Gullac sheets, which are made of starch and water, are soaked in sweetened milk and then chilled. Layer it with walnuts and top it with nuts and pomegranate. The easiest yet yummiest Turkish dessert ever!

Just like Turkish pide ekmek, Gullac dessert is a special food served during the month of Ramadan. You can’t see it anywhere other than this month. This is why it is special. Also, check out our easy Turkish baklava recipe and kunafa or knafeh recipe if you want more Turkish dessert recipes.

A slice of gullac dessert on two pastel colored plates on a light background, a bowl of pomegranate arils on the side.
Gullac served on plates
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What Is Gullac?

In Turkish culture, there are some certain dishes which are made on special days or occasions. We want to share another special dish made just in Ramadan month. This is a simple, but tasty dessert called gullac (güllaç in Turkish letters). The sheets are simply made of corn starch, wheat flour and water. They are soaked in sweetened warm milk, layered with walnuts and chilled.

We don’t want to translate it into English as it might be nonsense. In Turkish gül means rose and means food; gullac is the abbreviation of güllü aş, which means food flavored with rose. Nobody calls it güllü aş today, gullac is easier to pronounce, so it is the modern name of this yummy dessert. So what is the relation of rose with this dessert? Actually, it’s not the rose, but rose water which has that relationship with this Turkish dessert.

Gullac in a pan topped with ground pistachio and pomegranate arils.
Gullac topped with pistachio and pomegranate arils

History

Rose water used to be the main flavor in this dessert in Ottoman culture because of its refreshing effect. Just like when making Turkish delight, today, it depends on your taste to add rose water or not. Some people use it, some don’t. Personally, we don’t love its flavor in gullac much, so we prefer not using it. But it doesn’t mean it tastes bad, it gives a quite refreshing flavor to the dessert.

In the early times of Ottoman Empire, people used to make sheets from corn starch, flour and water and they could keep these for months. As these sheets  are dry and crispy, people used to soften them with milk and sugar. Probably, it wasn’t a kind of dessert those times, but more of a main dish.  The best part of it for those people was the simple ingredients in the recipe. And keeping the dried sheets for long might be the second reason for people to love it. Then as the empire got richer, it turned out to be a dessert special for the palace and it became sultans’ favorite. And today, It has that fame as one of the palace desserts. When you tend to buy the dessert (not the sheets) from a pastry shop, you will see that it’s not that cheap.

More Turkish desserts: Turkish Flour Halva Recipe, Sesame Seed Candy Recipe, Tulumba Recipe Homemade.

Another Ottoman tradition about gullac is that it’s always decorated with pomegranate and I love to see these cute red beads on the white surface of this dessert. I think they complete each other and address to our eyes first. And I love to add a third wonderful ingredient for garnish. Pistachios! When you have these three at the same time, the pleasure you feel doubles.

When To Buy

You can see gullac at pastry shops and at markets just in Ramadan. Just like dates, in Turkey it is special for Ramadan. This simple and easy dessert is made from gullac sheets. You may think that they are similar to phyllo sheets, but these are totally different. Gullac sheets are so white, thin and crispy. Today, people don’t make these sheets themselves as it requires special talents. These are sold in packages at the markets. And there are about 15 sheets in a package. As far as I know, there are two big companies producing and selling these sheets to markets, Saffetabdullah Gullaclari and Istanbul Gullac.

These sheets are completely natural, they don’t have any additives. Moreover, it is a very light dessert. These are just two of the reasons why people prefer gullac to end their iftar meal with something sweet. You know, in Ramadan, muslims don’t eat or drink anything from sunrise till sunset, so their body needs more sugar than usual because of hunger.

Gullac sheets surrounded by pistachios, pomegranate arils, walnuts, sugar and milk in separate bowls on a dark background.
Gullac ingredients

Ingredients

  • gullac sheets
  • milk
  • sugar
  • crumbled walnuts
  • ground pistachio and pomegranate arils for garnish

How To Make Gullac

Warm milk in a pot and a spoon inside it on a dark background.
Milk in a pot

First, prepare the milk. Put milk and sugar (and 1 tbsp rosewater if you like) in a pot and heat it until the sugar melts. Stir it occasionally. It shouldn’t be too hot to touch, so let it cool a little. When it gets warm enough, we can start to make our dessert. If you use it hot, your dessert gets soggy.

A hand pouring milk over gullac sheets in a pan with a ladle.
Wetting gullac sheets with milk

Second, make the layers in a pan. Put a gullac sheet in the pan. Wet it with the warm milk. Repeat this with five sheets.

Gullac sheets wetted with milk and topped with walnuts
Gullac sheets topped with walnuts

After the fifth one, spread the crumbled walnut on it.

A hand pouring milk over gullac sheets with a ladle and walnuts underneath are seen.
Layering gullac sheets and walnuts

Then put the rest five sheets one by one and wet each of them with milk. When you finish with the tenth one, pour the rest of the milk on it. They don’t need to be very good in shape while arranging them in the pan.

Gullac dessert in a beige colored pan.
Gullac dessert in a pan

They will combine when they get wet with milk. After pouring the milk, you will see the sheets are rising, do not touch them. Cover it with stretch film and put it in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

A slice of gullac dessert topped with ground pistachio and pomegranate arils.
A slice of gullac

Third, garnish it. I always leave the garnishing part to the serving time, otherwise pomegranates and pistachio may change the color of gullac. After taking it from refrigerator, cut it in squares or rectangles, garnish and serve.

Other Turkish Desserts With Milk: Turkish Baked Rice Pudding Recipe, Turkish Keskul Recipe.

Gullac recipe

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📖 Recipe

Gullac Recipe

A simple dessert with gullac sheets and sweetened milk.

  • Author: Yusuf
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • 10 gullac sheets
  • 7 cups milk
  • 1 and ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup crumbled walnuts
  • Ground pistachio and pomegranate arils for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put milk and sugar (and 1 tbsp rosewater if you like) in a pot and heat it until the sugar melts. Stir it occasionally. It shouldn’t be too hot to touch, so let it cool a little. When it gets warm enough, we can start to make our dessert. If you use it hot, your dessert gets soggy.
  2. Pt a gullac sheet in the pan. Wet it with the warm milk. Repeat this with five sheets. After the fifth one, spread the crumbled walnut on it. Then lay the rest five sheets one by one and wet each of them with milk. When you finish with the tenth one, pour the rest of the milk on it. They don’t need to be very good in shape while arranging them in the pan. They will combine when they get wet with milk. After pouring the milk, you will see the sheets are rising, do not touch them. Cover it with stretch film and put it in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  3.  After taking it from refrigerator, cut it in squares or rectangles, garnish and serve.

Keywords: gullac sheet, milk

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