Two Turkish Sweets, Two Textures–Meltingly Smooth Fruit Pelte or Crunchy Kadayif Fritters

Pelte are for those who like melt-in you-mouth smoothness and lightness. In Turkey, pelte are made with fresh
cornelian cherries boiled in water to make the cherry juice.  Cornelian cherries are hard to source in the United States, but Turkish sour cherry juice can be substituted (the Tamek brand is available widely), or you can use orange juice.

10 cups of orange or sour cherry juice

1/2 tablespoon orange zest (if using orange juice)

3/4 cup sugar

4 flat tablespoons wheat starch or corn starch

1 teaspoon of almond or corn oil (to oil the moulds)

Stir the starch into ½ cup cold water until there are no lumps. Mix with the orange juice and pour into a saucepan. Cook over a fairly low heat, stirring constantly, for 20 mins, or until the mixture has thickened and begins to simmer. Pour into lightly oiled moulds or bowls, cool and chill. Turn out onto small serving plates.

Kadayif fritters are crisp, nutty and lightly sweet. Tel kadayif  is finely shredded filo dough; it can be tricky to find locally (incredibly, it does not show up on either the Kalustyan’s or Sahadi’s websites), but is available online.

250 g tel kadayıf

½ cup butter

¼ cup ground almonds

¼ cup ground pistachios

¼ cup sugar

4 pieces of gold leaf

 

Crush the tel kadayıf in the hand until it is broken into small pieces approximately ½ cm long. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the crushed tel kadayıf. Fry over a low heat, occasionally spreading it out and turning over, until it is half-cooked (slightly coloured). Add the sugar and ground nuts and stir until the kadayıf is a golden colour. Divide into four parts, place each part one by one into a small semicircular bowl and press until it takes the shape of the bowl. Turn out onto a serving dish. Press the gold leaf on top of each.