This sweet rolled pastry filled with homemade Ashta (cream) dipped in rose water and orange blossom syrup with a sprinkle of pistachios is called Znood il Sit "lady's wrists" or Khdood il Sit "lady's cheeks".
So yesterday, when I presented Znood il Sit to a sweet friend of mine,she said,"In Palestine, we call them Khdood il Sit."
The story goes back in time to the night when Barbar Agha, the ruler of Tripoli, hosted a big dinner celebration at his palace. At the end of his party, Barbar Agha served a new kind of dessert. Everyone loved his dessert. One of the attendees looked at his side and then looked at Barbar and said," This dessert looks like a lady's wrist."
Since then, and with love, Znood il sit travelled across Lebanon, Syria, and the middle east.
Today, my wrists enjoyed preparing Znood il Sit with a twist.
6 pieces white classic sliced bread
170 grams of cream (Nestle)
1/2 cup farina
1 cup whole milk
8-10 pastry leaves OR small filo leaves
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
2 cups white sugar (for the syrup)
1 tbsp lemon juice (for the syrup)
To make syrup:
Combine the sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice . Simmer for 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp orange blossom. Add 1 tbsp rose water. Let it cool.
To prepare Ashta (cream filling):
Remove the outer part of the sliced bread. Cut bread into small pieces and place in a saucepan. Mix milk with farina. Add cream to farina. Stir milk, farina, and cream with bread pieces. Place on stove and cook for 7 minutes on low heat. Add 1 tbsp rose water to the filling.
To prepare Znood il Sit:
Melt butter in a bowl. Lay pastry leaf on a flat surface. Brush leaf with butter. Place one tablespoon of ashta (cream filling) in the middle. Fold the sides of the pastry towards the filling. Roll pastry leaf. Repeat
Place Znood il sit on a flat plate. Heat oil. Fry wrists on both sides. Remove from heat and quickly immerse in syrup. Remove from syrup. Repeat
Serve Znood il Sit on a plate with a sprinkle of ground pistachios.