I had never heard of Baklava before I met Nick, then again apart from one holiday to Rhodes Island with my parents, and inter-railing as a teenager I had no real knowledge of Greece full stop. When I fell for Nick I also grew to love the country his father grow up in, from the customs and welcoming nature of the people to the wonderful food the country boasts. I am known for my sweet tooth and as such Baklava is just heaven to me. I have been disappointed with bought replicas in England so, for Nick’s Big Greek Birthday Party earlier this month, I decided that I would make my own. I was pretty sure from a Google search on recipes that I could come up with a combination that would beat the shops and indeed I did. This Greek traditional desert is actually very simple yet looks like it took hours to prepare!
180g Granulated Sugar
50g Runny Honey
15 – 20 ml squeezed lemon juice (1 good size lemon)
120g butter (ideally unsalted) melted
420g Filo pastry (2 packs of filo pastry from the chiller cabinets in the supermarket is ideal)
175g pistachio nuts
250g Dried figs (if you don’t like figs, dates work just as well)
In a saucepan, gently heat the water, sugar and honey. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat then stir in the lemon juice and set aside to cool.
Brush a shallow 20 x 30 cm baking tin with melted butter
Line the tin with 8 sheets of filo pastry brushing each sheet with the melted butter as you go.
Chop the pistachio nuts into fine peices (I used a food mixer) and sprinkle over the buttered pastry layers
Layer another buttered 6 sheets of filo
Chop the figs as the nuts and sprinkle these over. Finish with another 8 sheets of buttered filo.
Brush the top with any remaining butter.
Cut the Baklava into 20 peices with a sharp knife
Bake at 180degrees for 30 – 35 minutes till golden and crisp.
Pour over the syrup mix and leave to cool in the tin.
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