Baklava

Opa! Yesterday was Greek Easter, aka the perfect excuse to create a feast and enjoy it with friends outside in the sun. The star of the show was baklava, just like yiayia used to make it. It was our first baklava attempt, and we’re a few tries away from rivaling yiayia’s masterpiece, but the reviews were unanimously in our favor nonetheless. The secret to perfection is hot syrup on cooled baklava, or cooled syrup on hot baklava. We tried for the latter, and then an anonymous chef dumped out our syrup while doing the dishes, so last minute we opted for the former. It was flaky and nutty and not too sweet, the perfect end to a delicious Easter feast.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
Rind of 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/2 pound walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp breadcrumbs
1 package filo dough
1/2 pound butter, melted

Steps
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Combine sugar, water, lemon rind, cinnamon stick and cloves in a saucepan and bring to a boil
Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes
Remove the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and cloves and cool
In a large bowl, combine walnuts, cinnamon and breadcrumbsCount 8 sheets of filo dough, cover and refrigerate (you’re reserving these for the top)
Using a pastry brush, butter a 5″x 7″ x 3″ baking dish
Lay one layer of filo on the bottom of dish, brush with warm butter and repeat with 7 more sheets of filoSprinkle a handful of walnuts over the top filo sheetLayer 3 more sheets of filo, brushing each with butter and sprinkle the top sheet with walnutsContinue layering (and buttering) until the walnuts and filo are used
Remove the filo sheets from the fridge and spread over the top, brushing each sheet with butter
Using a sharp knife, score the baklava into diamond(ish) shapesHeat the remaining butter until sizzling and pour over the baklava
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ¼ hours, until the top is golden brown and flakyRemove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the baklava
Let cool (the longer you let it sit, the better – we waited about 1 hour)
Serve! OPA!

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One thought on “Baklava

  1. Pingback: Greek Recipe Roundup – Opa! | our snacks

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