Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick
Maura Kilpatrick




Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick
Oleana and Sofra | Cambridge, MA

Kunefe with Champagne-Cardamom Syrup
Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana and Sofra – Cambridge, MA
Adapted by
October 2009

Yield: 8-10 Servings


Kunefe with Champagne-Cardamom SyrupKunefe:
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
Zest and juice 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:
In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, cream and sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in a small amount of the hot milk into the cornstarch and whisk it until smooth. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and return to the 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 cardamom, 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’s thick and syrupy. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 350°F. 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 the phyllo in the pan and flatten into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes. When cool, spread an even layer of the kunefe over the phyllo. Top with the remaining phyllo, leaving loose strands on top. Bake for 1 hour until teh top is golden. Allow to cool until the cream is set. While still warm, pour the champagne-cardamom syrup over top. Cut the kunefe into squares and top with mascarpone and pistachios.


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   Published: October 2009