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Baklava, Revani, Kunefe and More; Desserts for the End of Ramadan

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day Ramazan Bayrami or Seker Bayrami in Turkey (also named Eid al-Fitr in the Islamic World, Festival of Fast-Breaking). There is a wonderful excitement in my parent’s home in Istanbul, as the holy month of Ramadan is now reaching to its end soon. My mother has been fasting and we all look forward to being together this year to celebrate the end of Ramadan in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque Istanbul; a special place to visit during and end of Ramadan

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul; a special place to visit during and end of Ramadan

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement, charity, as well as increased devotion and worship. I love seeing family and friends visiting each other, elderly eagerly waiting for the young ones to pay a visit; little ones equally eagerly waiting for their sweet treats. Ramadan is also a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community, share what you have and visit one another. A wonderful time when feelings of tolerance and charity are foremost in people’s minds.

Baklava, is one of the ultimate treats of end of Ramadan gatherings

Baklava, is one of the ultimate treats of end of Ramadan gatherings

Serving and sharing desserts when visiting friends and family is a special highlight for the end of Ramadan, Ramazan Bayrami activities. My mother plans what she will be preparing for the family and guests ahead of time. Below are some of the special desserts being prepared for Ramazan Bayrami in our family. I hope they may inspire to recreate for your family and friends for any special occasion.

Ramazan Bayraminiz kutlu olsun, Eid Mubarak if you’re celebrating and best wishes for the summer,

Ozlem

Baklava with Walnuts and Pistachios

Home made baklava; delicious, easy and lighter

Home made baklava; delicious, easy and lighter

An Ottoman legacy, baklava is regarded as one of the greatest creations from the pastry chefs at the Topkapi Palace. Generally, baklava is enjoyed as a mid-morning sweet snack with a cup of Turkish coffee, or as a mid-afternoon treat with a glass of tea or after lunch or dinner. Baklava is also one of the favorite desserts marking the end of Ramadan. The real thing shouldn’t be very sweet and heavy; on the contrary it should be light enough to tempt you to eat a small plateful. Here is my home made baklava recipe; my version is lighter and fragrant with lemon, hope you enjoy it.

Gullac

Delicious and light Gullac dessert is ideal for warm summer days.

Delicious and light Gullac dessert is ideal for warm summer days.

One of our favorite dessert for this time of the year is the traditional dessert, Gullac. This lovely, light dessert is prepared with Gullac wafers which is made with corn starch and wheat flour. You can find Gullac wafers at specialty or Middle Eastern stores, or at Turkish online shops like Tulumba.com outside Turkey.

Güllaç dessert contains walnuts or almonds between the layers which are soaked in milk. It is a light and wonderful dessert for warm summer days. You can decorate Gullac with pomegranate seeds in winter or dried fruits like apricots in summer; crushed pistachios are also wonderful over gullac. Here is my Gullac recipe.

Kunefe; Kadayifi; a very festive dessert

Kunefe, Kadayifi - a glorious dessert that would make any day special.

Kunefe, Kadayifi – a glorious dessert that would make any day special.

This glorious syrup soaked, cheese filled pastry strands, Kunefe, Kadayifi, is one of the signature dishes of my hometown, Antakya and it appears on our table in almost every special occasion.

The Master at work in Long Market, Antakya. The dough is pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, called Tel Kadayif.

The Master at work in Long Market, Antakya. The dough is pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, called Tel Kadayif.

Tel kadayif is a dough, pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, which looks like vermicelli and when soaked in butter and baked, resembles golden shredded wheat. It is the basis for many desserts but this is the most impressive. The hot cheese should ooze out giving an interesting contrast to the syrup soaked, crunchy casing. Any unsalted cheese which melts easily can be used – fresh mozzarella works well. I also like to add a little clotted cream; my mother would add the wonderfully thick cream we get in Turkey, called Kaymak. Kunefe can be baked in one big pan or smaller ones as individual portions and it instantly makes any day special. Here is my Kunefe recipe, if you’d like to give it a go.

Revani; Semolina Sponge Cake with Syrup

Revani; a deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup

Revani; a deliciously moist semolina sponge cake in syrup

Revani has been a popular dessert with us Turks since the Ottoman Period; it is believed that the name Revani is given when the Ottomans conquered the city of Yerevan in today’s Armenia. Revani has many versions and been enjoyed in various cuisines especially in the Eastern Mediterranean countries, as well as in Turkey. I have seen the addition of rose water, orange flower water and orange zest to Revani, all sounds delicious. We love semolina’s grainy, nutty texture, the goodness from yoghurt and the refreshing lemony flavor in Revani. Here’s my Revani recipe; it is lighter but still packed with a lot of flavor.

Kaymakli Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish Bread Pudding in Syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish bread pudding soaked in syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi; Turkish bread pudding soaked in syrup

Ekmek Kadayifi, a specialty from Antakya, is a delicious and very popular dessert in Turkey, made with the special (dehydrated) bread soaked in syrup. Topped with the thick Turkish clotted cream, kaymak, it is a heavenly and a very satisfying dessert. Unfortunately it is difficult get this dehydrated bread abroad. Middle Eastern shops, Turkish shops and online Turkish stores may carry them, worth checking. I have also seen crumpets being used as an alternative to this dehydrated bread abroad. If using crumpets, you’ll need to adjust the syrup quantity. Here is my Ekmek Kadayifi recipe.

 Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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16 Responses to Baklava, Revani, Kunefe and More; Desserts for the End of Ramadan

  1. jaz July 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    how i remember the days when i could not buy pre-made phyllo. i was 13 years old and it would take me a day to make it and stretch it across the table!

    • Ozlem Warren July 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      I greatly admire you making your own phyllo dough Jaz, I bet that was quite special!:)

  2. Peri's Spice Ladle July 22, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Ooh, kunefi, revani and baklava all in one post! Ozlem, you have me dreaming of dessert before dinner:) I remember good friends used to celebrate the end of Ramadan and fasting with wonderful food. XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren July 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Thank you Peri, a special time of the year to gather with friends and family to enjoy these treats, glad you enjoyed it – how I wished you were close by! xx Ozlem

  3. Claudia July 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Özlem , wonderful post! I remember the revani we made with you, yum! They are all yum really but just too too fattening :((

    • Ozlem Warren July 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Merhaba dear Claudia, they’re in the treats category for us and I love these treats at Ramadan – everything in moderation, of course 🙂 I so enjoyed sharing Revani together too!

  4. senior dogs abroad July 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Özlem’ciğim, Yes, like Claudia, I remember the revani we made with you – heavenly and I even made it afterwards for guests. All of the deserts are such wonderful special treats. My mouth was watering while I was reading. I guess if we just confine ourselves to eating them on Bayram, the damage won’t be too bad . . . . Selamlar, iyi bayramlar. Öptük. J and M

    • Ozlem Warren July 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Merhaba Jolee, I agree – they really are a treat, and so special for us, especially during Bayram – they need to be kept in moderation though : ) Cok sevgiler, Mutlu Bayramlar – and insallah see you soon!

  5. Phil in the Kitchen July 23, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    That is a fine collection of desserts and I’d find it very hard to choose between them. I’m afraid that (to my shame) I still have not tried making Revani and have yet to taste Gullac. I must put that right soon.

    • Ozlem Warren July 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Thank you Phil, it is a high praise as I know your desserts are just wonderful. Hope you enjoy Gullac and Revani sometime : )

  6. Karen August 14, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Dear Ozlem,
    I have been following your blog for some time and love the recipes. Do you have one for Candied Pumpkin? Our pumpkins will be ready soon!

    Teseker!

    Karen

  7. Selcuk July 17, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Bütün sayfan ne kadar güzel yakismis ama Bayrama…

    • Ozlem Warren July 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      Sevgili Selcuk, cok tesekkur ederim, Mutlu Bayramlar 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kunefe, Baklava and other Turkish treads for the end of Ramadan | Eating The World - July 17, 2015

    […] pulls out all the stops when it comes to desserts for holidays. Ozlem’s Turkish Table has a variety of delicious Turkish desserts that would be perfect at any Eid Al-Fitr (known as Ramazan Bayramı in Turkey) celebration, […]

  2. Kunefe, Baklava and other Turkish treats for the end of Ramadan | Eating The World - July 17, 2015

    […] pulls out all the stops when it comes to desserts for holidays. Ozlem’s Turkish Table has a variety of delicious Turkish desserts that would be perfect at any Eid Al-Fitr (known as Ramazan Bayramı in Turkey) celebration, […]

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