Baklava:

Baklava

Yet another dish fought over and its identity claimed by so many different nationalities! Certainly all the countries of the middle east, no exception. As well as Turkey. And ofcourse Greece.

Personally, I prefer the middle-eastern version. Whatever the filling, it is always lighter & crispier than its Greek cousin. No offense meant to my adopted country!

Ingredients:

1pkt filo pastry

2 sticks butter melted

400 grs shelled pistachios

100 grs hazlenuts

place the nuts in a food processor and give them a couple of whirls. Do not grind into a powder, you should still be able to see and identify the nuts!

Baklava-1

syrup:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

juice of half a lemon

Method:

syrup:

place your sugar and water in a small saucepan

simmer gently

when all the sugar has been disolved

squeeze-in the juice of half a lemon

keep simmering until the mixture starts sticking to the back of the spoon

add one tbsp rose-bud water to give it that middleastern touch (in Arabic it is called “mazahr” as opposed to “maward” which I dislike tremendously!)

set your syrup aside to cool

baklava:

separate the sheets of pastry in two halves

brush your tray with butter

start laying your pastry sheets brushing with butter between each sheet

when half the sheets have been used, spread your nuts evenly over the whole tray

continue with the other half of your pastry sheets, one at a time, brushing butter between each sheet

finish with another good brush of butter
cut your uncooked baklava tray in diamond shapes

you need to cut deeply, almost all the way through before baking (if you leave your cutting till afterwards you will end up with a crumbled mess! (so sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the unbaked version!)

Baklava-4

Bake in a 180centigrade pre-heated oven for approx. 45mns

keep checking on the colour of your baklava as every oven is different

when you’re happy with its colour remove it from the oven and immediately pour on it the cooled syrup

important note:

in order not to end up with a soggy baklava, you need to make sure that one of your two items (baklava or syrup) is hot and the other one cold. If the 2 are hot it will be soggy, and if the 2 are cold the syrup will just sit on top of the baklava without penetrating its layers. I prefer to make the syrup ahead of time and set aside to cool, before placing my Baklava in the oven. This way its ready for pouring as soon as the Baklava is out.

Baklav-6

Bon Appetit!

 

 

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