Sunday, November 13, 2005

My take on Baklava

I haven't made this for a few years, but when I first made it, I ended up making it four times in about two months. Super tasty.

Bakalava (Scott's Version)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 TB lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp orange extract

Combine these ingredients in a small saucepan, cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves; continue simmering until mixture thickens and coats the back of spoon. Cool and refrigerate until needed later!

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 cups pistachios, ground
1 cup almonds, ground
3 TB sugar
1 package (16 oz) phyllo dough (supermarket freezer section)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combined first four ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Allow the phyllo dough to come to room temperature, in it's packaging.

Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Place half of the phyllo dough sheets in the pan, one at a time and brushing each sheet, gently with melted butter.

While working, keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth. The phyllo is very tender and fragile. It can dry out very quickly.

Sprinkle a third of your pistachio mixture over the bottom layers of the phyllo dough. Cover with five more sheets of phyllo, again one at a time, with butter between each sheet. Repeat two
more times. Brush the top layer with more butter. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

So, you'll have a thicker layer of dough on the bottom, nuts, dough, nuts, dough, nuts and dough. I can't remember how many sheets of dough are in each package, if you need to cut back the number of sheets on the bottom, that ok, but try to have at least five/ten sheets.

After the unbaked bakalava has cooled for one hour, cut through the top layers of phyllo diagonally to make 24 equal diamond shaped pieces.

Bake for 30 minutes, then increase heat to 400 and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and pour over the reserved syrup mixture. Let cool. Slice all the way through the previous cuts to make 24 bars.

UPDATE (3/9/06): Head to The Traveler's Lunchbox, to read more about baklava.

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