Güllac is a Turkish dessert made with milk, pomegranate and a special kind of pastry. It is consumed especially during Ramadan and special desert for Ramadan. It contains walnuts between the layers that are put in milk. Güllac was used for making Güllaç Lokmas? and Güllaç Baklavas?, archaic Turkish desserts made during Ottoman period in Turkey. The etymology of Güllaç is combination of two words Güllü and as, meaning “food with roses”. Although the dessert itself may contain rose leaves and rose syrup, the name refers to the shape of layers which look similar to leaves of roses. In the early times of Ottoman Empire, people used to make Güllac sheets from corn starch, flour and water and they could keep these for months. As these sheets are dried and got crispy, people used to soften them with milk and sugar. Its dough is now prepared with corn starch and wheat flour, although originally it was made only with wheat starch. You can also buy Güllac sheets as ready-to-use from markets in Turkey.
Due to the popularity in Ramadan, it is decorated according to the season in which the Ramadan coincides. Especially the decoration with pomegranate is a traditional choice, but it can also be served with strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, and pistachios. It is a very easy-to-digest, light dessert. These are two main reasons why people prefer Güllac to end their iftar meal with something sweet. In Ramadan, Muslims don’t eat or drink anything from sunrise till sunset, so their body needs more sugar than usual because of hunger. Therefore, Güllac compensates this need.
A simple recipe is as follows:
10 Güllac sheets
1 liter milk
2 cups sugar
1/6 cup rose water
A cup of ground hazelnut
Bring the milk to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Then add the sugar and stir it. Place a Güllac sheet in a wide pan and pour a ladle of very hot milk on it. Wait until it absorbs the milk and softens, then again place a sheet and pour milk. Repeat this with three more sheets and then spread over the nuts. Finish off with the remaining sheets and milk. Before serving let it cool in the refrigerator and then cut Güllac into square pieces and sprinkle over the rose water. Garnish it with slices of fruit, pomegranate kernels or ground pistachio, anything you like.