The infamous Middle Eastern phyllo pastry is hands down, one of my favourite desserts, if you ask. The Turkish delicacy somehow has a complex yet resplendent aura in itself. The intricacy of the layers and the precision that goes into preparing such an remarkable dessert is commendable. Before I get carried away ranting about my love for baklava, I’d like to share with you guys an easy to prepare, although time consuming, homemade recipe for baklava. Let’s dive straight into it shall we?
For the baklava:
· 16oz phyllo dough
· 1 cup melted butter
· 1/3 cup of sugar
· 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
· ¼ ground cloves
· Chopped walnuts, pistachio, almonds or as preferred. (Pistachios are simply the best) Save some for the garnish as well.
For the syrup:
· 1 cup of water
· 1 cup of sugar
· 1 tbsp of lemon juice
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1 cup honey
1. In a small cooking pot, add water, sugar, cinnamon stick, honey and the lemon juice together and bring the mixture to boil on medium high heat. Cook until the consistency turns syrupy. This should take around 7-8 mins and not more than that. Allow the mixture to cool. This will be your syrup.
2. Add the walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and 1/3 cup of sugar in a processor to prepare a finely ground filling. (You can add the nuts as per your preference).
3. To assemble the dessert, lightly grease a pan and lay out the phyllo sheet. Brush the sheet with melted butter.
4. Spoon some amount of the filling onto the phyllo sheet and roll it up as tightly as you can ensuring you do not apply a lot of pressure or it may tear the fragile sheets. To make it easy, while filling the sheets leave an inch of space from the bottom to make the rolling easier.
5. Transfer this onto the baking sheet.
6. Once the rest of the rolls are prepared, brush the top with some melted butter.
7. Slice the rolls diagonally.
8. Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F, until golden brown and crisp.
9. Remove from oven and drizzle over the cooled syrup onto the hot freshly baked baklava. Garnish the dessert with some pistachios and Voila!
Bon appetite fellas!