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spotlight-studios
4th November 2013

Recipe of the Week: Baklava

Joanne Procter brings the delights from the Orient into her Manchester kitchen this week with homemade Baklava
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This rich, sweet pastry of the Ottoman Empire has stood the test of time. Its crisp pastry, crunchy nuts, and gooey syrup tastes as good now as when it was invented back in the 13th century. Joanne Procter keeps this traditional Turkish dessert alive in this brilliant recipe.

Ingredients

For the baklava

  • 250g walnuts
  • 100g almonds (whole)
  • 60g light muscovite sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 175g butter, melted (plus extra for greasing)
  • 24 sheets of filo pastry to fit a 9 x 13 inch tray

For the syrup:

  • 90ml clear honey
  • 70ml water
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5-6 cardamom pods
  • 5-6 cloves

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan. Heat it over a medium heat, and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and it begins to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer it until it has thickened slightly—this should take 10-15 mins. Once this is done, tip it into a measuring jug and leave it to cool.
  2. Roast the walnuts and the almonds in the oven at around 200°C (fan oven) for 7-10 mins. When you remove them, leave the oven on.
  3. Mix together the walnuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon, then chop them up in a food processor or by hand.
  4. Grease the tin and lay down one sheet of filo pastry across the bottom—it doesn’t matter if it goes up the sides a little as well. Brush the sheet with some melted butter.
  5. Put another sheet of filo on top of this, and again brush it with melted butter. Keep repeating this process until you have 6 layers of filo.
  6. Once you’ve buttered the 6th sheet, sprinkle on one third of the nut mixture.
  7. Apply another 6 sheets of filo, brushing with butter in between. Then sprinkle on another one third of the nut mixture. Repeat this with another 6 sheets, sprinkle on the last of the nuts, and then cover with 6 more sheets.
  8. Once you’ve buttered the top layer, cut off the edges of the pastry which are sticking up around the sides, so you have a nice even top. Cut the baklava into squares, but only cut down to about half the depth of the baklava – leave the bottom half intact.
  9. Bake for 15 mins at 200°C, and then reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for another 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven.
  10. Whilst it’s still hot, pour over the syrup you made earlier. Now leave it to cool, and enjoy!

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