May 7, 2007

Baklava


Baklava
from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

For the syrup

2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP honey

1 pound filo
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups pistachio nuts or walnuts, ground medium-fine

Prepare the syrup first. Dissolve the sugar in the water with the lemon juice and smimer a few minutss, until it thickens enough to coat a spoon. Add the honey and simmer for 1/2 minute. Allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

In a greased baking pan, a little smaller than the sheets of filo, lay half the sheets, one a time, brushing each with melted butter and letting the 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 to 2 inches apart into diamond shapes right through to the bottom.

Bake the baklava in a preheated 350 F 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.

When cool and ready to serve, cut the pieces of pastry out again, and lift them out one by one onto a serving dish.

Notes: Baklava is one of my most favorite desserts. It and creme brulee are constantly duking it out for supremacy. Now I've made the former and hope to someday attempt the latter. Actually, I did make baklava once as part of a group effort in a class in 7th grade. But I have only vague memories of the layering being quite detailed and time-consuming. Those memories are now less vague. This was certainly worth trying and I'm happy to have been enjoying this treat for several days.

Posted by Jennifer at May 7, 2007 8:09 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Very tasty indeed, especially for a first attempt, and already better than what passes for baklava in some restaurants.

Posted by: Michael at May 11, 2007 9:12 PM

I just can't get baklava right. The taste was good, but it didn't stay together well. On a related note, coming from a not-quite-strict vegetarian house (fish, no beef, etc.) The honey - tuna recipe was terrific, thanks.

Posted by: Hugh Wilson at May 13, 2007 12:06 PM
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