Author Topic: Greek Baklava  (Read 4084 times)

Olga Drozd

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Greek Baklava
« on: November 22, 2013, 04:29:42 PM »
GREEK BAKLAVA:

Not too sweet with a hint of lemon and a touch of orange flower water. Layers of flaky phyllo dough with juicy honey syrup and crunchy walnuts and/or almonds or pistachios.  Baklava is a Mediterranean dessert made with Phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and sugar. After baking to perfection, a sweet syrup is immediately poured over the pieces allowing the syrup to be absorbed into the layers. When you eat a piece of baklava, you may want to think of Greece. However, the history of baklava reveals it came from farther East----Even so, various countries offer tasty variations and have loyal followings. NOTE: My package did not have 20 sheets of fillo pastry only 15 so I had to use less for the last two layers.  Next time I'll divide the package evenly with only 4 sheets per layer. Some cooks use olive oil in place of butter or a combination of melted butter and olive oil.

CINNAMON SYRUP:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 honey (buckwheat honey used for richer flavour)
3/4 cup water
2 to 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (optional)
2 Tablespoons orange flower water or rosewater (optional)

HONEY NUT FILLING:

2 cups coarsely ground walnuts OR almonds OR half of each (used walnuts and almonds)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
20 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
1 cup butter, melted and foam skimmed from top


For the Cinnamon Syrup, combine the sugar, honey, water, lemon juice and cinnamon stick, in a medium saucepan set on medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.  Remove from the heat and stir in the orange flower water or rosewater.  Set aside for 10 minutes to cool, then refrigerate until needed.

For the Honey Nut Filling, combine the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Lay the phyllo sheets on  a flat surface and cover with a lightly dampened towel.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with some of the melted butter.

Brush half a sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then fold in half by bring the short sides together.  Brush the top half of the same sheet with butter, then place in the greased pan. Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo the same way, then top with 1/3 of the nut mixture.  Repeat the layers of phyllo same as above (5 greased and folded sheets) and 1/3 of the nuts, ending with  (5 folded and greased) layer of phyllo.  Brush the top liberally with melted butter, then cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set oven rack in the middle.

Remove the baklava from the refrigerator.  With a sharp knife, make lengthwise cuts 1 inch apart, cutting all the way through to the bottom.  Cut diagonally across the lengthwise cuts to make diamonds.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 F. and bake for 15 minutes longer, until the top is crisp and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the top.  Let cool completely, then cut over the same lines again before serving.  The baklava may be prepared several days ahead.  Makes 24 pieces.

NOTE: The second time I made baklava I used only 1 teaspoon lemon juice because my son wanted to taste more of the nuts instead of the lemon and I also brushed the filo dough with half butter and half avocado oil.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 06:01:43 PM by Olga Drozd »