Homemade Baklava

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Coming up yet again with an another mouthwatering recipe. And this time it is a desert. A desert which is my all time favorite and I wanted to share the recipe from long time. It's Turkish Baklava. It's so crunchy, nutty, flaky, syrupy, sticky and gooey that once you start eating you can not stop. These bite sized baklava are made from layers of phyllo sheets, 2 types of nut mixture and sugar syrup. They're so good that it is hard to stop just at one. You urge to have more and more. The one of the best baklava I tried was in Vienna, which we visited during our this summer vacations. With this dessert you can feed a crowd in any get together or party. Just feed this baklava with a scoop of ice cream and you will have a best thing in this world.




There is a long aged fight with Turkey and Greek for the origin of this dessert, so till now it is not clear that where it was originated. Some say it was once made in the kitchen of Turkish King. But who know..! The one who ever created, they did the most amazing creation in the world of deserts and sweets. Now it is the world famous dish people loves to eat. If you are not familiar with Baklava, it's a nutty mixture, layered between buttered phyllo sheets baked and then soaked in sugar syrup. It's the time consuming process. But I tell you, every effort and wait, is worth. 



I have tried this recipe couple of time before, and finally I found this recipe worth sharing. Thirty crispy layers, of buttered phyllo sheets with nuts makes it light yet tasty and delicious. There are many ways of making this desert, but this one is my take on it. There are basically 4 easy steps to make Baklava. First, grinding the nuts and making sugar syrup. Second, applying butter and layering the phyllo sheets with nuts. Third, baking the Baklava and soaking it in the sugar syrup. And lastly, the most important step; WAIT WAIT WAIT.... Let it soak in the sugar syrup for at least 8 hours before hogging it.




Prep Time:- 40 minutes  Cooking Time:- 50 minutes
Standing Time:- 8 hours  Total Time:- 9 hrs 30 minutes

Total Serving: 24 pieces
Cuisine:  Middle Eastern

MEASUREMENTS:-
1 cup = 250 ml 
¾ cup = 200 ml
½ cup = 125 ml 
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
½ teaspoon = 2.5 ml
¼ teaspoon = 1.25 ml

INGREDIENTS

SUGAR SYRUP:
* Granulated Sugar:- 1 3/4 cups
* Lemon Juice:- 1 teaspoon
* A pinch of salt
* Water:- 3/4 cup

FILLING:
* Deskined Almonds:- 1 cup
* Unsalted Pistachios:- 1 cup

PASTRY:
* Phyllo Sheets:- 1 packet ( 500 grams)
* Unsalted Butter:- 150 grams
* Flavorless  Vegetable Oil:- 1/2 cup

METHOD

PREPARING SUGAR SYRUP AND  NUTS:

* Grind the almonds and pistachio coarsely but not too coarsely. Make sure you give a pulse before grind it complete. (Do not grind it for too long as the nuts will tend to release their oil, making it a paste. We do not want a paste.) Take it out in a bowl and keep aside.





* In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. (Do not rush for this step as you will land up in burning the butter.) Once the butter is melted, add the vegetable oil to it and mix together thoroughly. 




* In another sauce pan, combine sugar, water, salt and bring it to a full boil over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally till the sugar is completely dissolves. Once boiled, add the lemon juice, mix it well and take off from the heat. (The syrup should not be too thick  neither too runny.)




LAYERING:

* Adjust your rack to medium level and preheat your over to 180 degrees Celsius. Brush a baking pan of any size which you have with melted butter. Unwrap and unfold phyllo sheets on your working area and smooth out with your hands to flatten. Using a pan as a guide, adjust the size of phyllo and cut it to fit into the pan. (If your phyllo is too large, first cut it into half, then use a pan to measure and cut the excess sheets.) Cover the phyllo sheets with a damn cloth so that it doesn't dry out.






* Grease your pan with some melted butter. Place 1 phyllo sheet in the pan and brush it with the melted until fully coated. Place 7 more phyllo sheets in the pan, brushing each sheet with the butter. It should be 8 sheets altogether by now. Now add one cup of the chopped nuts mix over the butter brushed phyllo sheets. Spread it evenly with the help of your hands. (Refer notes.)




* Layer 4 more sheets of phyllo sheets over the chopped nuts, again brushing each sheets with more butter. Then top another 1/2 cup of chopped nuts over the sheet, spread evenly with hands. Repeat again with 4 more sheets of phyllo, brushing butter and adding the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. It should be total of 3 layers of nuts by now.



* Finally, layer the remaining phyllo sheets over the nuts, brushing each layer with more butter. Now with the help of your palm, gently compress the layers and remove any air pocket. (Do not press it too hard, otherwise all the nuts will come out.) Now with the help of a sharp knife, cut the sheets into square. To make it a perfect square, I made 4 cuts vertically and 6 cuts horizontally. (The cuts totally depends upon the size of pan which you are using. It can be 4*5, 5*5 anything. It depends up to you, which size of Baklava you want to have. Ideally the Baklava is diamond shaped,if you want to can do so.)





* Brush the remaining butter after cutting the sheets. Coat the sheet evenly with the butter, covering each and every part of the baklava. Don't forget to the brush it in between the cuts.



* Bake the baklava until golden and crispy for 45 minutes to 50 minutes. Rotate the side to the baklava when it is half way through. (Every oven is different so time may vary. Mine took 50 minutes to bake perfect baklava. But it can take up to 1 hour depending upon the oven.)



SOAKING IN SUGAR SYRUP:

* Remove the baked Baklava from the oven and drizzle the sugar syrup over the baklava. Pour it over cut lines covering each and every corner of the Baklava. (The sugar syrup should be luke warm at the time using it.) 



*  Sprinkle some chopped nuts over the ready Baklava. Cool in the the room temperature for an hour. Cover it with a cling wrap, or foil and place it in the refrigerator for minimum 8-9 hours or overnight. After 8 hours, take it out from the fridge and enjoy.



Spread the joy of Cooking..!

NOTES:

* You can use only pistachios instead of mix nuts if you want.

* You just have to brush each layer of sheets with some amount of butter, covering every corner. Do not use too much within the layers. However, use generous amount of butter over the top layer.

* You can use puff pastry sheet if you want, but results will not be the same as with phyllo sheets. If you are using puff pastry, in that case there will be only 2-4 layers only.

SERVING TIPS: Perfect dessert after any meal of the day.




Do try my recipe and leave for comments below. Till then Happy Cooking.!


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