Recipe Scene: Baklava

I just love baklava.  Words can’t describe how much I love baklava.  When I make this it doesn’t last very long – I try to have just one little piece, then I need a another bit to even it up and then I figure I may as well finish off the whole row.  I’ve used pistachios and walnuts in this recipe but you can use any combination of nuts that you fancy, and you can also vary the spices.


Ingredients

2 cups (280 grams) shelled pistachios
1 cup  (150 grams) walnuts
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 packet filo pastry
Butter, melted
Extra crushed pistachios

Syrup

1 ½ cups (360 mls) water
1 ½ cups (330 grams) white sugar
1/3 cup (120 grams) honey
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon rosewater

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Crush the nuts in a food processor, but don’t make them too powdery, you want a few chunky bits.   Stir through the brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

2.  Line a tin with baking paper.  You can use whatever shape tin you like, depending on what shape you want the baklava to be.  I generally use a square tin and cut into diamonds or triangles, or a rectangular slice tin and roll into logs.  I’ve never made a round one, but that looks good too.  For the purposes of this recipe I’ll assume we are making logs.

3.  Lay a sheet of filo on the bench and brush lightly with butter.  Fold/layer the filo to fit your tin, until you have 4-5 layers of pasty.  Sprinkle with the nut mix, leaving a border at the end.  Roll into a log and place in the slice tin.  Repeat with the remaining nut and filo until all the nut mix is used up.

4.  Brush with butter.  You can top with the extra pistachios now, or wait until it’s cooked to do so.  If you put them on now they will brown, if you wait til the end they will remain green.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.

5.  While the baklava is cooking, make the syrup.  Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.  Allow to boil, without stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.

6.  Pour the syrup over the hot baklava.  This recipe makes a lot of syrup, but that’s how I like it.  Allow the baklava to soak up the syrup, then add more if needed.  You want the whole lot to be soaked in syrup.  If you haven’t topped with the crushed pistachios you can do so now.

7.  Place in the fridge until ready to serve, or until you can’t wait any longer to try just a teensy bit.

About Kate Delbridge 163 Articles
Kate works in local government as an occupational therapist but her heart is in the kitchen. When she’s not looking through cookbooks Kate gardens, reads, sees films, listens to music and catches up with mates. She loves cooking mainly because it gives her an excuse to eat.

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