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This is as Greek as it gets... Baklava... or, if you would like to pronounce it the Greek way: Baklavás - with the emphasis on the last 'a'. This recipe is the real thing and just the way I make it at home here in Greece and has nothing in common with the mass produced variety (regardless of how good they may be). I know it will blow you away, so to speak, and you will be able to fully understand why this particular dessert has withstood the test of time so well. It's an age old, traditional sweet with its roots lost in time where Greece met the Middle East centuries ago. Any questions? Feel free to contact me. Kalí órexi - bon appetit, Maria www.authentic-greek-recipes.com
- 500 g phyllo pastry
- 300 g coarsely chopped walnuts (no substitutes)
- 200 g fine dry breadcrumbs
- 250 g fresh melted butter (not margarine)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 whole cloves, for decoration
FOR THE SYRUP
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 small lemon, juice of (or 1/2 an orange, the juice of 1/2 finely grated orange rind, if you are using orange juice)
- Mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Butter your baking pan (large enough to lay out the pastry while lining the sides of the pan as well) and place 5 sheets of the pastry on the bottom, 1 by 1, buttering each individually as you place it on the bottom. Cover the remaining phyllo sheets with a slightly damp kitchen towel for the time being so they do not dry out.
- With a large spoon evenly spread 1/2 the nut filling over all the pastry. Cover the filling with another 3 sheets of phyllo pastry, again individually buttering each as you place it. Evenly spoon on the remaining 1/2 of the nut mixture and place another 5 sheets of phyllo pastry on top, again buttering each individually as you place it. Pat the top pastry sheets down very gently and cut away any excess round the edges with a very sharp knife.
- Cut the Baklava into triangle servings. Place a clove on every 3rd or so piece, puncturing the pastry with the stem of the clove. Bake the Baklava in a well preheated oven at 180ºC - 350ºF for 1 hour approximately or until the pastry is golden. Remove the Baklava from the oven.
- Prepare the syrup by boiling the water, sugar and juice of your preference in a saucepan over a gentle flame, stirring with a whisk, for about 10 minutes and then allow the syrup to cool. Pour the syrup onto the Baklava (cold syrup - hot Baklava). When the Baklava absorbs the syrup it is normal for the top layer of pastry to remain crispy. Allow the Baklava to cool and then knock yourself out -- the edges are extra delicious --
- *** Under no circumstances should an oven fan be used while baking the Baklava. It will burn the top pastry layers and edges within minutes.
This is the third time I have made this recipe, I can not say enough about how wonderful it is, if you are looking for a traditional recipe this is the one, it does take a while to prepare but it is worth every second!!!!!!Thanks Maria for sharing!!!!
This has to be the best baklava I have ever had and surprisingly easier to make than I feared it would be. Mary.