Sunday, March 26, 2006

baklava


On Saturday I made this baklava. I learned this from my Egyptian friend a few years ago. Its much more delicious to make at home, and really simple(though tedious). Its also my husbands favorite.


* Mostly I am just listing my cooking adventures because Im a nerd like that. If anyone is interested in any recipes, just ask! :)

And now... the recipe.


*1 package of frozen phyllo dough(thawed in the fridge)
*half cup of melted butter , preferably ghee/clarified - (I've heard you can use cookiing spray also, but I dont like to use it because of the chemicals and Im sure it would alter the taste)
*2 cups (i think) of coarsely ground nuts. walnuts and pecans work especially well, pistachios too
-- I put them in the food processor and pulse until it is half finely chopped, half medium chopped
*2-3 TBSP sugar, or to taste
*cardamom powder OR cinnamon powder(I like the cardamom)
*handful of fresh or dried coconut(Optional)

Sugar syrup(see below)

Preheat oven to 375
Mix nuts together with sugar and cardamom and coconut if using, and keep aside
Open package of phyllo and keep covered with damp cloth because it will dry out easily.
Using a pastry brush, grease the bottom of a cookie sheet with butter/ghee.
Peel off one single layer of the pastry/phyllo and place it in the pan. Brush that too with ghee.
Repeat this with half of the phyllo sheets, brushing on every one with a THIN layer of ghee(dont put too much. it doesnt have to completely cover each sheet. )
Brush the top with ghee and then evenly spread the nuts mixture on it.
With the other half of the sheets, begin layering the same way, brushing with ghee on each layer.
Finally, CUT the whole thing into diamonds or squares BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE OVEN. Be sure to cut all the way through. using a pizza cutter helps with this step.
Place in the oven for 15-20 mins, check to see when the top is golden brown.

While it is baking start making the sugar syrup.

Put 2.5 cups of sugar into a pan with 1 1/4 cups of water. bring to a boil and simmer until it thickens.
It is ready when you put a drop on the counter and it holds a shape and when u rub it between fingers its very sticky. At that point squeeze in a little lime juice(optional, but its supposed to keep the sugar from becoming grainy) and 1t vanilla extract, and turn off the heat.

Pour the sugar syrup evenly over the baklava after taking from oven, while its still HOT. Let it soak in before eating, if you can wait :)

**One variation on this is to put two thinner layers of nuts in each third of the phyllo.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Gini said...

Ok..I will ask. How did you make it? It looks pretty darn good!

April 19, 2006 4:24 PM  

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