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Friday, March 14, 2008


In honor of St. Teodor's Day (which falls on March 15 this year), nameday boy has requested the insanely calorific dessert that is baklava. I remember I posted my family recipe on BtN and someone commented that it looks really complicated. It is not!


500 g (1 lb) phyllo (fillo) dough
500 g (16 oz, 2 cups) butter, melted
250 g (9 oz, 2 cups) chopped walnuts (or pistachios) + 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the syrup:
500 g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
350 ml (1 1/2 cup) water
3 teaspoons lemon juice or 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract


Melt the butter and set one half aside.
Mix walnuts with cinnamon.
Brush the bottom of a 10" x 14" (25 cm x 35 cm) baking pan with butter.
Put in one sheet of phyllo dough. Brush it with butter.
Put another sheet on top. Brush with butter and sprinkle some walnuts.

Continue layering the baklava, putting butter on every phyllo dough sheet and walnuts on every other phyllo dough sheet.

It may look like the walnuts are too sparce but you end up with about 10 layers of walnuts on top of each other, so every piece gets decently walnutty.

* Walnuts on every other sheet is the way we like it layered in my family. Some people put all the walnuts on one layer in the middle of the baklava. Some put walnuts after every sheet. It's pretty much up to you.

End with a phyllo dough sheet on top.

Cut into diamond shapes:

Carefully pour the butter that was set aside on top of the baklava, making sure you get the edges, as that's where it is likely to remain dry.

Bake at 250F/120C for 20 min or until golden. There is nothing that needs to be cooked per se, you just need the phyllo dough to get crunchy.

Let the baklava cool before proceeding to the next step.

Mix the water and sugar for the syrup.
Bring to a gentle boil and let boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Do not under- or overboil. Less than 2 minutes will result in a runny syrup; more than 5 minutes will result in a thick syrup that will give you quite a sticky baklava.

Take syrup off the stove and stir in lemon juice or lemon extract.
You can omit the lemon juice/extract, but keep in mind that you can't really taste it anyway. Its purpose is to prevent the syrup from forming a sugary coat on the baklava.

Pour the *hot* syrup on the *cooled* baklava.

You need to let it stand at least 12 hours (ideally 48 hours) so it takes in all the syrup.


Christine said...

I've always wondered what went into baklava! This looks easy and scrumptious, I must try it the next time I've got a free weekend before a significant morning tea!

Siri said...

Looks good. Since I cannot bake (and am currently not allowed to after the last misadventure) I'll give it X and beg.

Rachel said...

I was wondering what baklava is! We got some in a gift basket a couple days ago. Sounds delicious!