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Baklava Recipe

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This recipe for Baklava, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Alexia Brue
Added: Sunday, January 18, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
For the syrup
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups water
2 tablespoons orange-blossom or rose water

1 pound fillo (about 24 sheets)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3-3 ½ cups (1 pound) pistachio nuts, ground medium fine

Directions:
Directions:
Prepare the syrup first. Dissolve the sugar in the water with the lemon juice and simmer a few minutes, until it thickens enough to coat a spoon. Add orange-blossom or rose water (I prefer orange-blossom water) and simmer for ½ minute. Allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

In a greased baking pan, a little smaller then the sheets of fillo, lay half the sheets, one at a time, brushing each with melted butter and letting edges come up the sides of the tray or overhang.

Spread the nuts of your choice evenly over the sheets. Then cover with the remaining sheets, brushing each, including the top one, with melted butter. With a sharp knife, cut diagonal parallel lines 1 1/2 -2 inches apart into diamond shapes right through to the bottom.

Bake the baklava in a preheated 350º oven for 30-35 minutes, or until it is puffed up and golden. Remove from the oven, and pour the cold syrup over the hot baklava along the slashed lines. The amount of syrup called for is the usual one. If you prefer to use less, pour three-quarters or half the amount, and let people help themselves to more if they wish to.

When cool and ready to serve, cut the pieces of pastry out again and lift them out one by one onto a serving dish, or turn the whole pastry out (by turning it upside down onto a large sheet and then turning it over again on the serving dish) and cut out again along the original lines.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Makes 50 pieces
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
1 hour
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Baklava, the Middle Eastern pastry made with crunchy nuts and chewy fillo dough drenched in syrup water, was one of my favorites desserts even before spending a month in Istanbul. But it ascended to the top of the list the minute I tasted the baklava at a small café on the Divan Yolu, the Old City’s main thoroughfare. It was sublime: The outer layers of fillo had a buttery crunchiness while the inner layers were sweet and chewy. Most patrons nibbled on one piece with their Turkish coffee. I devoured four pieces almost every afternoon for a month.

Later, in Greece, I expected to have even better baklava since ‘dessert’ and ‘baklava’ are practically synonyms there. Instead I found that I actually disliked Greek baklava because it was made with honey instead of delicately flavored sugar water. The honey turned the fillo into a globular mess, robbing it of its light crispiness. Also, the Greeks favor walnuts instead of pistachios—too hearty a nut for such a light dessert.

When I got back from my trip I began trying to recreate the perfect baklava that I’d loved at the small café on the Divan Yolu. The recipe that comes closest is from Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Food. (I’ve reprinted the recipe here with virtually no modifications. Thank you Claudia.) I’ve made this recipe nearly a dozen times and it comes out perfectly every time. Not only is it delicious the day it’s prepared, it also keeps very well. Just leave it out at room temperature and you can enjoy the tray of pastry for over a week.

 

 

 

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