March 5, 2011


Popular in Greece and Turkey, this sweet pastry is made of many layers of butter drenched paper-thin dough with a filling of spices, ground nuts, rosewater and a honey citrus syrup. I have eaten this a few times over the years and have always loved the different textures; the stickiness of the syrup, the crunch of the nuts and the crisp of the cooked dough. So, when I saw this made on the "Good Eats" by Alton Brown, I had to try it. This recipe is a time consuming one, requiring about an hour of prep time plus 8 hours of sitting time, but the outcome is so worth it. I made a few modifications to Alton's version, but the recipe below yields 32 pieces. Enjoy!

1. I didn't have any rose water so I made my own by adding some rose petals and lavender to the water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
2. I also didn't have any pistachios handy so I used macadamia nuts and they worked great.

1 (5-inch piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 tsp ground
15 to 20 whole allspice berries or 3 tsp ground
6 oz blanched almonds
6 oz raw or roasted walnuts
6 oz raw or roasted pistachio
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp rose water
1 box (2 packages) phyllo dough, thawed
8 oz clarified unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups honey
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 (2-inch) piece fresh orange peel

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F for metal pan, 325 degrees for glass.
2. Place the cinnamon stick and whole allspice into a spice grinder and grind.
3. Place the almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sugar and freshly ground spices into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pasty or powdery, approximately 15 quick pulses. Set aside.

4. Combine the water and rose water in a small spritz bottle and set aside.

5. Trim the sheets of phyllo to fit the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch metal pan.

6. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with butter; lay down a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter.

7. Repeat this step 9 more times for a total of 10 sheets of phyllo.
8. Top with 1/3 of the nut mixture and spread thinly.
9. Spritz thoroughly with the rose water.

10. Layer 6 more sheets of phyllo with butter in between each of them, followed by another third of the nuts and spritz with rose water.
11. Repeat with another 6 sheets of phyllo, butter, remaining nuts, and rose water.
12. Top with 8 sheets of phyllo brushing with butter in between each sheet.
13. Brush the top generously with butter.
14. Place in the fridge for 1 hour, then remove and cut your pieces halfway through.

15. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

16. Remove pan from the oven and recut your pieces, this time going all the way through.
17. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.
18. Remove pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool for an hour and a half.

19. Once cooled, combine the honey, water, sugar, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a 4-quart saucepan and set over high heat.
20. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
21. Once boiling, boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

22. Remove from the heat and discard the orange peel and cinnamon stick.
23. Recut your pieces one more time, following the same lines as before, then pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the baklava, allowing it to run into the cuts and around the edges of the pan.

24. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered until completely cool.

25. Cover and store at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight before serving.
26. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

1 comment:

  1. Your baklava really looks delicious. I have a baklava recipe in my blog that you might like...