Sweet Cheese Martabak

Sweet Cheese Martabak

Daria Souvorova

1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes
serves: 12-16 people

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I think I went through a phyllo phase. And what a beautiful phase it was! This is one of my favorite desserts, it turned out even better than I could have expected. The buttery phyllo turns out perfectly flaky and the ricotta and goat cheese mixture comes alive when it is topped with the lemon-sugar syrup. And the dessert looks so perfectly presentable if you pre-slice it before baking and serve the entire pastry on a wooden cutting board. It will seem like there is too much syrup, but don’t panic, pour it all over the pastry and it will absorb within 10 minutes.

This also keeps really well for breakfast the rest of the week! If you have any left!

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I originally created this recipe for our Jerusalem Dinner last year (find all of our Israeli recipes in Chez Nous: Communal Dinners)! I brought the recipe back for the book launch of my first cookbook Chez Nous: Communal Dinners this past Saturday.

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Appetizers for our Chez Nous: Communal Dinners Book Launch

Generally, we serve sit-down dinners, but for this reception, I wanted to feature recipes from the book that could be made in advance and served buffet style so I did not have to worry about anything being too cold or losing its texture throughout the event. I focused on appetizers and desserts. I served five different appetizers from the book including Baba Ganoush, Cilantro Chutney, Hummus, with Buttered Naan as well as Sardele in Saor Crostini and Fresh Mozzarella Pesto Crostini. Our desserts included a beautiful Tiramisu from our Venice Chapter, a Sweet Potato Batatada from our Macao Chapter, A Sweet Cheese Martabak from Jerusalem, and a Victoria Sandwich Cake from the High Tea Guide.

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Guests enjoying our desserts!

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10-12 full sheets phyllo pastry
  • 3 cups (720 g) ricotta cheese
  • 11 ounce (300 g) goat cheese
  • 11 ounce (300 g) goat cheese, optional
  • syrup:
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) water
  • 1 1/3 cup (170 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice

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      1. Heat oven to 450°F (230°C).
        Line shallow baking dish with aluminum foil.
        Make a stack of five or six phyllo sheets, buttering generously in between.
        Place into baking dish, edges should slightly overhang, trim if needed.
      2. Blend cheeses and spread all over pastry.
      3. Create another stack of 5 buttered phyllo sheets, trim to exact size of baking dish and place over cheese. Roll in edges of bottom dough in to seal the pastry.
      4. Butter all over and cut slits almost all the way through in serving sizes.
        Bake about 25 minutes until golden brown.
      5. Meanwhile, mix water and sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil.
        Brush and pour the just boiled syrup over the baked pastry and let absorb.
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