi) defrosted
  • 1/4 pound Unsalted Butter melted
  • 12 ounces whole milk mozzarella shredded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios coarsely chopped


  • damp towel
  • wooden spoon
  • large mixing bowl
  • 10 inch spring form baking pan 13x9x2 pan works as well


  1. Put sugar and water in sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir constantly so that no crystals form. Add lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer until syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Let syrup cool while you prepare Kadayif.
  2. Preheat oven to: 350°F. Place Kadayif in mixing bowl. Gently, pull the strands apart with your hands. It is not as fragile as it looks. You will be surprised how it seems to have grown in the bowl. Pour melted butter over the pastry and mix gently but throughly. The pastry will seem to shrink. Take half the Kadayif and pat it down into the baking dish. Keep the remaining Kadayif under a damp towel until you need it. Scatter the shredded mozzarella over the Kadayif. Cover it with the remaining pastry. Press it down so that the cheese and pastry are well within the baking pan. Place in oven and bake 45-50 minutes-or until the pastry has turned golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
  3. Take a sharp knife or flexible spatula and go around the edges of the pastry to loosen it. Pour lemon syrup evenly over the top. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over all. Unlock pan and remove cooked pastry. Slide a long handled spatula under the bottom and push pastry on to a serving plate. Serve warm.