25 5 / 2011
Baklava for a fun Greek Themed Dinner Party
photo credit: Nico
I went over to my friend Phil’s for a fun feast of Greek food. Everyone brought or made something from salad to lamb and I of course brought dessert. Such a fun night, from the cooking, and the drinking to the dancing and the chatting. It’s such a great way to build friendships and experiment with cultures.
I’m not in love yet with this Baklava recipe. I don’t like how the Phyllo Dough curved on the edges and was very hard to cut. BUT it did taste nice, which was great. It also took a long time for me to get it to cook accurately. There was a lot of food in a small oven which might have been the issue. I’ve not worked with Phyllo Dough before and definitely need to get use to it.
- For the filling:
- 1 lb. walnuts, coarsely ground (ground separately from the almonds)
- 1/2 lb. almonds, coarsely ground
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- For the syrup:
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 10 whole cloves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets
- 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
- Mix the walnuts, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve.
- Cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9 x 12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 rectangular pan.
- Layer six sheets of Phyllo making sure to brush each with melted butter.
- Add half of the nut mixture in an even layer.
- Flatten with a spatula
- Continue layering another 6 sheets of phyllo. Add the remaining nut mixture in an even layer.
- Top with the remaining phyllo sheets.
- Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo . Place in the freezer for 30 seconds and it will make it easier to score.
- Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the phyllo turns a rich golden color.
- Prepare the Syrup While the Baklava is Baking:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water and the sugar and mix well. Add the cloves and simmer over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. You want the syrup to be slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and discard the cloves.
- Stir in the juice of half a lemon. Allow the syrup to cool slightly.
- When the baklava is out of the oven and still warm, ladle the syrup carefully into the pan.
- Baklava can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.
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