I wanted my first attempt to make baklava to be for Christmas. The process is not a very difficult one, but it is quite time consuming and laborious. The best way to go about it, is to have everything prepared and ready on the work surface before getting started. My photos of the actual assembly are not the greatest, but hopefully it will give a small insight into how this sickly sweet fragrant pastry is made.
1 packet of filo pastry (450grams frozen)
300grams salted pistachios, shelled
200grams roasted hazelnuts, unsalted
250grams butter, melted
(pinch of ground cloves is optional)
1 cinnamon stick
1. Thaw the packet of filo pastry sheets at room temperature for at least 2hrs before starting.
2. To make the filling, put the pistachios and hazelnuts into a food processor and blitz until the nuts resemble a small crumb. Little cubes sort of. Combine with the sugar and cinnamon.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.
4. Roll out the thawed pastry sheets and cut them in half to make sure they fit into the pan. Keep the pastry sheets covered with a damp cloth, they must not dry out.
5. Make the first layer of pastry 7-8 sheets thick, making sure to brush each sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter.
6. Spoon a thin layer of the nut mixture on top and cover with two sheets of filo, each brushed with the butter. Repeat until there is no more filling left.
Keep count of the number of sheets, so that there are about 7-8 sheets left for the top layer. Finishing off the top layer, make sure that each sheet is brushed with the melted butter. There should be no dry pastry in sight!:)
7. Brush the top layer with more butter and then using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into small squares. Bake for 30-35mins at 175degrees until golden and crisp.
8. Meanwhile make the syrup. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on a medium low heat for 7 minutes or so, until slightly thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick and allow it to cool.
9. Pour the syrup over the hot baklava and leave it to cool for at least 4 hours before tucking in. Store the ready made baklava in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. (ours was all gobbled up in less than a week!:))
|Waiting to be eaten!|