I’ve been making these pastries for my family for years. It’s actually a Middle Eastern dessert using homemade fresh white cheese. It requires 2 cups of cheese and I usually don’t have time to make that much cheese so I’ve modified it using ingredients that are available at the supermarket.
I like to serve it warm so the cheese is soft and stringy, but it’s just as delicious cold. The recipe will make a dozen pastries, but we rarely have leftovers. You can prepare them in advance and pop them in the oven about half an hour before serving. The syrup which is poured over the cooked pastries should be made in advanced and completely cooled before pouring over the pastries to prevent the flaky pastry from falling apart.
Cheese Filled Puff Pastries
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets (package has 2 sheets) – Thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbls. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 of a lemon
1. Mix shredded cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Mix sell so that sugar and cinnamon are evenly distributed.
2. Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry dough. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter cut the dough in half lengthwise. Then cut into thirds across. You should end up with 6 rectangles.
3. Spoon half of the cheese mixture on to the pastry dough – evenly distributing it on each of the rectangles to form a line down the middle of the dough. The cheese should not reach either end of the dough, leave room for crimping.
4. Fold the long sides of each pastry rectangle over the cheese making sure the cheese stays in the middle. Pinching the dough together to form a seam. It will look like a cigar.
5. Crimp both ends of the dough by pressing down gently with the fork. Don’t press too hard that the fork goes thru the dough.
6. Place pastry seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet about 1″ apart. (You can cover the sheet with parchment paper instead of spraying with oil.) Crimp both ends again with the fork.
7. Brush each pastry with melted butter.
8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry turn golden brown.
9. Remove from oven and pour cooled syrup over each pastry. Let sit in syrup for 5 minutes before serving.
1. Put sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until 1/4 or so of the sugar water evaporates. Liquid will slightly thicker but not syrupy.
4. Remove from heat squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Stir completely then set aside to cool. The syrup will be thinner than pancake syrup so that it pours easily.
It is important that the syrup is cooled before pouring over hot pastry. The pastry crust will fall apart if the syrup is hot.
Leftover pastries, if you have any, can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in foil or plastic wrap. It can be re-heated in the microwave but the pastry will be soft and a bit soggy. For better results place on a baking sheet and re-heat in the oven at 375 degrees.