Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins | Total time: 40 mins
Serves: Serves 6
For the cheese filling
1 cup soaked cashews (or boiled, for 15 mins)
¼ block of firm tofu (approximately 115 grams or 4 oz)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp Tapioca starch (AKA Tapioca flour)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup of water
For the kunafa topping
½ a packet of shredded phyllo pastry, defrosted
4 tbsp of vegetable ghee or vegan butter melted
Agave or simple sugar syrup with 1 tsp of orange blossom water
Pistachios to garnish
- Start by preparing your cheese. Drain and rinse cashews then add all remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth. The mix will be watery at this point.
- Pour the cheese mixture into a small pot on medium heat and cook while stirring regularly. As the mixture heats it will start to form clumps before taking on a gooey and melty consistency. The longer you cook it for the more firm it will become, but you still want it to remain spreadable so don’t overdo it. If your cheese firms up too much you can add water and stir on low heat which should soften it up.
- Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Pre-heat your oven to 150 C.
- If your phyllo pastry is in long strings you’ll want to shred it by pulsing gently in a food processor until you have verimicelli length shreds first.
- Place the shredded pastry in a large bowl and massage thoroughly with the vegetable ghee.
- Grease a medium sized pan (12-16 in) with any excess butter and press half of the kunafa mixure into the base so that it forms a compact even layer about 1 cm thick.
- Pour the cheese mixture on top and spread evenly. Cover with the remaining kunafa mixure and pat down gently.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown – you could broil to achieve a deeper colouring on top but be careful it doesn’t burn!
- Allow to cool then drizzle with agave or a simple sugar syrup and pistachios to serve.