Baklava is known to have turkish roots and is developed on their tradition of layered breads. Its a rich sweet pastry made of phyllo/filo sheets filled with assorted nuts and sweetened with honey or sugar syrup.
This recipe is shared by a dear friend who inspired us to make some of these desserts we thought could never be homemade. So go and get these ingredients and you'll be surprised how easily this mouthwatering pastry can be made in your own little kitchen.
Prep Time : 1 hr + soaking time
Phyllo pastry sheets: 1 box
Butter (melted): 1 cup
Nuts (chopped): 2 1/2 cups in total
* You can use different combination of your favorite nuts (Walnuts/Pistachios/Hazelnuts /Almonds)
We used the below
Walnuts (chopped): 1 cup
Pistachios (shelled & chopped): 1 cup
Almonds (though not common, we used it in our mix): 1/2 cup
Ground clove (based on taste): 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon (based on taste): 1-2 teaspoons
Cardamom pods (ground): 2
Powdered sugar :1/4 cup or less
Water: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Honey: 1/2 cup
Cinnamon stick: 1
* 1 phyllo box contains 2 rolls. These sheets are enough to make about 30 pieces in a 9 x 13 inches baking dish.
Boil the syrup ingredients on low heat until thick and syrupy. Turn off the gas and let it cool.
Chop the nuts together in the food processor. Add the powdered cinnamon, clove, cardamom and sugar until mixed well. Do a taste check. It should just be slightly sweet. Set aside.
Grease a 9 x 13 in baking dish with butter.
Phyllo dough sheets can be tough to work with. Be gentle while you peel them as it tears off easily.
Layer each phyllo dough sheet and brush with melted butter. Do not saturate, only lightly brush. If you overdo the butter, the baklava might get soggy. Continue the process till you have used 1/3rd of the total sheets. Layer half the nut mix. Continue layering the sheets. At 2/3rd of the sheets, layer the second half of the nut mix, but set aside a small portion for decorating the top. Finish layering with the remaining sheets.
Cut the sheets diagonally to make diamond shapes with a sharp knife before you bake. Else it will become too crispy and will crumble when you cut after baking. Do not put the nuts to garnish until the baking is done else the nuts on top will get burnt.
Bake at 350 F degrees until the baklava is golden brown. Take it out and garnish with the remaining nuts. Let it cool and then pour the sugar-honey syrup all over. Let it sit for at least 4 hours so that the syrup soaks in completely.