Baklava - The Real Turkish-Style
Baklava is originated in Turkey (not Greece) by the Ottoman Empire (Turks), which formulated this divine dessert and served it in the Topkapi Palace in Turkey. They even created a special day to serve it, Baklava Alay? (The Ottoman Ceremony of the Royal Purse). Check out this site: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baklava
2 boxphyllo sheets - thawed
3-4 stickbutter, unsalted-melted-clarified
1 pkgunsalted, raw pistachio or walnut pieces-chopped small (reserving 1/2 cup for decoration)
2-3 csugar, granulated
1/2-1 tsplemon juice
3-4 dash(es)rose water
How to Make Baklava - The Real Turkish-Style
- First of all you will want to make the syrup. (You don't need the rose water and cardamom, but those my "secret" ingredients.) Put all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and lower the heat. Let boil for about 10 minutes until it slightly thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Open the boxes of phyllo sheets. There should be two packages of phyllo in each box, giving you a total of four packages. Open up all the packages, unroll and layer the phyllo sheets on top of each other. Now separate all the phyllo into thirds. Keep them separate on the counter as you work. You may want to put the plastic in between the three sections so you don’t get confused.
- Now you want to make the baklava. Grease the cookie sheet with enough of the butter to cover or use non-stick spray. Take two phyllo sheets and lay them next to each other on the cookie sheet to cover the bottom. (See diagram below) As shown below, the purple is the cookie sheet; the green frames are the 2 phyllo sheets. The length of the sheets will be wider than the cookie sheet and that’s okay. Lay them in the cookie sheet anyway
- Now, using a brush, spread with butter, just enough to cover. As you do, fold the extra little flap of phyllo over to fit in the cookie sheet, then spread that with a little bit of butter too.
When you put on the next layer, have the overlay on the opposite side of the cookie sheet, and so on, to even out the excess of phyllo on each layer.
Continue layering two phyllo sheets side by side, spreading with the butter as you go.
Once you’ve layered one-third of your sheets, spread the nuts over the buttered layer then continue layering the phyllo.
- When you‘re done with the second third of your phyllo, spread with the remaining nuts and continue layering till all phyllo is used up.
Butter the last layer of phyllo. Now you’re ready to cut it. Use the diagram below for a suggestion on how to cut it.
Starting at one narrow end of the cookie sheet make even horizontal cuts then starting at one corner, make diagonal cuts. OR you can just cut it into 1 x 2 rectangular squares.
Before putting into the oven, take a little syrup and pour over the uncooked baklava.
Now bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until it is brown enough to your preference.
- Using a measuring cup, pour the syrup over the hot baklava as soon as you pull it out of the oven.
It may sizzle and puff up a little, that’s okay and normal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to absorb some of the syrup. Add more syrup, if you’d like, to your preference.
If you don’t want to add more syrup, then sprinkle the baklava with the remaining chopped nuts for a pretty look right after pouring the syrup on (while it’s sticky).
Now it’s done.
NOTE: If you like thicker Baklava, use a 9 X 13” pan and layer 1 sheet one on top of the other, using both boxes and not setting 2 sheets side by side.
It’s important that you don’t use too much syrup, you don’t want it swimming in it, yet you don’t want it dry either.