Kashta, the filling for these savory triangles, is a homemade version of ricotta cheese commonly used in pastries and desserts in Palestinian and other regional kitchens. Typically, the cheese is enriched with full fat milk. In this recipe chef Muzna Bishara enriches kashta with cream and adds grapes and raisins. She serves the pastries alongside tahini and dibs, or grape molasses.
If you prefer to skip steps 1-2, you can replace it with 8.5 fl. oz / 250 ml of full-fat ricotta.
- 1 packet filo pastry, thawed according to the package instructions
- For the kashta:
- 3-quarts / 3 liters full fat milk, divided
- 17 fl oz. / 500ml heavy cream (min. 32% fat), divided
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- A handful of raisins (dark, light, or a combination of both), soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
- A handful of grapes (red, green or a combination of both), halved
- 3.5 ounces / 100 grams butter, melted
- To serve:
- Powdered sugar, raw tahini and/ or dibs (grape molasses)
- Heat 1½ quarts / 1½ liters of milk and 8.5fl oz. / 250ml heavy cream over a low-medium heat. Make sure the mixture does not come to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar, stir once and let stand for 15 minutes, until the curd separates from the whey.
- Place the cheese in a cheese cloth or a very fine strainer and let drain overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, use 8.5fl oz. / 250ml store- bought ricotta cheese.
- The next day: Place the cornstarch, remaining milk and heavy cream in a pot and stir until the cornstarch has completely dissolved. Place over a low-medium heat and cook until thickened. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Mix the freshly made ricotta cheese with the thickened milk until smooth. Add the raisins and grapes and mix well.
- Brush a filo sheet with melted butter and place another sheet on top. Brush with melted butter and cut into 3 equal strips, each about 4-inches / 10-cm wide. Place a tablespoon of filling at the bottom of each strip. Fold one corner over the filling to form a triangle and continue folding the triangle upon itself until the entire piece of filo is used (for a demonstration, click here). Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining filo sheets and filling.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve on individual plates, dusted with powdered sugar. Alternatively, drizzle dibs (grape molasses) and tahini on top.