Konafah with lemon syrup

This typical Lebanese dessert is creamy and indulgent. Though often made with vermicelli, I like to use bread crumbs for a different texture. The orange flower water custard is beautifully offset by golden crumbs.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 6-8


Preheat the oven to 400oF/200oC/Gas Mark 6.
Pour half of the bread crumbs into a 9-inch/23-cm square

baking dish and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, or until just brown.

Reduce the oven to 350oF/180oC/Gas Mark 4.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, semolina, sugar, and orange flower water, mix well, and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Pour the cream mixture on top of the bread crumbs and top with the rest of bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden and the mixture is firm. Sprinkle with edible flowers, if desired.

For the syrup, combine the sugar, lemon leaves, and a scant
1 cup (7 fl oz/200 ml) water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until it becomes a thick syrup. Remove the leaves, add the lemon juice, and mix well.

Serve slices of the dessert warm with the lemon syrup.