How to Make Baklava: Step-by-Step with Video
Baklava, a luscious Middle Eastern specialty, consists of alternate layers of phyllo (also known as filo or fillo) pastry and chopped nuts, which is doused in syrup while still hot and then cut into triangular pieces. Of Greek or Turkish origin, baklava first appeared during the time of the Ottoman Empire, about AD 1300.
Phyllo pastry, a fine, paper-thin dough, can be bought ready-made from supermarkets and delicatessens. Rose water or orange-flower water can be bought from chemists.
Baklava will keep for 2-3 days in a plastic container in the refrigerator.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Oven temperature: preheat to 350° F (180° C)
You will need
- 2 ounces (60 g) hazelnuts, blanched and chopped
- 3 ounces (90 g) almonds, blanched and chopped
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Phyllo pastry (about ½ x 12 ounce (375 g) packet)
- 2 ½ ounces (75 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Strip of lemon peel
- 2 inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon rose water or orange-flower water (optional)
How to make baklava
Step 1 - Mix the hazelnuts, almonds, sugar and ground cinnamon.
Step 2 - Cut the pastry to fit a baking tray about 11 x 8 inches (28 x 20 cm). You will have about 10 sheets. Keep the pastry covered with a damp cloth. Brush the baking tray with melted butter. Lay a sheet of pastry over the buttered tray, brush its top with more melted butter and repeat with 3 more sheets. Spread half the nut mixture over the pastry.
Step 3 - Brush 2 more sheets of pastry with melted butter, and place on top of the nut mixture. Spread the remainder of the nut mixture over the pastry. Brush the remaining sheets of pastry with butter and place on top of the nut mixture.
Step 4 - Press down the edges all round to seal. With a sharp knife, mark the top layer of pastry into about 16 diamonds.
Step 5 - Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden-brown.
Step 6 - Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and water, over low heat. Bring to the boil, add the lemon peel and cinnamon and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Reheat just before using.
Step 7 - As soon as the baklava is cooked, remove the lemon peel and cinnamon from the lemon syrup, and pour the hot syrup over the pastry. Leave to cool.
Step 8 - Sprinkle the baklava with the rose water or orange-flower water, if used, and cut into diamond-shaped pastries.
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