1 lt (or 4 cups) water
850 gr. (or 4 1/4 cups, or 9.5 dl) granulated white sugar
6-7 drops of lemon juice
500 gr. raw, fresh kadayif
250 gr. butter
400 gr. lightly toasted hazelnuts, coarsely crushed
To serve (optional)
toasted and crushed pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts etc.
First we will make the syrup. The syrup must be done slightly early so that it cools down in the meantime. When you pour the syrup on the cookies coming fresh out of the oven, the cookies must be hot and the syrup should be cool – in room temperature. So, in order to prepare it, pour water and sugar in a pan and put on medium heat, stirring until most of the sugar is dissolved. You can then leave it on the heat until it starts boiling.
When it starts boiling, pour lemon juice in the sugary water, stir just a couple of turns, and let it simmer for about 5 more minutes, then take it out of the stove to cool down. You can make the syrup about 2 hours in advance and let it cool on your kitchen counter (do not put it in the fridge).
When the syrup is cold and you are ready to make the dessert, preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease your big oven dish with some butter (or vegetable oil).
Open kadayif package and put it in a bowl or large tray / big plate. In the package, the dough can stick and become one big dough, so unstick the pieces.
After syrup, we make the cookies. In a medium size mixing bowl, put butter and using your hand, just let it get softer a little bit more.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Pour melted butter on kadayif and using your hand, let all kadayif pieces absorb the butter.
Put half of the buttered kadayif on your oven dish and using your hand press it well to cover the base of the dish well.
Spread the hazelnuts on kadayif layer and again press well with your hand.
Add flour and continue kneading with your hand.
Cover hazelnut layer with the remaining kadayif and one more time, press it well using your hand.
When kadayif is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, cut the dessert in the dish in any amount and size of slices you want and then pour the cold syrup on the dessert evenly using a ladle. Let the dessert cool down at least to room temperature before serving / eating (otherwise it might feel a bit too heavy). Spread some more hazelnuts or even better, some toasted and crushed pistachios (both are optional). Enjoy!