Recipe #33 Baklava
1 ¼ cups water
2 ½ cups superfine sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon (1.5 Tablespoons)
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 tablespoon orange-flower water
Pastry and Filling
1 stick plus one tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (ours took much more than this)
14 oz (2 packages) filo (also spelled phyllo) pastry
3 cups blanched almonds
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
Make the syrup by bringing the water sugar and lemon juice to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add rosewater and orange-flower water (we did not add either) and cool to room temperature then put into the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 F
We made this in a 9 x 17 pan (aluminum throw away type). Brush the pan with butter and take a deep breath….you are about the enter the “filo zone”. Separate each sheet from the first package of filo dough, basting each one after it is placed into the pan. This continues for the entire first package of filo dough (try not to loose patience when working with the dough. It is ultra thin and it should not be allowed to dry out. Work as quickly as you can and have someone else keep you well supplied with melted butter for basting each sheet). After this is done, finely chop (by hand or in a processor) the nuts and seeds. Evenly spread this over the filo dough. Remember the filo experience? Time to do it all over again… Repeat the filo placing and basting with the second package of pastry dough. Butter the top sheet very well, trim off any dough that is outside the edges of your pan.
Cut the baklava into squares on diagonals, being sure to cut all the way through the bottom layers of dough, but not through the pan.
Put the pan into the 350 oven for 30 minutes +/- to when the baklava has puffed and turned a golden brown. As soon as it comes out of the oven, pour ½ of the syrup mixture along the cuts. Leave it for a few minutes while it soaks up the syrup, and then pour on the rest.
Do you have a great recipe you would like to share? Seamus and Tom have outdone themselves. I'd like to post your favorite, too.