Künefe is a pastry made from cheese baked between two layers of shredded phyllo (kadayif) and soaked in a sweet syrup. It is from the Hatay province in Turkey and closely related to the Palestinian Kanafeh. Künefe is best served hot while the cheese still has a melted consistency. Traditionally, Hatay cheese is used for the filling, but it is difficult to find outside of Turkey. It is made of fresh milk and contains no salt. Good quality Mozzarella can be substituted, but it needs to be soaked first if it contains salt.
To desalt the Mozzarella, shred it and place in a large bowl. Cover the cheese with cold water. You can either let it soak for 12 hours, draining and adding more cold water occasionally, or let it soak for 2-3 hours, exchanging the water every 20 minutes.
Kadayif is thinly shredded phyllo dough. I was able to find it at the local Greek specialty store. It may also be available in the freezer section of some larger supermarkets or ethnic stores. In a pinch, you can roll up phyllo and slice as thinly as possible. To use frozen kadayif, place in the refrigerator the night before to thaw.