Member recipe by hannah_somerville
ServingsServes 1 - 30 Pieces
An adaptation of my Arabic teacher's recipe for the classic Middle Eastern dessert. Lighter on the pastry and easy to make!
- For the pastry:
- 2/3 pack ready-rolled filo pastry
- 200g butter/margarine, melted
- For the nut filling:
- 500g walnuts
- 2tbsp sugar
- 4tsp ground cinnamon
- For the syrup:
- 300g granulated sugar
- 150ml water
- Rose water, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a large, shallow baking tray.
- Chop the nuts or grind them in a food processor, as coarse or fine as you like. You could also use a mixture of walnuts, pistachios, almonds or even dried fruit! Combine in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon.
- Working quickly so the pastry doesn't dry out, unwrap half of the sheets and lay them across the baking tray, folding in any excess. Brush with a light layer of the melted butter/margarine, enough to moisten but not soak. Then add the nut mix, followed by the rest of the pastry sheets, and another layer of butter. Fold the whole thing over on itself so it's double in thickness, and brush the surface with more butter. Bear in mind you may not need to use all of the nut mix or butter! If you have any spare nuts left over they can always be sprinkled over the top after cooking.
- With a sharp knife, make criss-cross incisions in the baklava so you end up with about diamond shapes, each just under an inch in diameter. This is only a rough approximation mind! Note: do NOT cut all the way through the pastry, only about 2/3 of the way. This is so that the syrup (when added) will soak through all the layers and not just make a soggy mass at the bottom.
- Place the tray on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 15-20min, or until the top layer is golden brown. Keep an eye on it!
- Meanwhile, make the syrup. I have only given a rough approximation of quantity but the important thing is the ratio of sugar to water is at least 1.5:1. Put both in a saucepan and heat very slowly. I like about a teaspoon of rosewater but add in tiny quantities to taste. Allow the syrup to boil for no more than 2 minutes to avoid the sugar crystallizing when cool. Take off the heat if need be.
- When the baklava is done, remove from the oven and immediately pour over the hot syrup, followed by any other toppings you like. Leave to cool, then cut fully into squares, and store in a pretty tin or airtight container.
- Baklava should keep for a couple of weeks; some people like it straight away but I prefer mine after a day or two, when it's a little... ehr... 'sweaty' :D Enjoy!