The Shahrouks - Znood il Sit
2L long life full cream milk
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp icing sugar
1½ cups white sugar
½ tsp rose water
½ tsp orange blossom water
¼ tsp lemon juice
6 sheets filo pastry
3 tbsp finely ground pistachios
Orange blossom jam, to serve
Vegetable oil, to deep fry
1. For the Ashta filling (which is the milk skin), pour milk into a very large, stainless steel or enamelled baking tray. Position over 2 or 3 elements or burners on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow milk to simmer.
2. Line a fine sieve with cheesecloth and place over a deep bowl. As the milk simmers, use a fine metal spider to scoop the skin (ashta) that forms on top of the milk and place into the sieve to drain away excess liquid. Transfer ashta to a small bowl, and discard excess liquid that has drained from the skin. Repeat scooping action every few minutes until milk has reduced by half. Remove the ashta from the sieve and set aside in a small bowl.
3. To separate the curds from the whey, add lemon juice and vinegar to simmering milk and gently agitate milk until it separates. Turn off heat and strain milk through cheesecloth to collect the curd. Either freeze the whey for a later use, or discard.
4. Stir the ashta that you have set aside, through the curd and place into the fridge to chill and drain completely.
5. Transfer the curd mixture to a bowl and stir through 1 tablespoon of icing sugar. Place in fridge until required.
6. For the sugar syrup, place sugar, rose water, orange blossom water, lemon juice and ¾ cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms as this may cause syrup to be cloudy. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
7. To assemble, cut sheets of filo lengthways into 10 cm wide pieces and set aside. You should have 12 x 10cm wide lengths. Cut one third off each length and set aside.
8. Lay one long piece of filo on a clean dry work surface so that it runs vertically away from you. Take one of the short pieces of filo. Lay it widthways over the long piece, about 2cm from the end closest to you, so it forms a cross shape. Take a heaped tablespoon of ashta and place into the centre of where the two pieces overlap and shape into a small log. Fold the sides of the short pieces over the ashta filling and press filo around gently but snugly to enclose the ashta. Take the bottom end of the long piece and fold over the ashta and roll up like a spring roll. Place onto a tray, seam side down.
9. Repeat with remaining filling and filo to make 12 rolls.
10. Heat oil in deep fryer or large wide saucepan to 170C.
11. Cook znood for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
12. To serve, dip into sugar syrup then dip ends into crushed pistachios. Arrange onto a plate and garnish with a little orange blossom jam.