What’s the best baklava you’ve ever had? Was a Greek or Lebanese baklava? Come to think of it – is it baklava or baklawa? A couple of years ago on a visit to Melbourne I had the most delicious baklava ever from a Greek stall at the Queen Victoria markets. The flavours had melded together beautifully, it was crisp and not too sweet.
This recipe, from A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent comes close. I think the difference is the clarified butter. Clarified butter is easy to make at home. Here is a good explanation of how to clarify butter or you can find it in most supermarkets.
Baklava is a great do ahead recipe. In fact, it tastes better the next day. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a least a week. Greg says to store it a room temperature but I don’t know about your place but here in tropical North Queensland nothing lasts very long left in our steamy room temperature.
Which is your favourite baklava shop?
BaklavaPrint Pin Rate
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 500 g walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- 340 g unsalted butter clarified
- 500 g phyllo dough thawed if frozen
- Combine the sugar and water in a pan and set it over a medium heat. Bring it to the boil stirring occasionally.
- Then cover with a lid, reduce the heat (so it doesn't boil oveand simmer for 3 minutes).
- Uncover, keep it simmering and cook until the syrup reaches 95° celsius.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the orangeflower water and the lemon juice.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate it. It should be a pourable consistency not as thick as honey. Add a little water if it is too thick. Keep refrigerated.
- Process walnuts in the food processor in batches until coarsely chopped.
- Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the sugar and orangeflower water. Set it aside until you are ready.
- Preheat the oven to 180° celsius.
- Brush a 33 x 22 cm baking pan (13 x 9 inch) with clarified butter.
- Place 1 phyllo sheet in the pan and brush lightly with butter, fold in the overhanging edges of dough.
- Repeat again until you have used half of the dough.
- Sprinkle the walnut filling evenly over the pastry. Then repeat the layering and buttering of the remaining phyllo.
- With a sharp knife cut through the pastry right down to the base forming diamonds or whatever shape and size you want the finished pieces to be.
- Pour any remaining butter into the cuts.
- Bake the baklawa for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 150° celsius until brown and crispy, another 45 to 60 minutes.
- Take the baklawa out of the oven and immediately pour over the cold syrup. Let it stand for 2 or 3 hours, even overnight, before serving