Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baklava

Baklava

Several years ago, I decided that I would make another dish, Spanakopita (I will post the recipe for that later), when I was talking about it at work, a friend said, “oh, you should make baklava, but the last time I tried it, it was so hard.”  So with those words, I put off ever making baklava…..until I hunkered down and decided that I would attempt it.  Butter, filo, butter, filo, cinnamon, sugar, butter, filo, again, again, again…. And whall-ah, it was done….and not so hard.  I have  made it many timse since, and it’s probably one of the easiest and most forgiving desserts I have ever made.

This week, we are catering an event and are working diligently on the prep work and putting together any items we can pre-assemble to make Friday much easier.  Today I made Baklava….here’s the recipe.  It is AMAZING, and SO easy.  A little time consuming, but it will pay off with complements for those who enjoy it.  Seriously it’s all about layering….butter, filo, butter, filo (repeat 4-5 times) filling is a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nuts, then butter, filo, butter filo, until you run out of filo.  You can add Chocolate for Choc-lava. Easy huh?  For the nuts I use Pecan, as I have a slight allergy to walnuts.  I have used almonds, pecans as well as pistachios.  For the final touch, I always sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.

Baklava

2 cups butter
Filo dough (2 packages)
4 cups nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Honey

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine nuts, cup sugar, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Unwrap filo and trim to fit an 11'' x 15'' x 2'' baking pan. Cover filo sheets with a damp dish towel.

2. Butter pan. Place 1 sheet of filo in pan; brush with butter. Lay a second sheet of filo over first sheet, brush with butter, repeat 3-4 times,  then evenly sprinkle with 1 cup. nut mixture.  Place 1 sheet of filo on top of nut mixture, brush with butter. Lay a second sheet of filo over first sheet, brush with butter, repeat 3-4 times, Evenly sprinkle with nut mixture. Set aside two sheets of filo for the top, then continue alternating nut mixture with single buttered sheets of filo. Use reserved filo sheets, separated only by butter, to cover baklava.

3. Brush top with butter. Arrange pan so short side faces you. Cut across baklava with a serrated knife at about 2'' intervals. You should have 8 equal strips. Sprinkle top with water, bake until golden, about 30-45 minutes.

4. Remove baklava from oven. Pour honey over entire surface. Tilt pan so syrup reaches all corners, then set baklava aside for 2 hours. Finish cutting baklava on the diagonal for the traditional diamond shape or cut into squares.

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