Turkish cuisine is famous for its delicious milk desserts and Güllaç is one of them. Güllaç is a traditional Ramadan dessert that dates back to Ottoman Era. This delicious dessert is very popular during Ramadan month because it is very light and easy to prepare.
The Güllaç word is derived from the combination of Güllü and Aş words in Turkish. Gül word means rose and Aş word means food in English. So basically, it may sound like food with a rose. The word Güllü-Aş eventually turn into Güllaç word in time. You may be curious about the relation of rose with this dessert. It is not the rose flower itself, but the rose water has a connection with this dessert.
In Ottoman culture, rose water has a special place because in Islamic beliefs; a good smell is important. So for this reason, using rose water as a fragrant and as a food sweetener was very common at Ottoman Palace. However, today, some people use rose water, and some don’t in this dessert. Personally, I don’t love the rosewater flavor and smell, so I prefer not to use it in any recipe.
How to make Güllac Sheets?
In the 1400s, this delicious Gullac Turkish dessert was made by mixing cornstarch with water. Ottoman women were mixing cornstarch and water to make paper-thin Güllaç sheets (leaves). When the mix meets with air, it dries quickly and became easy to stack and store. When they want to use these paper-thin sheets, they were soaking them up in milk and sugar and ate them.
Today, no one makes these Güllaç sheets at home. There are Güllaç sheet producer companies that make these sheets with mass production and distribute to nationwide and worldwide. However; if you cannot find Gullac sheets, you can simply make them at home.
When cooking Gullac sheets (leaves), it is important to take certain precautions. One step that should be done consistently is rinsing the pan. This helps prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan, and also helps to lower the temperature of the pan. Additionally, using a hair dryer (at the lowest level) or a hand fan to wave over the Gullac sheets (leaves) during cooking can help them dry faster and remove them easily from the frying pan.
If you plan to use the Gullac sheets immediately, there is no need to further dry them in the oven. However, in this case, it is important to not stack the leaves on top of each other while waiting for the mixture to cook. Because they can stick to each other if you stack them. Just spread them on a counter if you are willing to make your Gullac dessert in the same day.
Güllac Sheets Ingredients (You will only need 3 ingredients):
2 cups water (400ml), 2 tbsp of flour, and 50 grams of cornstarch/corn flour.
Making Güllac Sheets:
a. Place flour, starch, and water into a jar. Cover the jar lid and shake it until a smooth consistency.
b. Rince the frying pan with water.
c. Place a small quantity of the mixture into the frying pan to make a really thin layer.
d. Cook the mixture on the stove with the highest level of heat, and use a hair dryer at the lowest level of heat to make a heat wave over the mixture (or a hand fan) until the Gullac sheet can be easily removed from the frying pan.
e. Take the Gullac sheet from the frying pan and place it into a baking tray that has baking paper already placed in it.
f. Bake the sheets in a 170 C degree preheated oven (use the fan setting) until reaching crispy form.
Where to eat?
If you visit Turkey during Ramadan month, you must taste this delicious milk dessert. During Ramadan month, most of the patisseries put Güllaç dessert on their menu. If you are in Istanbul during Ramadan, I strongly recommend you stop by the Emirgan Sütiş restaurant to taste their Güllaç dessert. They are very good at making milk desserts and other desserts.
- 10 Gullac Sheets
- 2 liters milk
- 500 gram sugar
- 1 pomegranete pieces
- 10 Strawberries cut into slices
- 200 gram walnuts coarsly chopped
- 200 gram pistachios coasrly chopped
Place the milk and sugar in a pot and bring the heat to medium and stir the mix untill the sugar dissolves.
Turn off the heat and let the mix cool down at room temprature.
After the mix coold down, place one Güllaç sheet to a midsize tray and sprinkle milk on it. Then wait for the milk to soak and repeat the same steps with the other four Güllaç sheets.
Spread the chopped walnuts and pistachios on top of the fifth layer evenly. And repeat the same procedure with the other five layers of Güllaç sheets as you do same as the first five.
Finally, pour the rest of the milk over the Güllaç and then place the Güllac tray to the refregirator.
When the Güllaç is cooled one hour, cut it into square shape pieces and sprinkle it with pistachio, pomegranate pieces and walnuts.
Note: Garnish it with Strawberry Slices.