Baklava

Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 06:00

   

Ingredients

  • 300g chopped nuts (pistachios, walnuts)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g – 300g filo pastry sheets, thawed
  • 175g melted butter
  • Syrup:
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175ml water
  • 200g honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or 1 tsp orange blossom water)

Method

1 Preheat an oven to 160 degrees Celsius fan, or equivalent. Grease the base and sides of a rectangular baking tin (approximately 23cm x 33cm). If not already chopped, set aside a tablespoon of pistachio nuts and chop separately (the green coloured nuts look pretty when sprinkled over the finished baklava).

2 Chop the nuts in a food processor to a coarse breadcrumb texture (or chop with a sharp knife). Combine the nuts and cinnamon together.

3 Unwrap the filo pastry, count the number of layers, but keep it covered under a damp tea towel to stop it drying out. Melt the butter and have a pastry brush to hand.

4 Lay a sheet of filo pastry on the base of the baking tin and brush with melted butter before placing the next sheet on top. Having counted the sheets of filo, layer a third of the filo sheets on top of each other, brushing butter between layers. Stop after a third of the sheets have been used.

5 Spread with half the nutty mixture, then once again cover with another set of buttered filo sheets.

6 Spread with the remainder of the nut mixture and cover with the remaining filo pastry sheets. Brush the top sheet with melted butter. Use a sharp knife to divide the entire baklava into portions (you can cut it into diamonds or squares).

7 Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, until the pastry looks golden brown and crisp. Remove when cooked.

8 While the baklava is in the oven, make the syrup. Place the sugar, water, honey and lemon juice in a heavy based saucepan, bringing the syrup to a boil, then allow to simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat without stirring; it should be thickened and syrupy.

9 When the baklava is baked, remove from the oven and pour the hot syrup evenly over the baked pastry. Allow to stand for at least two hours uncovered.  Sprinkle with any reserved chopped pistachios. Keep stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

Variation
Pistachio nuts add a great flavour and colour, but as they are expensive, it is economical to blend with walnuts or blanched almonds.