Saturday, August 8, 2009

Baklava with Almonds & Walnuts

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What's the best way to end a Greek inspired meal? With baklava of course! This dessert consists of layers of phyllo dough, nuts and honey. Some may think this kind of dessert is fairly complicated, but I think it has more to do with patience. The layers of dough, nuts and honey can take a lot of time (not to mention that it can be a sticky mess) but this dessert is sure to impress everyone at the table!


Baklava with Almonds & Walnuts
recipe from About.com


1 pound of large (14 x 18 inch) phyllo sheets (20 - 22 sheets)
4 cups of chopped walnuts
4 cups of chopped unsalted blanched almonds
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of ground cloves
1/2 to 3/4 cup of olive oil
4-5 tablespoons of bottled soda water
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Honey syrup:
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of honey
3/4 cup of water
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 stick of cinnamon
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Sugar Syrup:
2 1/2 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of sugar
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 stick of cinnamon


Note: This recipe can be made with either a honey or sugar syrup. Ingredients are given for both; see preparation details below.

Defrost phyllo dough according to package directions. (See Phyllo Basics)

In a large bowl, combine the walnuts and almonds with the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix will with hands or a large whisk until thoroughly blended.

Preheat oven to 350-355°F (180°C).

Oil the bottom and sides of a 17 X 13 inch (or equivalent) rectangular baking pan. Place a sheet of phyllo in the pan and brush with a little oil (or butter). Allow any overlap to hang out the sides. Repeat until there are 4 sheets on the bottom. Spoon one third of the nut mixture evenly over the pastry. Add two more sheets of pastry, brushed with oil (or butter). Spoon a little of the nut mixture over the pastry and repeat until all but 4 sheets of phyllo remain. Top the pastry with 4 sheets, each brushed with oil (or butter), except the top sheet. Tuck any overlapping phyllo dough under itself, on top of the filling.

Score the pastry in pieces using a razor blade, and follow up with a sharp knife, cutting all the way through. To make triangles: cut the pastry into squares, then, cut squares in half diagonally to make triangles.

Sprinkle just the top of the pastry with 4-5 tablespoons of soda water (to get best results, use a spray bottle). Bake on the rack just below the middle of the oven 350-355°F (180°C) until golden (about 45 minutes).

    Note: The cooked baklava may have white spots on top. These are from the soda water and will disappear after the syrup is added.

Unlike many other baklava recipes, hot syrup is poured over the hot pastry. Both syrup recipes are prepared the same way:

  • Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove cinnamon.
  • Pour the hot syrup carefully and evenly over the hot baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven, making sure to cover the sides and corners.

Allow the baklava to cool thoroughly and absorb the syrup before serving (at least 3-4 hours).

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