Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It was a matter of time before I got to this rich, sweet recipe made with layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. This is the most famous Greek dessert that you must try at some point. This recipe is a great way to do just that.


Ingredients For Pastry:

- 1 pound (4 cups) blanched almonds or walnuts or a combination of both, finely chopped
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound phyllo pastry
- 3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing phyllo

Ingredients For Syrup:

- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- one 2-inch strip of lemon rind
- 3/4 cup honey


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Keeping unused sheets covered with plastic wrap, place 8 sheets of phyllo pastry, one at a time, in bottom of an 8 x 14 x 2-inch pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Sprinkle top sheet generously with 1/4 cup nut mixture and cover with 2 buttered phyllo sheets. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup nut mixture. Continue adding buttered phyllo sheets, sprinkling every second sheet with nut mixture, until all nut mixture is used. Place remaining phyllo sheets on top, buttering each sheet.

Cut Baklava into small diamond-shaped pieces with a sharp knife. Place a pan of water on the lowest shelf in oven. Place Baklava on middle shelf above the water and bake for 2 to 21/2 hours, or until golden, making sure that the water pan is always full.

While Baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup:

Combine in a saucepan water with all ingredients except honey. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey, and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove lemon peel and cool.

Remove Baklava from oven and pour cool syrup over hot pastry.

Note: Can be prepared and frozen, unbaked. When ready to use, bake, unthawed, in a 300-degree oven for 3 to 31/2 hours, or until golden.

Optional: The top of each Baklava piece can be studded with a single clove for decoration and flavor. (You don't eat the clove.)

Recipe yields 30 to 36 pieces.

Source: The Complete Book of Greek Cooking