If the glimmer of UK sunshine is making you impatient for your summer holiday, here’s a recipe that will give you a taste of that Aegean bliss.
Sourced from a lady who was taught how to make this classic dish first-hand by a Greek friend, this sweet and nutty recipe is a truly authentic take on the popular pastry dish. Luckily it’s not too difficult to make either, so you’ll be sitting back and relaxing with a piping hot pastry on your plate before you know it!
For the baklava
- 250g (9 oz) butter, melted
- 500g (1 1/4 lb) chopped walnuts (you can use a combination of almonds if you wish
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the sauce
- 8 tablespoons Greek honey
- 1 large piece of lemon peel
Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4, before greasing the sides and bottom of a large baking tray.
Step 2 - Pour the nuts and cinnamon into a bowl and mix together thoroughly, before setting aside for later.
Step 3 - Unroll your package of filo pastry, then cut the whole stack to fit the size of your tray. You should cover your unused pastry with a wet towel as you prepare the dish, to keep it from drying out.
Step 4 - Place two sheets of the filo onto the tray, before buttering the top layer. You should then repeat this step until you have 8 sheets layers on top of each other. Sprinkle 2-3 table spoons of the nut-cinnamon mixture on top, then top with 2 sheets of filo, butter and nuts, continuing to layer as you go along. Once you get to the top, this should also be 6-8 sheets deep, like the base.
Step 5 - Take a sharp kitchen knife, and begin to cut your baklava into segments. You can choose to cut them into diamond or square shapes, working from the top to the bottom of the dish. Once this is done, pop them into the pre-heated over and bake for around 50 minutes until the pastry is crispy and golden in colour.
Step 6 - Whilst your baklava is baking, prepare the sauce. Begin by boiling the caster sugar and water until all of the sugar is dissolved, before adding the honey and lemon peel. Simmer on a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the saucepan and allow it to cool. Once the sauce has cooled fully, you can remove the lemon peel.
Step 7 - Remove the baklava from the oven, and immediately pour over the cooled sauce. Eat when the entire dish has cooled, then store uncovered to prevent your pastry from going soggy.
Source: All Recipes