By Jane Curran
Sweet and sticky baklawa is a great dessert for feeding a crowd. This giant sharing layered pastry cuts up into little bite-size portions that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. Baklawa is a dish of Middle Eastern origin made with layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and all held together with syrup or honey. We’ve used lemon juice and orange blossom water to add a freshness to our syrup, which cuts through the sweetness of these pastries.
HOW TO MAKE SWEET AND STICKY BAKLAWA
- 200g pistachio nuts
- 175g hazelnuts
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 500g filo pastry
- 375g unsalted butter, melted
- 50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
For the syrup:
- 500g sugar
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 2tbsp orange blossom water
You will need:
- a 20x20cm roasting tin, oiled and lined with baking parchment with a good overlap at the short edges to help you take out the baklava
- First of all, prepare the syrup. Put the sugar, 300ml water and lemon juice in a pan, stir over a medium heat and slowly bring to the boil. Once it has boiled for about 2mins, take off the heat and add the orange blossom water. Transfer into a jug, cool then put in the fridge to chill.
- Heat the oven to 190C. Blitz the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix in the cinnamon.
- Now you are ready to layer up the baklava. Put one layer of filo into the tin and brush with melted butter. If it’s too big, just fold to fit. Repeat until you’ve used half the packet of filo and brush butter over that layer. Evenly scatter the nuts over and, using a mixing bowl, press it down so that the nuts and pastry are compact. Drizzle some butter over the top of the nuts and put a layer of filo on the top and butter again.
- Follow the same process on the bottom until you have no more pastry, then butter the top of the final layer to give it a nice colour. Press down with a bowl again to ensure the top layers of pastry are compact. Cut into diamonds and put in the oven. Bake for 45 mins, then turn the heat up to 240C and bake for another 15 mins. Take out and quickly pour over the chilled syrup.
- Leave to cool completely. Turn it out with the help of the overlap, sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and serve. It will keep in the tin for 3 days in the fridge.
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