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Recipe: Güllaç

August 25, 2011

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Total time: 40 minutes, plus cooling times

Servings: 6

Note: This recipe calls for making güllaç wafers (adapted from Sirvani's 15th century recipe). You can also use prepared güllaç wafers, available at Turkish and select Middle Eastern markets as well as online.

Güllaç wafers

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 egg whites

About ¾ cup water

1 hard-boiled egg yolk

1. In a medium bowl, beat the cornstarch gradually into the egg whites, then whisk in the water bit by bit until you have about 1½ cups of batter.

2. Heat a 9-inch skillet over low heat until hot. Rub a little hard-boiled egg yolk all over the pan using a folded paper towel (the egg will be crumbly, so brush off any large bits). This will help keep the wafers from sticking to the pan. Add about one-fourth cup of the batter into the pan, swirling around until the base is covered. Cook until the sides start to curl inward and the wafer releases from the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the heat of the pan (it will look much like a crepe). The wafers should not color but remain white. Remove the wafer to a plate or baking sheet.

3. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 6 wafers. Set aside.

Güllaç assembly

5 cups milk

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup rose water

6 homemade güllaç wafers, or 4 prepared wafers, divided

3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts or pistachios, plus halved or whole nuts for garnish

Pomegranate kernels for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rose water.

2. Ladle about one-half cup of the milk mixture into the bottom of a circular dish. Top with a güllaç wafer. Continue ladling milk and adding wafers until you have three layers (two if using prepared wafers).

3. Sprinkle over the coarsely ground nuts.

4. Repeat with the remaining wafers, ladling milk and layering wafers until all of the wafers are used. You may not use all the milk mixture, as homemade wafers may absorb more or less of the milk than various purchased brands. Save any leftover milk mixture to add later if needed.

5. Leave out for an hour until the wafers have absorbed the milk (add additional milk if needed), then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to chill. Decorate with the halved or whole nuts and the pomegranate kernels before serving.

Each serving: 403 calories; 10 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 17 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 55 mg cholesterol; 43 grams sugar; 102 mg sodium.