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How to make Baklava

A single piece of baklavaThis is my mother’s recipe and is always, always a favourite with everyone. I’ve made this so many times and I even get requests for it. It isn’t very difficult to make and is a definite crowd pleaser. As I’ve said many times before, if you love baklava and don’t think you’ll ever make it, then please look away now – it is not the healthiest recipe! I would recommend, however you ignore and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 20 filo pastry sheets
  • 250 gr unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 375 gr ground almonds and walnuts

Method

Make the syrup first, as you want to pour cold syrup over hot baklava.  Simply stir the water, 3 cups of sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and lemon juice over a very low heat for at least 20 minutes until it’s slightly syrup. Leave to cool.
Turn the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease the sides and base of a tray that is large enough for one piece of filo pastry laid out flat (approx 33 x 23 x 5 cm). Lay one sheet of filo pastry on the base of the tray. Brush it relatively generously with melted butter. Repeat 9 times until you have 10 sheets of filo pastry in the tray with melted butter brushed between every sheet of pastry.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and ground nuts together. Pour half of the mixture on top of the 10 sheets of filo and spread it out evenly.  Top with two sheets of filo pastry, brushing the melted butter on top of each sheet, like before.
Pour the remaining half nut mixture into the tray and evenly spread. Then with the last 8 sheets of filo pastry, continue to lay one at a
time brushing melted butter on each sheet, just as before.
Once completed, cut into squares or diamond shapes, whichever you prefer. Pour any leftover butter over the top. Sprinkle a few drops of water over the top. Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 160 C / 320 F and bake for a further 45 minutes.
Then pour the cold syrup prepared earlier over the top of the hot baklava. Serve cooled and enjoy – it’s impossible to only have one slice, even though it’s so rich!

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