A poster on the Boston Board wanted a recipe for baklava:here it is.
1 lb phyllo pastry
1/2 lb unsalted butter melted
1 lb walnuts, chopped well
2 C sliced (not slivered) almonds
1/2 C sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
For the syrup:
3 C sugar
4 C water
smal slice of lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 inch cinnamon stick
Mix walnuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a large rectangular pan the size of the phyllo- or if you are using a 9x13 rectangular glass pan- measure the phyllo- it should be about double that size and you can cut it in half.
Butter the bottom of the pan with melted butter, using a pastry brush.
Unwrap the phyllo pastry. lay one sheet on the pan. Brush with butter. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of nut mixture over the pastry. Cover with another sheet of pastry, butter then add another sprinkling of nuts. Continue to do this until all the nuts are used. You will end up with one or more sheets of buttered pastry on top. Butter the top. Cut in diamond shapes- the only way to do this easily is with an electric knife.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 for about 30-35 minutes- watch to make sure the pastry is not getting overly browned.
While the baklava is baking prepare the syrup. BOil together the sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon slice and cinnamon continuously until syrupy. A good indicator that it is done is that the lemon peel is transparent and candied. REmove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick from syrup and pour over the baklava immediately upon removal ffrom the oven.
There are clearly as many baklava recipes as there are baklava lovers. I personally prefer it soaked in a honey syrup (see below). Also, you can use a combination of walnuts and pistachios in the filling, and you can add a splash of orange flower water to the syrup at the end. I'm making some later this week and plan to do exactly that.
4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. phyllo pastry leaves (1 package), thawed
1 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups honey
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 300o F (150o C).
In a large bowl, toss together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Unroll the package of phyllo pastry onto a sheet of waxed paper. Cover with a second sheet of waxed paper and a clean dish towel to keep phyllo from drying out.
Brush a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking dish with some of the melted butter. Remove one full sheet of phyllo pastry from the stack and place in the baking dish, allowing it to extend up the sides of the dish. Brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have 6 layers of phyllo pastry in the baking dish, brushing each one with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) of the walnut mixture.
Cut the remaining sheets of phyllo pastry crosswise in half. (A half sheet of phyllo should fit the baking dish almost exactly.) Place one of these half-sheets over the layer of walnuts in the baking dish. Brush with butter. Repeat until you have 6 layers of phyllo, each brushed with butter. Sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) of the walnut mixture.
So far we’ve used half of the walnut mixture. Repeat this procedure - 6 sheets of phyllo, 1 cup (250 mL) walnuts, 6 more sheets of phyllo, another cup of walnuts, bla bla bla - until all the walnuts are gone. The top layer should be 6 sheets of phyllo pastry.
Trim away the excess phyllo pastry and brush the top with melted butter. With a very sharp knife, cut through the top few layers of pastry in a diamond pattern and bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until the top is golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the honey with the lemon juice until hot but not boiling. Spoon the hot honey evenly over the baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool completely before cutting into diamonds and serving.
Makes at least 24 pieces.
Thanks for the idea- I'm definitely going to be making baklava now for a cookout this weekend. The recipe looks great. Mine is similar though I usually use slivered almonds and put some whole cloves in my sugar syrup (and if I'm especially industrious, I use clarified butter). I'm going to try yours with the sliced almonds. And thanks for the electric knife tip!