Contribution to HEMC #43
Baklava is one of my favourites treats in North America. I am thankful to be surrounded for so many Middle-eastern groceries and pastries shops. I tasted them in Chile, but I learned to make them here. I have tried many recipes and nut mixes until I found the one that we really like. To make the pastry healthier (and eat it more of it!)I use a mix of butter and olive oil to moist the dough. Here is my own version of baklava:
1 package phyllo dough
3 cups of blanched almonds
1 cup of pistachio
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup icing sugar
12 cardamom pods
2 cups of sugar
Juice of a half lemon
2 spoons of rose-water
100 grams of butter
3 spoons of olive oil
Clarify the butter and mix with olive oil. Grind the almonds, walnut and pista. I use a coffee grinder that I have for it. Put them in a bowl, mix with the icing sugar and with the crushed seeds of 6 cardamom pods. Set aside.
In an oven proof glass dish (mine is a rectangle of 11" x 15"), brush its bottom with the mix of the butter and olive oil. Divide the package of phyllo dough in two sets (bottom and top). Put one layer of phyllo dough in the pan, and brush it with the mix. Continue putting layer by layer of phyllo dough and brushing each of them with the butter mix. In order to avoid the phyllo dough to get dry, cover them with a kitchen towel that is humid but no wet.
Once you have placed the half of phyllo dough layers, spread the walnuts/pista/almonds mix. Star covering them with the other half of phyllo dough. Between each layer of phyllo dough, brush it with the butter mix.
Once you finish, sprinkle with water. With a sharpen knife make vertical cuts and then diagonal cuts to make diamond shape. Put in a preheated oven at 375 F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
In the meantime, prepare syrup with two cups of sugar, juice of a half lemon, two spoons of rose-water, six crushed cardamom pod seeds, and two and a half cups of water. Simmer it until gets thick and syrup consistency.
Once the baklava is ready, take it out from the oven and pour the syrup over cooked baklava. Let it cool and enjoy it!!!!