Katmer is an ancient type of Turkish flaky pastry which is rich, crispy and very indulgent. It comes in a number of different forms but perhaps the most well-known and celebrated is the version from the city of Gaziantep in the South-East of the country. This historic city (also known as Aintab or Antep) is Turkey’s gastronomic capital, noted for its baklava, pistachios and generously spiced food. This culinary heritage has been influenced by the diverse array of ethnic groups that have lived and still live in Gaziantep today, including Turks, Yörüks, Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs and Kurds.
The Gaziantep version of katmer is made with just four component parts: filo pastry, kaymak (clotted cream), sugar and crushed pistachios. It’s the standard breakfast in this corner of the country and is often served drizzled with honey and washed down with a glass of local black tea. It may literally be one of the unhealthiest recipes you’ll ever come across, but it’s still ok to try once in a while.
Time: 15 minutes
- 4 sheets of filo pastry
- 100g clotted cream
- 100g finely ground pistachios
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Melted butter (to coat)
- Honey (to drizzle)
Lay out the sheets of filo pastry – if they’re rectangular cut a slice off the edge to make them square. Next, dollop the clotted cream onto the pastry in rows with space between and leaving a gap around the edge. Sprinkle the whole thing with finely crushed pistachios and sugar.
Fold each corner of the pastry into the centre and press down to form an envelope. Brush the top with melted butter. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in an oven at 200C for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Once cooked, leave it to cool down, sprinkle the top with some more pistachios, cut the katmer to the sizes you want, drizzle with honey and serve with extra cream. Pour yourself a glass of black tea and enjoy a very Turkish start to the day.
Recipe: James Rayner