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One of the most popular Greek traditions is baklava and it is de-li-cious!
For the syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, honey, water, lemon juice and zest. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
For the filling:
In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, almonds, pistachios and cinnamon. Mix with a heavy wooden spoon until all is combined. Set aside.
For the baklava:
Preheat your oven to 350 F and spray a 9×13 inch oven safe baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
Unroll your phyllo dough out onto a cutting board and trim the dough to 9x13in sheets (so that it fits snugly into the baking dish). Discard the scraps. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough into the baking dish, and brush the top with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top of the other buttered sheet and butter the top of that one as well. Continue this process for 6 more sheets, continuously buttering each individual sheet.
Take about half of your nut mixture and spread gently on top of the 8 sheets of buttered phyllo dough. Place another phyllo sheet on top of the nut mixture and again brush with butter. Continue this phyllo buttering process, again, for 7 more sheets. Now, spread the rest of the nut mixture gently on top of the second set of phyllo sheets.
Place yet another phyllo sheet on top of the second layer of nut mixture and butter the top. Continue this step for the rest of the phyllo sheets (should be roughly 7 more). You will have used 24 sheets of phyllo dough by this stage. Press down gently on the final sheet so that the baklava compresses just a tad, then generously slather the remaining sheet with butter. Place the dish in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes.
Once the 5-10 minutes has passed, remove the dish from the fridge and gently score the top of the baklava to create a diamond shape with a very sharp paring knife. To do this, score the pastry parallel to the 9 inch side of the baking sheet in 1½ inch sections. Then create another series of score lines at a 45 degrees angle to the parallel lines. You will have created a diamond shape by doing this.
Bake the baklava, uncovered at 350 F for 40 minutes or until the top has browned slightly. Remove from oven and immediately gently drizzle your syrup on top, using all of it. Let it rest for about 1½ hours and then serve. Drizzle with melted chocolate (optional). Store at room temperature, covered for about a week. Enjoy!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!