You know what I mean, don’t you? The dessert you eat in Greek restaurants and that’s so sweet and syrup-y that you need to drink a gallon of water afterwards just to get rid of the stuff that sticks to your palate?
Yes, I made one. One of the most delicious thing I’ve ever made. Are you drooling? You should be.
And because every good thing should be shared with others I will give you the recipe so that your taste buds can can get high as well.
- half a pack (1/2 lb) of phyllo pastry
- vegetable oil or butter
- 3-4 cups of nuts (you can go crazy here and pick what you want: walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, etc. )
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 little bags of vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of honey
You should know this about phyllo pastry:
It was the first time I baked something using phyllo pastry and it’s super easy even for a noob like me. You just have to follow these “rules” and you can’t get it wrong.
- Unlike the pâte feuilletée (which I have used before) phyllo pastry comes in very thin sheets of dough. And when I say thin I mean paper-thin, a couple of mm thick.
- Because they’re so thin they shouldn’t be left exposed to air or else they’ll dry up.
- They come in a roll, covered in a plastic bag.
- After you’re unpacked them and you’ve started baking, cover the ones you’re not using with a damp towel to keep them from drying. If they get dry they become like paper, they’re not flexible anymore and are basically screwed.
- Phyllo has to be kept frozen. When you want to use it, keep it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
- Usually you use 2-3 sheets at a time, you brush them with vegetable oil or melted butter (depending on how cholesterol-conscious, weight-preoccupied or a health-freak you are). You do this in order to keep the sheets from being scorched by the heat when in the oven.
- So the routine is: layer 2-3 sheets, brush, 2-3 sheets, brush, etc till you get the desired thickness of dough. After that you put your filling and you layer again.
That’s it for the phyllo. Now let’s get to the real stuff.
Step 1: grind the nuts and mix them together, put them in a bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon and mix together.
Step 2: grease the bottom and sides of an oven tray with either margarine, oil or butter. I put aluminum foil on mine.
Step 3: If necessary cut the phyllo pastry to fit in your baking tray. Use a sharp knife and cut through the entire pack as if cutting many sheets of wrapping paper.
Step 4: place your first layer of phyllo dough: 2-3 sheets, brush with oil/melted butter, 2-3 sheets, brush, etc. till you have 8-10 sheets altogether.
Step 5: Over the 8-10 sheets sprinkle some of the nut&cinnamon mixture. You can see that I’ve got some big chunks in my mixture. It makes the end product really crunchy. Just the way I like it!
Step 6: Add 2-3 sheets of phyllo over the nut mixture, brush it with oil/melted butter and then sprinkle some more nuts. Repeat this (2-3 sheets, brush, nuts) until you run out of nuts.
Step 7: When the nuts are over, place another 8-10 sheets as the top layer (you know the drill, 2-3 sheets, brush, 2-3 sheets, brush, etc). The top sheet should have a bit more oil on it than the others because this part will be the most exposed to the heat in the oven and if it’s not well covered in oil it will get dry and curl up. Then take a sharp knife and cut the pieces of baklava. You must do it know because it will be impossible to do when the baklava is baked.
Step 8: Put the tray in the oven at 350 F (180 C) until the top layer is golden-brown (30 min or so depending on how hot your oven is to start with).
Step 9: While the that is in the oven, prepare the syrup: 1 cup of sugar, 2 bags of vanilla sugar or 1 vile of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of honey, 1 cup of H2O.
Put sugar+water+vanilla in a small pot and boil until the sugar is dissolved. Add the honey and simmer down until it becomes a bit viscous (between water and honey). It will make bubbles, don’t worry. Keep stirring so it won’t stick to your pot.
Step 10: When done take the baklava out of the oven and pour the syrup gently and evenly. Let it cool for 30 min.
This is the final product.
And don’t forget to bush your teeth afterwards. Something tells me this stuff is a molar killer!