Baklava is such an amazing sweet. Served throughout the Middle East and Greece, the sweet syrupy flaky pastry is such a delight as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee, or after a lovely meal. This homemade version is perfect and much lighter than what you normally can buy or find in term of recipes. I love this version. So what’s the difference, you might ask? Normally baklava is made with melted butter, and you have to brush each layer of the dough with butter. Here, we forego that. You don’t need it and in my opinion, it tastes better! Lighter and the nutty flavor really comes through. It’s also super easy to make! It literally takes 10 minutes to put together.
For the baklava:
- 1 package phyllo dough (6 sheets of yufka in Turkey)
- 1 lb (450g) ground walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1 cup (or a little less) vegetable oil (canola, sunflower, or a very light olive oil)
For the syrup:
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- a pinch of ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Lightly oil a 9x13inch baking dish.
- In a food processor, finely chop the walnuts with the sugar and cinnamon.
Cut the phyllo dough to fit the size of the dish and loosely layer on the bottom of the dish to about 1/2 inch, or about 6-8 layers.
- Pour the walnut mixture evenly over the phyllo dough in the baking dish.
- Layer the remaining phyllo dough on top of the nuts, about 1/2 inch, or about 6-8 layers.
Cut the baklava with a small sharp knife. This is a very important step. Cut the length of the dish into 3 or 4 even sections, then cut diagonally along the width to make diamond shapes. Make sure to cut ALL THE WAY THROUGH to the bottom. The photo above shows the shape you should cut.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F/200°C and then turn the oven down to 325°F/160°C and bake for another 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To make the syrup, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil without stirring, turn down the heat and simmer at a gentle bubble for about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour the syrup over the baklava in the baking dish. I tend to not use all the syrup, as I prefer baklava a bit dry and less sweet. I leave the extra syrup on the side for anyone who wants to add more.
- Let the baklava sit at least one hour, preferably over night, after you pour the syrup, as it’s more delicious this way!
Baklava freezes beautifully. Just thaw completely when ready to eat. It’s like you just made it.
Would you like new recipes and stories every week? Please Follow Us.