I have to admit, as a child I was not a fan of Baklava. Although my mother makes the best, I preferred other Greek sweets over this one. As I grew older, however, I began to acquire a taste for this buttery, syrupy, sophisticated treat in all forms and variations- walnuts, almonds, even cashews. It especially tastes great frozen, which incidentally inspired my Cinnamon Honey Baklava Ice Cream (coming soon!)- but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s slow down and start with the basic and the original: Classic Buttery Baklava with Lemon Flavored Syrup. Layers of buttered filo and spiced walnuts may sound like a lot of work but please don’t be intimidated – this is one of the easiest desserts to make. Yes- it is EASIER than PIE.
1 pound walnuts, or almonds, or a combination of the two, ground medium to fine
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pound filo
1 pound butter, melted
Honey-Lemon Syrup (recipe below)
Combine nuts with sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside. Line bottom of a 9×13 buttered pan with 5 sheets of filo, buttering each one before layering. Sprinkle with a layer of the nut mixture. Cover with 4 sheets of filo, again, buttering in between the sheets. Continue this process until all your nut mixture is used. Cover with 5 sheets of filo, buttering between each sheet.
Cutting before baking will not only make it beautiful in the end, easier to take out from the pan, but also allows the syrup to absorb into every square inch of your baklava. Cut 3 rows on the horizontal and 5 rows on the vertical so you end up with 15 large squares. Then, cut each square diagonally to create 2 triangles from each square.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Honey-Lemon Syrup Recipe:
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on how lemony you like it.
1 cup honey
Combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Boil for about 6-8 minutes, then slowly add the honey. Simmer for 2-5 minutes more and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
When your baklava is browned remove from oven and slowly pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Allow to sit and soak up the syrup for a few hours before removing a piece from the pan.
©2014 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe published in “The Greek Table” cookbook by the Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Greek Orthodox Church in Sacramento, California.
Recipe by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta. Please do not reprint this recipe without permission. If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source. Thank you!