Traditional Baklava with Honey

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My family originates from the  Laconian region of Greece make this baklava recipe with layers of crispy flaky phyllo pastry soaked in a lemon honey syrup and a cinnamon and clove nut mixture of pistachios, almonds and walnuts. This is the iconic baklava, the one you will want to make over and over.

greek baklava

An easy to impress dish, to make for family and friend gatherings.  It makes plentiful, looks amazing and the only person who won’t want to try it is the one with the nut allergy.

This recipe is really out of this world as the nut mixture is the perfect combination of nuts.  The best kind, almonds, walnuts and pistachios and whole sweetly scented spices are lovingly ground and added into the nut mixture. 

baklava recipe

If you like you can omit the pistachios, if they are hard to find they can also be a little expensive.  You can replace the pistachios with equal amounts of almonds or walnuts.  Try not to replace with peanuts. It won’t be the same, trust me on this.

Other recipes are a basic layer of walnuts and phyllo with a sugary syrup.  This baklava will take you to the next level with the inclusion of spices and citrus and honey aroma from the syrup.

baklava

Traditional Baklava with Honey

Prep Time: 50 minutes 40 seconds
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes 40 seconds

Popular Mediterranean Dessert, of crushed nuts and spices layered with crunchy phyllo and luscious honey and citrus syrup drizzled over the top.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons whole cloves ( grind finely)

To make Honey Syrup

  • 1  cup water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 sliver lemon peel
  • 3 whole cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 Degree Celsius
  2. Make the Syrup: Place the honey, water, whole cloves and rind in a stovetop and heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil, reduce heat allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until reduced by 1/4 volume. Pour lemon juice. Simmer 1 extra minute. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Prepare Phyllo Pastry: Remove from the package lay flat and cover with a towel. Allow to defrost if working with the frozen variety.
  4. Make the nut mixture: Use a food processor with a blade. Chop each kind of nut separately using a pulse motion. Separately works best, as I find almonds take a few extra pulses to chop to the same size as the other chopped nuts.
  5. Grind the cloves, and mix ground cloves and cinnamon into the nut mixture.
  6. Assemble Baklava: This is the exciting part. Prepare 20cm x 30cm x 5cm pan. Brush the baking pan with melted butter. Place a layer of phyllo to ensure base is covered completely. Brush with melted butter. Repeat for 5 sheets or 1/3 of the phyllo quantity in the packet.
  7. Layer half the crushed nut mixture.
  8. Layer another 1/3 of the phyllo sheets. Brush each layer with melted butter.
  9. Layer the last half of the crushed nut mixture.
  10. Layer the last 1/3 of phyllo sheets. Brush each layer with melted butter including the last sheet.
  11. Use a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shape.
  12. Bake for 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crispy.
  13. Remove baklava from the oven, and immediately poor the syrup over the baklava. Don't forget the corners!
  14. Allow to cool, sprinkle extra nuts of your choice.


how to make baklava

Notes

Tip on How to Make Baklava, for superior results:

Brush each sheet with butter rather than randomly drizzling melted butter over the phyllo. The phyllo will have a lovely golden hue and a crispy texture. As well it will cook evenly. Have seen many videos with bloggers randomly drizzling the butter of the phyllo.. The end-result too much butter in one area and the phyllo is unevenly cooked.

Process each kind of nut separately. Your nuts need to not be akin to almond meal as it is too fine, but also not akin to pebbles. Just the right even consistency is important.

Any combination of nuts can be used. Even Hazelnuts. Bear in mind, some nuts are stronger in flavour and too much of one kind may be overpowering.

If cutting into diamond shape start from a corner. You will see what I mean, it will make it easier to get the right diamond shapes from the rectangular shape baking dish.

Finally, when baked do not cover while still warm as it will go soggy.

I hope all this helps. Let me know how you go, have tried to give as much advice as possible to help you out. It would be wonderful if you could tag me, or provide a review.

Happy Baking!

Marina, Olivesandfeta

 

 

 

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