Turkish desserts that delight on LI: 4 picks

Profiteroles are embedded within the opulent chocolate pudding

Profiteroles are embedded within the opulent chocolate pudding at Istanbul Cafe II in St. James. (Credit: Heather Walsh)

Turkey is the source of some top-notch desserts. There's kazandibi, a milky baked pudding with a burnt sugar crust, as well as rice pudding and all manner of phyllo pastries.

Here are four Turkish restaurants where you'll want to save room at the end of your meal.

EROL'S CHIT CHAT CAFE, 1597 Rte. 112, Port Jefferson Station, 631-509-4300

At this ultracasual Turkish eatery, there's fine baklava as well as kunefe, a warm shredded wheat and cheese pastry. ($3.99-$5.95).

PITA HOUSE, 680 Rte. 112, Patchogue, 631-289-2262 and 100-27 S. Jersey Ave., East Setauket, 631-675-9051

The airy kazandibi makes for a seductive conclusion to a fine Turkish meal at these two Suffolk Turkish spots. ($3.75 in Patchogue; $4.50 in East Setauket)

EPHESUS, 514 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 516-543-4258

Chef-owner Funda Duygun uses lemon zest in her creamy baked rice pudding to give it a bright, fresh flavor ($4.25). Also baklava and fistik sarma (above).

ISTANBUL CAFE II, 412 North Country Rd., St. James, 631-250-9009

At this offshoot of an established Centereach Turkish restaurant, chef de cuisine Joseph Yepti serves up kazandibi, a burnt sugar-topped eggless custard, is airy-light, trembly. The showstopper, though, is an opulent chocolate pudding with profiteroles embedded within. Presented in a plastic dish, it epitomizes the strip-mall surprise. ($4-$4.50)

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