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 are all look forward to being together this year to celebrate the end of Ramadan in Istanbul. 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 eagerly waiting for their sweet treats. Ramadan is 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.
My mother has so many treats in her mind for the family and friends to share. One of her 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 or Marketurk in the UK.
Güllaç contains walnuts or almonds between the layers which are soaked in milk. It is 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.
1 pack gullac wafers
6 tbsp rose water
400gr crushed almonds
Chopped dried apricots and crushed pistachios to decorate
Combine milk and sugar in a heavy pan and bring to a boil. Add the rose water to the boiling milk.
Moisten the gullac wafers with milk. Spread the half of the wafers on top of each other on a wide tray. Sprinkle crushed walnuts or almonds in the middle, and stack the rest of gullac layers, soaked in the milk mixture. Pour the rest of the milk mixture over the top wafer and let it cool. Garnish with dried apricot and crushed pistachio and serve.
Here are some more ideas for end of Ramadan treats; who can resist baklava? It is easy to make home made baklava using fillo sheets.
Here is Ekmek Kadayifi – Turkish bread pudding dessert, served with kaymak, our thick clotted cream.
How about our dried fig dessert with stuffed with walnuts? Here, the dried fig is first poached in hot water for a few minutes to soften up then stuffed with nuts.
As you see, the sweets are the stars for the end of Ramadan festivities. If you rather prefer savory to sweet, then boreks are your best bet. Su borek made with paper thin yufka sheets or with fillo pastry sheets, with cheese and parsley filling, may be just the thing.
Whatever treat you may choose, I hope you enjoy them and have a chance to share with others.