Kunefe with Champagne-Cardamom Syrup
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Kunefe with Champagne-Cardamom Syrup
Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra and Oleana– Cambridge, MA
Adapted by StarChefs.com
July 2009
Yield: 8-10 Servings


¼ cup milk
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound ricotta cheese

Champagne-Cardamom Syrup:
½ cup whole green cardamom pods, crushed
1 bottle sparkling wine
1½ cups sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

To Assemble and Serve:
½ pound shredded phyllo
1½ sticks butter, melted
8 ounces mascarpone
1 cup pistachios, chopped


For the Kunefe:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized saucepan, combine milk, cream and sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, place cornstarch in small bowl. Slowly whisk a small amount of hot milk into the bowl of cornstarch and whisk it until smooth. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan with milk and return to heat. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Set aside. Place ricotta in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and thick. This can also be done in a food processor. Once smooth, whisk thickened milk into ricotta until well blended. Chill until ready to assemble.

For the Champagne-Cardamom Syrup:
Combine the crushed pods, sparkling wine, sugar, and lemon in a medium-large saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat down and simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes, until it is thick and syrupy. Strain through a fine sieve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Break the shredded phyllo into a large bowl, gently pulling the strands apart. Pour melted butter over the phyllo, tossing until well coated. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread half of phyllo in the pan and flatten into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes. When cool, spread even layer of ricotta over the phyllo. Top with remaining phyllo, leaving loose strands on top. Bake for 1 hour until top is golden. Allow to cool so cream will set. Serve warm and pour champagne-syrup over kunefe. Cut into squares and top with mascarpone and chopped pistachios.