Baklava is a famous Greek/Middle Eastern Dessert featuring a sweet ground nut mixture between sheets of phyllo pastry. This is a great and easy make ahead dessert that has everyone else thinking it’s a Herculean task.
One of the plus points of a Baklava is that it actually tastes better days upto a week after it has been prepared. This gives the sugar syrup a chance to glue all the layers together. This could not suit me better as I can prepare a large batch for a party a week ahead and have one less thing to worry about if I’m prepping for a party. I’ve used walnuts in this recipe, but you could easily use almonds or pistachios or a combination of your choice.
- 1 pkg (about 454 gms) defrosted Phyllo pastry
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
- 1 lb walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsps cinnamon powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp orange essence
- Pulse the walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and keep aside
- Remove the Phyllo pastry and trim it to fit your baking dish. (I'm using a 10 x 12)
- Butter the dish and butter each phyllo pastry layer
- Start by layering about 5 layers of pastry
- Roughly divide the walnut mixture into three portions and sprinkle over the first portion.
- For the next pastry layer, make sure to butter both sides as one side will touch the nuts.
- Add three more layers after that only buttering one side.
- Add more nuts and repeat till you have three layers of nuts.
- Add about 5 layers to the final pastry layer so you have a sturdy base and top
- Score the pastry - I like to cut them in diamond shapes. Hold down the pastry with your fingers as you gently cut
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 - 45 mins till golden brown
- In the meantime combine the sugar, honey and water and bring to a rolling boil
- Add the vanilla and orange essence.
- Simmer till the syrup is of a medium consistency
- Pour over the hot baked Baklava
- Wait an hour or two till it's cooled and well absorbed before serving
- Great make ahead dish - will last a week in a cool place