Hye Thyme Cafe: Pumpkin Kadayif

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Kadayif

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

OK, so I'm probably doing this backward. If you're going to post a twist on a recipe, you should probably post the original first. In that case, it would be either a Cheese Kadayif, Cream Kadayif (my favorite), or Nut Kadayif. But it's fall, so I'm going with the pumpkin today! I came up with this last year and was told it needed to become a permanent addition to our Thanksgiving table. 😃

When people see Kadayif, they always think they're looking at coconut or shredded wheat, but it's actually a dough. For some reason, if you read the package, it's usually referred to as shredded phyllo dough. I don't get that at all! If it was shredded phyllo, it would be a crumbled mess. The only thing I can figure is that it's made with the same ingredients as phyllo but in different proportions??? 

1 pkg Kataifi dough  (available at Middle Eastern markets or bakeries - some restaurants)
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 T sugar
2 t cinnamon
Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe
1 t ground clove
1/4 t salt
2 lg eggs

2 c sugar
1 c water
1 T lemon juice

Shred all of the dough over a large bowl. Because I'm usually bringing Kadayif to some sort of work function or party where plastic utensils may be used, I got into the habit of cutting it into 3 or 4 sections before shredding.  

Pour the melted butter over the dough and work it through with your hands to distribute. Press half of the buttered dough into a casserole dish, sheet pan, large cake pan, etc. It's really just a matter of how "high" you want it - if you're trying to "stretch" it to serve more people, etc.

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe
Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe 

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Switching gears, head on over to your mixer and beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the pumpkin and spices and continue beating to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, then spread the filling over the dough in your pan and cover with the remaining dough.

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme CafePumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Bake at 375 for about 45" until golden. When it just starts to brown, or just comes out of the oven, bring your sugar and water to a boil, then squeeze in the lemon juice and continue to boil for about a minute, stirring. You want to boil it long enough to cool into a syrup, but not so long that it turns into candy! Better too thin than too thick.

Poke some holes in the top of the Kadayif with a small paring knife or lobster pick - heck, you can stab it with a fork if you want - then pour the hot syrup over the top while the Kadayif is still hot. The holes are to make sure the syrup soaks all the way through.

For some reason, the use of Phyllo or Kadayif dough with syrup has been the subject of much discussion over the years. I was always taught to pour hot syrup over cold Paklava to prevent sogginess but to pour hot syrup over hot Kadayif. Others will tell you to pour cold syrup over hot Paklava or hot syrup over cold Kadayif, etc. All I know is this is how I've done it my whole life and I haven't gotten any complaints yet!  😉

Garnish as desired and serve warm or cold. Here, I have topped it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few pumpkin seeds I candied in a pan with a little brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Pumpkin Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

One of my buddies over on BakeSpace, posted a comment below my recipe showing her own twist - she made it and added some crushed pineapple and chopped candied pecan pieces. Got any ideas you want to share???


  1. i don't know why they call khadayif "shredded phyllo dough" because it isn't. i've watched how they make it fresh in middle-eastern countries, and it's very interesting and there's nothing shredded at all. the same technique is used here commercially, just on a much bigger and commercial scale. i made this last year for our fall church's luncheon and it was a big hit. i added the pepitas, i just didn't know how to candy them. my top cream component was "gaymak", the middle-eastern version of clotted cream.

    1. That's so cool that you got to see it being made. I can't imagine making phyllo myself, never mind kadayif dough! My grandmother used to make her own phyllo back in the day, but that was before my time. As for the pepitas, I don't really measure or anything when I do that - with pecans, seeds, etc. I just toss them in a pan with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until it gets all melty and starts to thicken. Then I just pour it out onto a piece of foil or something to spread it own until it cools so they're not all stuck together. Thanks for checking in ... gonna go Google gaymak now. :)


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