Sunday, March 25, 2012

Baklava


Baklava is something I've wanted to make for years.  For some reason it seemed somewhat intimidating to me so I just put it off.  Repeatedly.  Well, I finally got around to making it and let me tell you...it was easy.  A little time consuming, but easy. 

In fact, making baklava is easy enough to be dangerous.  Dangerous because it is probably one of my top ten favorite things to eat of all time. All those flaky layers of phyllo dough dripping with a spicy honey flavored syrup and jam packed with nuts.  It's total heaven.  Messy, sticky, crispy, crunchy heaven. If I don't find someone to share it with I will totally eat the whole pan myself. 
 Baklava
Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens
by Tessa Kiros
Makes About 30 pieces

Syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoon honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
strip of lemon peel
2 or 3 small cinnamon sticks

Baklava:
1 cup walnuts, crushed but with some texture
1 cup pistachios, crushed but with some texture
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
22 sheets phyllo pastry
About 2/3 cup (1-1/4 sticks) butter, melted to golden brown (I had to use a tad more)*
30 or so whole cloves for decorating (optional, but I omitted)*

Preheat the oven to 350F.  To make the syrup, put the sugar, honey, lemon juice, lemon peel and cinnamon in a saucepan with 1 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring.  Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, then take off the heat and cool.

Mix the walnuts, pistachios, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Have the phyllo sheets ready, covered by a dish cloth to prevent them from drying out.  Brush the base of an 8-1/2 x 12-inch baking dish with butter.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom and brush with butter.  Cover with another sheet, brush it with butter and continue in this way until you have a neat stack of 10 sheets lining the bottom of the dish.  Spread half the nut mixture over the phyllo, patting it down firmly and leveling the surface.  Cover with another 2 sheets of phyllo, buttering each one.  Scatter the rest of the nuts over evenly and press down gently.  Now lay down the last 10 sheets of phyllo, buttering each one, of course, and finishing with the last layer buttered.

Using a small sharp knife, cut diamonds on the diagonal of about 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches.  Cut all the way through the layers of phyllo, as this will make it easier to lift out the pieces when serving.  Flick just a little cold water over the top to prevent the layers from curling up.  Stud the enter of each diamond with a clove (if using).  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until gently golden on top.    Gently pour half the syrup all over the baklava.  Wait for it to be absorbed, then pour over the rest.  Leave to cool totally before serving.  Will keep, unrefrigerated, for at least a week, covered with a dish cloth.

*I used Athens brand phyllo sheets and there were exactly 2 rolls of 22 sheets phyllo each. 


Getting a Little Nutty, or Seedy!

19 comments:

  1. I think Baklava is very simple, as well...it's just a matter of layering! Yours makes me wish I still had some left over! Mmmm....

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  2. You go Kim! Baklava is on my cooking bucket list...I'm always a little affraid of using phyllo...Since you say it's simple, I'm going to stop putting off making it.

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  3. Great job here. The phyllo always revolts against me....I don't know why. This is mighty pretty baklava, Kim. Hey, I got on Pinterest and I saw your name , not sure about how it all works yet.

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  4. baklava is definitely something I want to try my hand at (especially since I'm now dating someone greek!). This version looks SO GOOD..I might have to try to make it to impress him with.

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  5. Something I have yet to try making. Like you, I think I would eat the whole pan myself--especially if it looked as good as yours does. ;-)

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  6. Makkah Market offers you sweet dishes such as Baklava, sweet potato, rice pudding, Chocolate pudding and many more items that allow the customers to visit mostly to the store.

    Baklava

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  7. I've never made it either, Kim. But I've used phyllo in lots of other recipes, so know how to handle it. This looks fabulous AND doable.

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  8. Wow - good for you! Baklava is on my baking bucket list too. Looks wonderful!

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  9. I've been wanting to make this too! So delectable - I don't blame you one bit for eating it up! I couldn't resist either.

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  10. Kim this looks and sounds amazing! Super YUM!!!

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  11. I love, love, love baklava! But like you I have been intimidated to make it. Yours looks sooo good:)

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  12. Oh. Wow. I've always had high opinions on baklava. My Godmother used to take me to area bakeries before church when I was a little girl. She introduced me to baklava, which was her favorite. At the time, it seemed so foreign and so unlike anything I'd ever eaten.
    This is awesome, Kim!

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  13. Oh gosh, this looks fantastic! And I have SUCH a craving now!

    I'm so tempted to drive down to the local shops and pick up some sweet treats! There's this divine little cafe near by that does the most amazing Greek desserts.

    I must refrain though. Dietdietdietdietdiet! :)

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  14. It's little details like this, but I really like how you did the cross cut on the baklava. It's always the little details.

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  15. Wow! The flavors in that filling sound delicious,Kim!

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  16. I have always been intimidated by baklava too, Kim. I used to grab one or two a week at a local Greek food market when I lived in St. Louis. I MISS them! with your stamp of easy-approval on this recipe, I'll have to jump in and try it!

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  17. Baklava, sweet potato, rice pudding, Chocolate pudding and many more items that allow the customers to visit mostly to the store.

    Baklava

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