Güllaç – Gullac is traditionally a Ramadan dessert. It is preferred especially in Ramadan as it is a light and easy to prepare dessert, suitable to be served after a long day’s fasting. There are also non-gluten sheets available in the markets. 90% of the annual gullac sheet production is sold during the Ramadan month in Turkey.
During the 15’th century, women used to prepare these sheets using corn starch and would save them to use later. When these sheets are subject to air, they dry very quickly, so they made it soft again by soaking them up in milk and sugar and ate them, later on they started to add rose water. Rose means gül in Turkish and the name of the dessert is gül aşı – rose food. The name eventually turned into güllaç.
I don’t like it, it is too soft, too white and too milky for me. My husband likes it, a good reason for me to prepare. As I have no excuse not to, it is really very easy. Just heat up the milk with sugar, add rose water. Only then open the gullac sheet package. The fact that the sheets dry when openned is true, so you must be quick to soak them in milk.
I happen to have a big enough tray that the sheets will fit it, it you don’t have such a big tray just break them in half. After each sheet pour some milky mixture. When you have laid about half of the sheets sprinkle some walnuts then lay two more sheets and sprinkle some more walnuts and then some more sheets. Pour the remaining milk and you are done. The remaining milk should cover all around the top layer.
Then put the tray or the dish into the fridge. It should rest at least 2 hours before you serve. The best timing would be to prepare during midday and serve at night. It is best when finished in the day it is prepared, next day it will be too soft.
Do the garnishing just before serving so that the garnish doesn’t get soaked up and doesn’t change the color of the gullac. Traditionally it is garnished with pomogranate seeds. However when the season is not right, you can use other fruits such as strawberries, cherries. You can change walnuts with nuts, almonds. You can add pistacchio or coconut flake. Garnish is actually up to you and up to what you have available.