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Any Baklava Makers Out there?

I'm interested in making baklava. Does anyone out there make it regularly? I understand it's fairly easy but after looking online it seems there are many variations. I've worked with phyllo quite a bit before so I'm familiar with handling it.

I'm wondering if I could use pecans instead of walnuts. I hate walnuts, plus I have a giant bag of pecans from Costco I'd like to use up. Buying pistachios in my area is pretty pricey so I won't be doing that. Can I cut the pecans with another nut?

I've found recipes with basic simple syrup and also some using honey. I think I would prefer honey but I'm not sure if that wouldn't be too sticky.

Any hints or tips would be appreciated.

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  1. I only use pistachios, which are cheap at Trader Joe's, not at Costco?
    You can certainly used mixed nuts, pecans not traditional but you could mix with almonds and or pistachios.
    I use honey.it is very sticky indeed but the flavor is fabulous.

    4 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      Pistachios are not sold at Costco in my area.

      1. re: TSAW

        Mine sells them in bags already shelled.

        1. re: TSAW

          Not all nuts at Costco are sold in the same area, especially the Pistachios. Look for them near the cash registers over by the trail mix/bulk candy area.

          1. re: TSAW

            As a Costco member you are not limited to your local in-store offerings, e.g., 4 varieties of pistachios, from 3 pounds unshelled to S&P for snacking are also available to you via Costco online.
            Also, here in So. Cal. I just paid $10x# for pecan halves. That is $3x# less than The Kingdom is asking for pistachios today.

        2. I've recently made baklava using walnuts/almonds mixture - you definitely could use pecans and mix them with almonds. My recipe was for 50-50 sugar to honey and turned out very well. Let me know if you want me to paraphrase the recipe (it is from a Greek cookbook).

          2 Replies
          1. re: herby

            "50-50 sugar to honey". So no water? Thanks I don't think I'll require the entire recipe just tips, like this one! thanks.

            1. re: TSAW

              yes! water, of course, for the syrup and cinnamon stick and whatever else.

          2. You can use any nuts.

            Also, honey is not necessarily a prerogative to good baklava. In Turkey, I had the best baklava that was made with a sugar/lemon syrup.

            My favorite baklava has pistachios, but I also like the walnut and pecan varieties.

            1 Reply
            1. re: choctastic

              I like a little orange rather than lemon, but I can see both being very good. I also prefer the taste of honey to the sugar syrup but that much honey can get to be expensive. Same with pistachios. There really is no absolute recipe for baklava. It comes down to what you prefer and how much you'd like to spend.

              My best tip, though, has to do with the phyllo, if not making it yourself. Be sure to buy from a store that has good turnover. The fresher it is, the easier it will be to handle. That stuff can be a real bear when the sheets stick to each other.

            2. I like to use almonds but have also mixed other nuts in when that is what is on hand. I have found that a mixture of simple syrup plus honey works well....less sticky and not quite a tooth-jarring sweet. I do like to add a bit of orange flower water to the syrup for a nice aroma and a bit of background flavor.

              1. Baklava is actually fairly easy to make, but it does require patience. Something you undoubtedly have since you have worked with Phyllo before.