Best Ever Baklava
Perfectly Delicious Baklava
This is the 'Best Baklava' I have ever tasted! This is the response I usually hear whenever I give or serve my homemade treat. This recipe is so perfectly delicious, I truly believe once you try it, your search will be over.
I usually make two batches at the same time. I give the majority away to family and friends for gifts. This actually is a good thing! Because, if left in my house with me, it will all be eaten! It is addictive for those who "love" it. I find for the most part, either people love it, or just plain don't care for it.
I have been making this recipe for over thirty years. It has become a tradition to make it for Christmas.
I began eating this delicacy as a young person, while attending Greek family celebrations.
My Mom was not Greek, and my Dad was half Greek. Mom really didn't enjoy baking, so she never tried to make it.
Then, as my own children attended a few Greek weddings, they realized how delicious it tasted and began to request that I make it.
While making baklava is a process that does take some time to complete from beginning to end. It is so worth the time an effort. You will realize, that it is really not that difficult to make. You will also receive the bonus reward of pleasing all of the Baklava Lovers in your life.
When the holidays approach, your family and friends will be waiting and asking for their Special Holiday Gift and Treat. That is when you know you have started a Tradition.
Make the "Best Ever Baklava" soon. You will be so glad you did !
Baklava with Hot Syrup - PHOTO: Robyn Lee
Baklava Syrup Instuctions
I like to make the syrup before assembling the baklava pastry.
This allows time for the syrup to cool down to room temperature.
Wash and rinse all fruit skins well.
Combine following ingredients in medium saucepan:
* 1 ¾ cups Sugar
* 1 ½ cups Honey
* ½ cup Water
* ½ Lemon
* 2 Oranges - cut in half or quarters
* 3 Cinnamon Sticks or (1 teaspoon ground)
* 10 Cloves
Cut fruit in half and squeeze fruit juice into pot, place all
fruit rinds in pot along with juice, and other ingredients.
Bring syrup to a boil..... stir ingredients until well blended.
Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off.
Allow to cool at room temperature, while preparing the pastry.
When syrup is cool. Strain into separate container.
Press the fruit from the syrup with the back of a wooden spoon, to release as much of the syrup as possible.
Set syrup aside for when Baklava Pastry comes out of the oven. Cool pastry approximately five minutes before adding syrup.
Pour Room Temperature strained syrup "evenly" over hot baklava.
It will take time for the syrup to absorb into the pastry and nuts.
This absorption process will take several hours.
Please rate the syrup
Simmering Baklava Syrup
Oranges, lemons, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sugar, honey and water make a delectable syrup.
Strained Baklava Syrup
BAKLAVA PASTRY - Bake in 9x13 glass baking dish in 300° for 1½ Hours
1 lb. box fillo pastry dough
1 lb. Walnuts (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Place ingredients into a bowl and stir together to mix. Set aside.
Next you will need..
1 lb. Melted Butter
Melt butter over low heat
Brush bottom of pan with melted butter.
Begin to lay flat pieces of phyllo dough in bottom of baking dish. Lightly brush butter on each layer as you go. Continue to add 6 to 8 flat pieces.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup nut mixture.
Then begin to "crumple" 5 sheets Fillo lengthwise one piece at a time, laying each piece beside one another.
(This is a "secret" time saving tip)
Brush crumpled layer with butter, then add 1/3 cup of nuts.
Continue with crumpled layers of Fillo, butter, and nuts until there are only 6 to 8 sheets of Fillo left.
Layer last pieces of Fillo (laying flat), buttering each layer with butter as you go. Pour any remaining butter evenly over final top layer.
Place finished layers of Fillo in the refrigerator 15-30 minutes or freezer for 10-30 minutes. This will make the task of cutting the baklava much easier.
It is important to cut the baklava, with a "sharp" knife before baking it.
(Cutting Instructions Below)
Place baklava into 300 degree oven for
1½ hours, until golden.( the time and temperature may vary depending
on your oven) but this timing should work quite well.
Remove from oven when golden brown.
ALLOW BAKLAVA TO COOL FOR 5 MINUTES*
*(this is very important to prevent glass baking pan from cracking)
POOR COOLED (ROOM TEMPERATURE) STRAINED SYRUP OVER HOT BAKLAVA.
Quickly chop nuts, and use for many other recipes to make quick work of chopping fruits nuts, and vegetables
Baklava Cutting Diagram - Cut Baklava Before Baking
Beautiful Professional Looking
Once the baklava is assembled, before baking, to make the task of cutting the baklava, a much easier job, place the layered baklava in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes, or freezer 10-20 minutes.
Then remove and immediately use the following instructions:
1. Cut Baklava lengthwise first (heavy black lines) approximately 2 inches apart.
2. Then cut diagonally every 2 inches.
This is not a science, so don't worry if it's not exact. But, the more accurate
you are, the more professional it will look. Have fun!
Cutting Cold Baklava - BEFORE BAKING
I have cut the Baklava diagonally first to demonstrate the approximate cutting pattern in an 9"x13" pan. But cutting it as in the diagram above is also fine.
This is to demonstrate that making Baklava is not an exact science. With the main basic ingredients, and with a general idea of how it is done, anyone can succeed at making this scrumptious delicacy.
When Baklava Pastry comes out of the oven, (cool approximately five minutes).
Pour "room temperature" strained syrup, "evenly" over hot baklava.
It will take time for the syrup to absorb into the pastry and nuts.
This will take several hours.
Baklava Baking In Oven----Almost Done
The baklava syrup is now ready for pouring over the cooked crispy baklava.
When Baklava has Cooled, Cover pan with Plastic Wrap (or fitted cover) and allow to sit for several hours, or overnight.
The recommended time for flavors to mingle is 4 to 24 hours. It gets even better after a couple of days. (if you can wait that long)
Baklava, if covered, can sit at room temperature for a couple of days.
After that I prefer to refrigerate, or freeze any that is left.
When ready to serve it again, just remove from refrigerator or freezer,
allowing time for it to return close to room temperature before serving.
Before serving remove individual pieces of baklava and place onto cupcake papers.
Arrange baklava on a serving platter for a delicious beautiful presentation.
Baklava - It Is So Worth The Time!
1. Completely thaw Fillo (phyllo) dough before trying to use it, or it will fall apart. It will take up to 24 hours to thaw, (possibly even a little longer). So, if you have frozen the Fillo dough, put it in the refrigerator a day or two before making your Baklava.
2. Have all of the ingredients ready to make the baklava before you unwrap the dough.
3. Fillo dough dries out very quickly, because it is paper thin. So it is very important to keep it covered with plastic wrap, and a slightly moistened, clean, dish towel.
4. You will unwrap the Fillo each time you use it to make the layers, then cover it while you are working with the butter and nut layers. When the dough is unwrapped try to work quickly.
5. It is not really necessary to cut the dough to fit the baking pan, just fold it to fit. The only exception, would be if you are using a "much" smaller baking pan than the size of the dough. You may need to cut it, just to make the process go faster. .
6. Don't stress if the dough rips, or starts to dry out, just get it in the baking dish, and continue layering. Once Baklava bakes and is drenched in sugar / honey water, most imperfections will not be noticed.
7. It will help to make the last few layers as smooth as possible, to make it look pretty. But it will taste wonderful, no matter what.
8. If you don't have a pastry brush, just use a tablespoon to drizzle the butter over the Fillo dough, then use the back of a spoon to gently spread the butter.
9. IMPORTANT: When possible, pour (room temperature) cooled syrup, over Hot baklava.
(This is how it is normally done). But it is also fine, to pour "Hot syrup over cooled baklava.
Perfect Dessert with Coffee or Tea
Baklava and Coffee for Breakfast, Anyone?
A Great Adult Breakfast Treat !
Very Satisfying and filling
Try it.....So Good.