So the origins of this delightfully rich sweet pastry laden dessert are somewhat not known and to me I find it all confusing. Many want to claim it and why not? Its delicious and easy and a whopper of a crowd pleaser.
With all the toing and froing of where baklava came from it is apparent that there are so many variations to it with each respective country. If you make baklava feel free to use almonds, cloves, cinnamon, dried fruits, sesame seeds or anything else that tickles your fancy. Some serve it with whole walnuts and pomegranate. You could even try chocolate...?
This will last for up to 4 days in an air tight container.
200 gm pistachios, finely chopped
200 gm walnuts, finely chopped
80 gm caster sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
165 gm butter, coarsely chopped
375 gm filo pastry
190 gm caster sugar
120 gm honey
1 lemon rind
1 cinnamon quill
2 drops rosewater, optional
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside and keep warm.
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
Grease a 24cm x 24cm baking tray with butter.
Cut filo sheets to fit inside tray and cover with a damp tea towel.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Brushing between each layer, layer 1/4 of the pastry in tray.
Scatter 1/3 of the nut mixture evenly.
Continue the next two layers the same way. Top with remaining pastry. Remember to brush every filo layer with butter.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes, cut through all pastry layers with a sharp knife. Feel free to cut any shape you like – diamond, square, rectangle.
Bake until cooked through and gloriously golden, 45 – 1 hour.
To make the syrup, combine sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Reduce heat to low, simmer until infused. Remove from heat, strain through sieve.
Stir through rosewater to taste (optional).
Once baklava has cooled slightly, roughly 5 minutes, pour syrup over evenly.
Set aside at room temperature until completely cool or overnight.
When you are ready to serve, lightly dust with icing sugar and serve with your favourite Muscat.
Recommendation : Jaboulet Muscat De Beaumes De Venise 2009, a chilled bottle of Champagne or a hot cup of your favourite tea.