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The Hirshon Syrian Deep-Fried And Cheese-Stuffed Dessert Pancakes – قطايف

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • Batter:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ***
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup oil + 4 tablespoons of clarified butter (a TFD addition, I find it improves the flavor and fits with the Shavuot theme)
  • ***
  • 1 cup very cold shira syrup:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 cup water
  • ***
  • 1 cup pistachios shelled, blanched, peeled and finely ground in a food processor


  1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Stir in the egg, then add water until you have a thin pancake batter, about like a crepe batter.
  2. Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium and grease lightly.
  3. To make the pancakes, spread on 1 T. of batter and use the back of a spoon to quickly form it into a 3″ circle. Cook until bubbles just appear on one side. Do not flip, just remove it from the heat and place in a single layer on a baking sheet or work surface.
  4. Your goal is only to make the crepe firm enough to be filled, you don’t need it to be fully cooked. Do as many at a time as you can handle without overcooking.
  5. Fill each pancake with 1 teaspoon of ricotta. Do not overfill! Fold in half and seal with your fingertips. You can freeze them in a single layer at this point until you are ready to use them.
  6. For the final cooking, heat about ¾ inch of oil in a smallish saucepan. Fry the atayef in small batches until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, douse with the shira syrup, and dip the tip in the finely ground pistachios. The shira should be very cold to prevent it from ruining the crispiness of the pancakes.
  7. ***
  8. Shira – Fragrant Aleppian Syrup
  9. ***
  10. This simple syrup is a component of so many Aleppian desserts that it is a fixture in Aleppian refrigerators. The addition of rose water imbues it with an exotic flavor for which the Middle East is renowned.
  11. When preparing shira, it is important to get the right consistency. For some Syrian sweets, a thicker syriup may be necessary.
  12. To thicken the syrup, keep it on tn the heat a a bit longer; if it is too thick, add some water and simmer again. when pouring shira over hot pastries, the syrup should be very cold so the pastries stay crisp.
  13. Combine all in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  14. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the syrup slides slowly down the back of a spoon.
  15. Allow the syrup to cool. Then pour into a glass jar and refrigerate several hours before using, it will keep for up to 2 months.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 1805.77 kcal
  • Sugar: 203.2 g
  • Sodium: 735.49 mg
  • Fat: 78.36 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.36 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.22 g
  • Carbohydrates: 264.24 g
  • Fiber: 4.86 g
  • Protein: 21.28 g
  • Cholesterol: 78.12 mg

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