SYRUP: 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar 1 cup (237ml) water Squeeze of lemon ½ teaspoon orange blossom water, optional* ¼ teaspoon rose water, optional*
FOR THE CREAM-FILLING: 1 ½ cup (355ml) whole milk1 ½ cup (355ml) heavy whipping cream* 3 tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar 5 tablespoons (35g) cornstarch 2 small or 1 medium piece of mastic (mistika), ground into fine powder (optional)*2 teaspoons orange blossom water, optional* 1 teaspoon rose water, optional*
500g konafa (kataifi/kadayef dough), fresh or frozen-defrosted, mix with 1 cup melted ghee (Clarified butter) (or clarified butter)*Till coated nicely - I used my blender
TO MAKE SYRUP:
In a medium saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Set on the stove top over medium high heat. Try to avoid stirring too much. Once it comes to a boil, STOP stirring.Reduce heat and summer till thick.Stir in the orange blossom and rose water, if using.
Transfer to a medium bowl or gravy boat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
TO MAKE THE CREAM FILLING:
In a small saucepan, off the heat, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar and cornstarch until well combined and the cornstarch has dissolved completely without any visible lumps.
Set the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a full boil, whisking constantly. Continue to boil for about one minute until the mixture thickens and large bubbles form around the surface.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the ground mastic, orange blossom and rose water, if using.
Set the cream-filling aside to cool slightly as you prepare the konafa crust.
TO MAKE THE KONAFA CRUST:
preheat the oven to 200C. Heavily grease with ghee (Clarified butter) or butter a 28cm/11-inch cake pan. Set aside.
Transfer two-thirds the amount of konafa in the prepared pan and firmly press it on the bottom and up the sides. Make a wall with the konafa around the sides of the pan; Pack the konafa as tightly as possible. Use the bottom of a drinking or measuring cup, to help pack it tightly and smooth out the konafa.
Pour the cream filling into the konafa crust. Can strain it through a sieve to smooth out. Spread the filling with a spatula make it smooth.
Scatter on the remaining third of the konafa over the cream filling, lightly press it on to adhere. At this point, you can cover the konafa and refrigerate until you're ready to bake; up to 24 hours or bake right away.
Bake, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top and sides of the konafa are deep golden brown in color. The longer it bakes, the crunchier it will be. So bake it for less time if you prefer a softer crust.
Remove the konafa from the oven and immediately pour on the room temperature syrup.
Let the konafa rest for 5 minutes to allow for the syrup to soak in, then flip on to a serving platter
Cut into wedges, serve warm