Baklava is a sweet pastry, filled with chopped nuts kept between layers of phyllos or pastry sheet and dipped in sugar syrup. It is basically a Turkish delicacy, however found across the Middle East.
Once, while vacationing in Greece, I found the tempting Baklavas in a local Bazar in Athens which looked completely non-European food and I could not resist myself from having a bite. I was so hooked by it that since then I did my own bit of research on it and decided to make it by myself.
Here, in Utrecht, since a large community of Turks is in existence, a number of middle eastern confectionaries can be found. There I found the Baklavas as well and most importantly the essential Baklava sheets. The rest is rather simple, as I followed the recipe from internet and the result is shown in the Picture below.
Ingredients for 20 pieces :
- Ready-made baklava sheet or thin phyllo pastry dough – 250 gm.
- Butter – 65 gm.
- Sugar – 250 gm.
- Pistachio (coarsely chopped) – 75 gm.
- Lemon juice – 1½ tbspoon
- Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
- Water – ¾ cup
Cut the baklava sheets according to your baking tray size (I cut it round as I used a circular cake tin).
Melt the butter in a small pan and add the oil.
Grease the baking tray or the base of the cake tin with this oil. Put 2 Baklava sheets on it and brush the upper layer with oil. Again put two sheets and brush with oil. Keep doing this till half of the sheets are piled on.
Then spread the chopped pistachio and put the remaining sheets following the same procedure.
Now put the side surface of the cake tin and close it properly. Cut the phyllo layers square or diamond shape with a sharp knife. Pour the remaining oil and brush the surface.
Now bake it in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 25 – 30 minutes or until the upper layer turns golden brown.
While the baklava is baking, lets prepare the sugar syrup.
Take water and sugar in a pan and let it boil over medium heat. As the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts boiling, add the lemon juice and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Now pour the sugar syrup over baklava when both are warm.
Let the baklava absorb the sugar syrup for 30 minutes and then serve after sprinkling over few more chopped pistachio.
- Baklava sheets are found mainly in Turkish shops. Phyllo pastry dough can be used as an alternative.
- While applying the oil and butter mixture try to avoid the solid part (if any) from the mixture.
- Baklava can be made with various nuts such as almonds, walnuts etc. You can also make two different layers of nuts in the same baklava.
- You can refrigerate it.