Znoud El-Sit
Znoud El-Sit
Prep Time
1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Rest Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
Znoud el-sit (ladies' upper arm) is a popular Middle Eastern cream-filled pastry made of phyllo dough, crunchy on the outside and creamy inside.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Vegetarian
Servings: 20 pieces
Author: Renards Gourmets
  • 16 oz. phyllo dough sheets
  • Vegetable oil for frying
For the cream filling
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fine semolina
  • ¼ teaspoon gum arabic or mastic
To seal the phyllo sheets
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 5 tablespoons water
For the sugar syrup
  • cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water
For the garnish
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pistachios coarsely ground
  1. Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer over low to medium heat for 15 minutes uncovered until the liquid is reduced and concentrated.
  4. Remove from heat, add the rose water (or orange blossom water) and let cool completely.
Cream filling
  1. Add the whole milk, cornstarch and semolina in a nonstick pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is bubbling and it thickens until creamy.
  2. Reserve and let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
To seal the phyllo sheets
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and water.
  1. Using a pair of scissors, cut the phyllo sheets into 3 equal strips of about 11 x 3 inches.
  2. Lay a first phyllo strip vertically on a work surface, then place a second strip horizontally on top of the vertical strip to create a cross shape.
  3. Place a tablespoon of cream in the center of the cross.
  4. Fold the ends of the horizontal strip over the cream.
  5. Then roll up the vertical band.
  6. Using a brush, spread the mixture to seal around the edge and continue rolling to form a cylinder.
  7. Renew the process until all the phyllo sheets have been used.
  8. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.
  9. Heat a large volume of oil in a deep skillet to a temperature of 350 F.
  10. Fry the znoud el sit until golden brown.
  11. Remove the pastries using a skimmer and immediately immerse in the completely cooled sugar syrup.
  12. Arrange in a serving dish and sprinkle with ground pistachios.