Baklava

For someone who posts a lot of dessert recipes and has a major sweet tooth, I seldom enjoy desserts. Maybe I just like sugar, haha. But, it’s cool, I still love making it for the people I love – especially when they fawn over it like it’s the best thing on the planet, my ego loves the high life.

Anyway, in a bid to overcome the laziness that seems to settle itself in my bones every so often, I have finally decide to update this blog with my quick and easy baklava recipe. Obviously, if you follow me on Instagram you will know that I’ve been meaning to make this update a very long time ago and to make up for my absence here, have been uploading step by step instructionals using the story feature every time I make something. Hopefully though, my written instructions are as quick and simple to understand as the story was!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet filo pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups melted unsalted butter (can be replaced with a vegan alternative?)
  • 4 cups nuts, finely chopped (I used pistachios)
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Desiccated coconut/chopped nuts to garnish

Prep:

  1. Thaw pastry by package instructions (I left in the fridge overnight and then let it rest on the counter for an hour to bring up to room temperature).
  2. Trim the pastry to fit your baking dish and cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out. (to avoid excess food waste, I used the pastry trimmings to create further layers)
  3. Butter the bottom and sides of a non-stick baking pan.

Method: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, honey, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to medium/low and boil for an additional 4 mins without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava.
  2. Pulse nuts in a food process or until coarsely ground/ finely chopped. In a bowl, stir together the chopped nuts and cinnamon.
  3. Place 10 filo sheets into the baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next. Keep remaining filo covered with a damp towel at all times else the sheets start to dry out and crack. Spread about ⅕ of the nut mixture (about ¾ cup) over the top layer.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Add 5 buttered sheets of filo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat this 4 times. Finish off with 10 layers of buttered filo sheets. Brush the very top with butter.
  6. Cut pastry into wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes.
  7. Bake until tops are golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you’ll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Add any garnishes at this stage. Let baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temp – best enjoyed the next day or in a few hours.

The premise is pretty straightforward and as my first attempt, I like to think that it went pretty well. The only top tips I have are:

  • don’t put too much of the nut mixture between each layer
  • don’t underestimate just how much butter you will be using
  • try and use more than a packet of pastry so that you don’t need to worry when you lose a layer
  • keep your garnishing ready for as soon as the honey syrup is poured over, it sets very fast
  • keep a watch on the oven to ensure the tops don’t become brown (like mine) instead of a golden brown

Let me know how you all get on either via email or on Instagram. It’s so nice to watch some of these recipes come to life in some of your hands with your innovative twists and takes on my favourite foods.

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