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Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Golden baked pastries drizzled with syrup served with rich clotted cream, crumbly homemade halvah with roasted pine nuts, baklava with a cheese filling served hot, custards sprinkled with rose water and ground nuts, strings of walnuts coated in grape molasses. ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes, plus cooling times | Serves 6

Gullac wafers

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 egg whites
  • About 3/4 cup water
  • 1 hard-boiled egg yolk

Step 1In a medium bowl, beat the cornstarch gradually into the egg whites, then whisk in the water bit by bit until you have about 1 1/2 cups of batter.

Step 2Heat 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.

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

Gullac assembly

  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rose water
  • 6 homemade gullac 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

Step 1In 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.

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

Step 3Sprinkle over the coarsely ground nuts.

Step 4Repeat 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.

Step 5Leave 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.

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


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