• Kanafeh with apple tea (The Chefs' Line)Source: The Chefs' Line

Whether you call it knefe, kanafeh, knafe, or "that Middle Eastern cheese sweet"...a cheesy dessert by any other name would taste just as good. The Chefs' Line






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 100 g ghee 
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 200 g kataifi pastry
  • 100 g fiore di latte cheese, drained and torn (see note)
  • 100 g haloumi, finely chopped
  • 50 g chopped pistachio nuts

Apple tea

  • 200 g dried apple, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp honey

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Grease a 22 cm frying pan with ghee and set aside.

Place the sugar, cinnamon, star anise and cloves in a saucepan. Add 185 ml (¾ cup) water and simmer over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the kataifi pastry with 3 tablespoons ghee, loosening the strands as you go. Spread half the kataifi pastry over the base of the greased frying pan and scatter with the cheeses. Spread the remaining pastry over the top. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the bottom of the pastry is golden and crisp, checking every 2 minutes and adding a little extra ghee down the side of the pan if necessary. Using a spatula, flip the kanafeh upside down and drizzle with 125 ml (½ cup) of the syrup. Cook the other side until golden, then remove from the heat and top with the chopped pistachio nuts.

Meanwhile, for the apple tea, place the dried apple, cinnamon, cloves and 800 ml water into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the hot tea into a teapot. Make sure to gently push on the apples to remove all the liquid. Sweeten with honey, then pour into tea glasses. Serve the hot kanafeh with the apple tea.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!