Saturday, 29 August 2009

Baklava


Flaky, sinfully rich treat are widely enjoyed from the mediterranean to the mid-eastern countries, they are deeply integrated part of the culinary tradition equally in Greece, Lebanon and Turkey, with slight variations. One of the yummy options that are practised in some of the regions is to use pistacchio instead of walnuts, which is equally worthy to be experimented!

Ingredients:
500 gr. walnuts, or almond, or mixture of the two, coarsely chopped
60 gr. sugar
dash of cinnamon

1package Phyllo pastry (about 500g)
180g (or as needed butter) melted

Syrup
100 gr. sugar
300 ml water
2 cinnamon sticks
juice from 1/2 lemon, or a few dashes of orange flower water
100g honey

Butter the base and sides of a large, relatively shallow baking dish, rectangular or round.
Brush each layer of phyllo with melted butter and spread over the base of the baking dish. Carefully stack 4 layers.

Sprinkle evenly a thin layer of filling all over the surface.
Carefully stack 3 more layer of phyllo, then the filling, repeat the procedure until you finish with the ingredients, take care to finish with 2 layers of the phyllo.
Fold any excess pastry on either of the sides over the filling and brush it with butter, especially very generous at the top.


Trim any excess pastry with a small sharp knife, keeping in mind that it will also shrink.
Slit just the top layers of Phyllo carefully to make diamond shapes (or square).
At this point do not cut right down to the bottom.
This procedure will make cutting and lifting the pieces out, once it is cooked, much easier and efficient.
Lightly sprinkle a little water all over the surface and bake at 180°C for about 30minutes or the surface is evenly golden.


Meanwhile place the ingredients for syrup except the honey, in a saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it immer for 6-8 minutes, add the honey and simmer for additional 5 minutes until it thickens slightly.
When the baklava is chilled carefully drizzle the hot (not boiling) syrup evenly over the surface.
Let it stand and absorb the syrup.


Important note!

If you have purchased a frozen package of the phyllo, it is essential on your part to think ahead, take the package out of the freezer the night before cooking and let it defrost gently and gradually in the fridge. If they get defrosted too quickly the texture will get sticky and too limp, and becomes unmanageable for the delicate treatment required for this recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds way to rich for me!!

    (Kat)

    ReplyDelete