Honey Baklava

 

BAKLAVA2

Honey Baklava is an amazing Middle Eastern nut filled sweet pastry with layers of sheets of phyllo dough, filled with rich cinnamon flavored nuts and soaked in a honey-lemon-sugar syrup!!! The name “baklava” originated from the Farsi word “many leaves” pointing to the multi-layer sheets of phyllo dough.  It is a rich, exotic and decadent (not for the calorie conscious, but who is looking at that when you have such a treat to enjoy!!) dessert, an ideal party or picnic treat.

I have always enjoyed making baklava, not withstanding the long process of layering the sheets with butter in between and handling the delicate sheets of the dough which tear easily and dry up fast!! Actually, baking and cooking being my passion, making this helps me de-stress and once they come out of the oven, golden and baked crisp, with all the crispy layers smothered in nuts and then showered with the honey syrup, all the hard labor and time consuming process put into it is forgotten!!!

I remember the first time I baked this decades ago (before the internet era); I have no recollection of where I got the recipe; probably some newspaper cutting that I had saved; but the final product was so rich and tasty that the next time my husband had to go to India for a visit (we used to live in Denver then), I made 2 batches of baklava and sent them to my relatives.  They loved it (including my late grandmother!!), and now on my recent trip, I baked 2 more batches and brought it to India, to share and enjoy it with my family and friends here. They do last for a few days and surprisingly remain crisp!!

If you are ready to delve into the process, this is the best pastry dessert you can make.

Honey Baklava
Baklava is an exotic Middle Eastern pastry with layers of crispy phyllo, filled with a mixture of nuts and cinnamon and smothered in a sweet honey-sugar-lemon syrup!!!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
6969 calories
658 g
488 g
472 g
96 g
148 g
1697 g
2249 g
371 g
7 g
298 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1697g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 6969
Calories from Fat 4048
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 472g
727%
Saturated Fat 148g
739%
Trans Fat 7g
Polyunsaturated Fat 200g
Monounsaturated Fat 98g
Cholesterol 488mg
163%
Sodium 2249mg
94%
Total Carbohydrates 658g
219%
Dietary Fiber 38g
152%
Sugars 371g
Protein 96g
Vitamin A
115%
Vitamin C
24%
Calcium
56%
Iron
154%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 oz) package phyllo dough (available in the freezer section of your supermarket)
  2. 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
  1. 3 ½ to 4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  2. 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon powder
For the honey syrup
  1. ¾ cup granulated sugar
  2. ¾ cup honey
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  4. ¾ cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Thaw the phyllo dough according to manufacturer’s instructions. It is best to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. To make the filling, coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl and add the cinnamon powder. Mix well with a spoon or whisk.
  4. Melt the butter in a small bowl and keep alongside the filling.
  5. Take a large baking sheet (I took the 15”x10” pan), unroll the phyllo dough layers and spread the stack out on the pan. Take a 13”x9” baking pan, place this over the phyllo dough and cut the whole stack with a sharp knife or scissors to fit the pan. Discard the unusable portions. Cover the top layer with a moist (not too wet or the top layer will stick to it) towel or paper towel.
  6. Place all the filling, sheets and melted butter alongside the 13x9 inch baking pan so as to make the process easier.
Let us start layering the baklava
  1. Brush the bottom of the 13”x9” pan with melted butter. Remove the moist towel, gently separate one layer of phyllo dough from the top (take care to be gentle or they will tear easily) and gently place it at the bottom of the baking pan over the butter. (Meanwhile, cover the rest of the phyllo sheets with the moist cloth again). Lightly brush this layer with butter . Repeat this process for 7 more layers for a total of 8 layers.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the nut mixture over these 8 sheets.
  3. Repeat layering 2 to 4 sheets of phyllo, buttering in between, till all the nuts are used up (set aside a couple of spoons to garnish, if you wish). The top layers should be at least 8 sheets thick.
  4. Once you have layered all the sheets and nuts, butter the top most layer with melted butter. Do not fret or worry if your sheets tear in between, they can be placed like a puzzle in between the sheets and will not affect the final product as long as your final layer is one single layer without any tears or cuts!!!
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the stacked baklava gently to make squares or diamond shapes. Cut through and if needed, with light fingers, hold the layers while cutting.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour till golden brown on top.
Meanwhile, make the honey syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, honey and water and bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice, stir and simmer on low to medium for about 3 to 4 minutes more. Set aside to cool while the baklava is baking.
  2. Once the baklava comes out golden brown from the oven, immediately pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava (you will hear the sizzle!!) so as to cover it evenly. Let cool at least 4 hours or even overnight, uncovered. Serve garnished (optional) with additional nuts.
Notes
  1. This stores well, covered for up to a week or so. I am sure it will be gone before that!!!
  2. I have used only walnuts but you can use a mixture of nuts like walnuts, pistachios, almonds etc.
  3. To get crisp baklavas make sure that if the baklava is cold, the syrup should be hot and vice versa.
  4. You can add a bark of cinnamon in the honey syrup while boiling for a different flavor or another combination is rose water with cardamom.
  5. It is an overly sweet dessert but yummy nevertheless!!!
beta
calories
6969
fat
472g
protein
96g
carbs
658g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

 

Step-by-Step-Method:          

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thaw the phyllo dough according to manufacturer’s instructions. It is best to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the filling, coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor or blender.  Transfer to a bowl and add the cinnamon powder.  Mix well with a spoon or whisk.

IMG_2234

Melt the butter in a small bowl and keep alongside the filling.

IMG_2237

Take a large baking sheet (I took the 15”x10” pan), unroll the phyllo dough layers and spread the stack out on the pan.  Take a 13”x9” baking pan, place this over the phyllo dough and cut the whole stack with a sharp knife or scissors to fit the pan.  Discard the unusable portions. Cover the top layer with a moist (not too wet or the top layer will stick to it) towel or paper towel.

Place all the filling, sheets and melted butter alongside the 13×9 inch baking pan so as to make the process easier.

Let us start layering the baklava:

Brush the bottom of the 13”x9” pan with melted butter.  Remove the moist towel, gently separate one layer of phyllo dough from the top (take care to be gentle or they will tear easily) and gently place it at the bottom of the baking pan over the butter. (Meanwhile, cover the rest of the phyllo sheets with the moist cloth again). Lightly brush this layer with butter . Repeat this process for 7 more layers for a total of 8 layers.

IMG_2240

Spread a thin layer of the nut mixture over these 8 sheets.

IMG_2241

Repeat layering 2 to 4 sheets of phyllo, buttering in between, till all the nuts are used up (set aside a couple of spoons to garnish, if you wish). The top layers should be at least 8 sheets thick.

Once you have layered all the sheets and nuts, butter the top most layer with melted butter. Do not fret or worry if your sheets tear in between, they can be placed like a puzzle in between the sheets and will not affect the final product as long as your final layer is one single layer without any tears or cuts!!!

With a sharp knife, cut the stacked baklava gently to make squares or diamond shapes. Cut through and if needed, with light fingers, hold the layers while cutting.

IMG_2290

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour till golden brown on top.

IMG_2311

Meanwhile, make the honey syrup:

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, honey and water and bring to a boil.  Add the lemon juice, stir and simmer on low to medium for about 3 to 4 minutes more.  Set aside to cool while the baklava is baking.

IMG_2239

Once the baklava comes out golden brown from the oven, immediately pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava (you will hear the sizzle!!) so as to cover it evenly. Let cool at least 4 hours or even overnight, uncovered. Serve garnished (optional) with additional nuts.

square baklava

Note:

This stores well, covered for up to a week or so. I am sure it will be gone before that!!!

I have used only walnuts but you can use a mixture of nuts like walnuts, pistachios, almonds etc.

To get crisp baklavas make sure that if the baklava is cold, the syrup should be hot and vice versa.

You can add a bark of cinnamon in the honey syrup while boiling for a different flavor or another combination is rose water with cardamom.

It is an overly sweet dessert but yummy nevertheless!!!

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