This is one of the most popular sweets that I prepare. I usually end up making a double portion of it since all my guests ask to take leftovers home with them. The crunchiness of the dough and the creaminess of the filling, along with the sweetness of the sugar syrup plays a sweet tune in your mouth that is so gratifying that I have yet to encounter a person that does not love this sweet dessert. Some people even eat it for breakfast after warming it up for a few minutes to restore the crunchiness of the dough.
1 package Kataiifi (shredded dough), found in specialty markets
3 cups whole milk
2 cups Half and Half milk
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1½ cups water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1 tablespoon rosewater.
Juice of ½ lemon
Mix 5 tablespoons of cornstarch in one cup of milk and set aside. Heat 2 cups of milk with 2 cups of half and half in a saucepan on medium heat until bubbles start appearing on the sides of the pan. Be careful not to let it boil. Just when the bubbles start appearing, add the corn starch/milk mixture to the sauce pan, turning the milk with a spoon as you add the corn starch mixture. Keep turning with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. This should take about 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Melt the butter. Put the dough in a big working bowl and start pulling it apart into small pieces. It should resemble a pile of shredded dough. Pour the butter on top and mix well. Separate into two equal parts and spread half of the dough in a large cookie sheet pan. Spread the cream mixture on top in an even layer. Top with the remaining dough.
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the dessert for about one hour until golden.
While cooking, make the syrup by mixing the sugar and the water in a saucepan and cooking on a medium flame until all the sugar is dissolved and almost boiling. Add the rose water and the orange blossom. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Let it cool slightly.
Serve with the dessert.