Baklava

I recently went on a fabulous trip to Greece.  The air was warm and the ocean was so clear.  It was a wonderful escape and I hope to go back again many more times.  Whenever I travel I try to bring some special local ingredient home with me to continue the culinary journey.  Usually I pick up the spices used in the local cuisine but this time I weighed down my bag with 5 jars of honey.  The Greeks know what they are doing when it comes it honey, it must be the happy bees.

With the honey I purchased I decided to make my favourite Greek dessert: Baklava.  I love the nutty sweetness of baklava.  It always ends up becoming a mess on my plate and I feel akin to winnie the pooh licking my honey syrup drenched fingers after gobbling up a big piece.

I made mine per the recipe below with 4 thicker layers of nuts, I have since been advised that the true Greek method is to have multiple thin layers of nuts.  I will try that next time and let you know how they different methods compared.

Recipe:

  • 1 pound chopped mixed nuts (used almonds, walnuts and pistachios)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Toss together cinnamon and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half to fit the dish. Cover phyllo with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava, to keep it from drying out.
  3. Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish. Brush generously with butter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with about 6 sheets of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then (nine times) diagonally to make 36 diamond shapes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  5. While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in honey, vanilla and lemon zest, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it. Let cool completely before serving. Store uncovered.
  7. Eat a large piece (maybe 2) then plan a pilgrimage to try some authentic Baklava in Greece….really they do it best. 😉

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One comment on “Baklava

  1. nouille et ratatouille says:

    beautiful photo! and it tastes even better than it looks!

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