Baklava – ‘Our Honey’
Turks have a strong claim to influencing baklava, it’s likely that traditions from many cultures from the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Middle East combined to create this wonderfully succulent dessert. Honey is a natural crowd pleaser, perfect for dessert tables of crowded feasters, it satisfies our sweet tooth while promoting good health and healing all at the same time.
Preparation time Approx 30 mins
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves Makes 25-30 pieces
For the Baklava
- 18 sheets ready-made filo pastry (unwrap and keep under a damp tea-towel until you are ready to use)
- 150g unsalted butter, you’ll need extra for greasing
- 200g chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pistachios are best, or use a combination of them)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
For the Syrup
- 300g granulated sugar
- 250ml water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 340g of honey
- I cinnamon stick
- Finely ground pistachios for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Grease a 17cm x 28cm (11in x 7in) baking tray with butter.
- Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.
- Lay 10 sheets of filo pastry, one at a time, into the tray, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
- In a clean bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar and cardamom and spread the mixture over the pastry in the tray.
- Layer up the remaining sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with butter, as before.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into the top layers of the pastry to make small squares.
- Place baklava in the preheated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, and edges appear slightly crisp. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
- For the syrup, heat the sugar, water, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce to medium low heat and let simmer for 7 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Pour the syrup over the baklava and leave to cool. Garnish with some finely crushed pistachios if desired and Cut into small pieces to serve.