Hey hey hey again B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L people!! I made this decadent treat during the Christmas time, however just got the time to write the recipe. As far as I know, Baklava is originally from Turkey. However, it is also a well-known dish in Central and Southwest Asian region. It is made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and later doused with syrup or honey. My first encounter trying baklava was in open market in Den Haag. Judging by the look, I first didn’t want to try, it seemed so oily (apparently it’s the glossy look from the syrup). But yeahh I was hooked after the first bite. Even though it looks difficult to make it at home, I can say it’s pretty easy if you have all the ingredients. Since different regions have their versions of baklava, definitely my version cannot be said authentic but it is indeed delicious!!
– 1 package of filo pastry sheets (450-500 g), if you have tremendous amount of time, you can also make it by yourself (check this link http://chefinyou.com/2010/03/filo-phyllo-dough-recipe/).
– 500 g of your favourite nuts (I used 200 g almond, 200 g walnuts and 100 g shelled pistachios)
– 3 pieces of digestive crackers (I read that it helps to bind the nuts)
– 250 g of butter (melted)
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 lemon
– 450 gr granulated sugar
– 275 mL water
– 3 tbsp of rose water (you easily find this ingredients in Turkish shops)
How it’s made:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a food processor, crush the nuts and digestive crackers until roughly chopped (or if you prefer finely chopped, do so). Add the cinnamon and mix well.
3. Make the syrup by put the sugar, water and the juice of the lemon in a saucepan. Simmer them for around 20 minutes until everything is diluted. Add the rose water and leave it to cool to room temperature.
4. Spread the filo dough pastry. Cut the pastry dough sheets into half. Grease 20 X 25 cm pan and start layering the pan with a sheet of filo pastry.
5. Brush each layer of pastry with butter before adding another layer on top. What I did was layering the bottom pan with 10 sheets of filo pastry, topped with nuts and layered again with the remaining pastry. To summarize the sequence (10 layers of filo-nuts-4 layers of filo-nuts-4 layers of filo-nuts-the remaining filo).
6. Press down the layers of nuts and filo to make it compact.
7. Using a sharp knife, cut lines about 5 cm apart diagonally to create diamond shapes, cutting to the bottom. It is easier to cut it before putting in the oven since as soon as coming out from the oven, the filo will become flaky and easily broken.
8. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden.
9. Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the baklva.
10. Let it cool completely, ideally overnight with a weight on top. Cut each pieces and garnish with finely crushed pistachios.