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Baklava

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    Posted: 02 December 2010 at 14:01

Per Boilermaker's request, I dug out and dusted off my old Greek cookbook, and found what appears to be the traditional recipe for Baklava.


Here it is...from "The Complete Greek Cookbook"

Baklava is the aristocrat of pastry desserts. It is of Byzantine origin, made in all countries of the Near East, and each one claims it for its own. This fabulous pastry is recognized internationally by its layers of nut filling, and the many sheets of filo...from twenty to forty of them. It is usually bathed in syrup, and flavored with rose or brandy.



One pound of filo
Filo is sold in 1 pound and 1/2 pound packages and is available in frozen food sections of any good market. To prepare it, simply remove it from its carton but not out of its plastic bag, at least two hours or more ahead of time, until it is at room temperature and has completely defrosted.

For The filling:

3 cups or more chopped nutmeats..walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios or any combination.
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
zest of one lemon
½ pound melted sweet butter, or ghee
whole cloves

For the Simple Syrup Topping:

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons rose or brandy flavoring, or ¼ cup honey

  • Defrost the frozen filo to room temperature.Mix ingredients for filling in a bowl and set aside.
  •  Melt butter and clarify. Keep it in pan to reheat if it cools and doesn't flow easily while you are working with the filo.
  • Use a pastry brush generously oil the sides and bottom of a large sheet pan.
  •  Cut filo and inch larger than your pan. Use a pair of scissors to make it easier.
  • Place sheet of filo in pan and drizzle lightly with warm butter.
  • Place another sheet of filo on the first, drizzle with butter again and continue until you have covered it with 6 or more sheets of filo.
  • Add half the filling spreading it out even into the corners 
  • Cover with six more sheets of filo, buttering each one..then add remaining filling.
  • Cover with remaining filo sheets drizzling each layer with more butter.
  • Do not trim the edges like you would for a pie...roll them under and tuck them into the pan.
  • Drizzle the top with any remaining butter.
  • Before baking, cut through the top layers only...to make the traditional diamond shapes. Use a very sharp knife and a ruler to assist you.
To make the diamond shapes:



Make vertical cuts, 1 inch apart. Turn the pan horizontally and cuts at an angle, one inch apart. Stick a whole clove in the center of each diamond. Besides adding flavor, it helps keep all the pastry layers together.
  • Bake at 350° for one hour...check during last 20 minutes to make sure it's browning evenly.
  • Begin boiling the syrup 20 minutes before taking the baklava out of the oven.
  • Pour the hot syrup over hot baklava immediately after removing it from the oven. Use a ladle or large spoon to distribute it evenly.
  • Set aside to cool at room temperature.
  • Keep in pan overnight, or at least 4 hours before serving.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2010 at 14:58
Yep, right about the defrosting of the frozen stuff. Pretty high quality too, sure beats trying to make it. You'll find it near the pies, and frozen pie crusts. Baklava is really tasty stuff, but you can make great finger foods out of phyllo too!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2010 at 15:51
Watching this one closely.  Thanks Dave!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2010 at 09:41
Thanks Dave!  That's what I'm looking for.  I'll be giving this a try shortly!
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