Baklava is a traditional sweet dessert made of layers of filo dough and filled with nuts and drenched with simple sugar syrup. Its origin is from the Ottoman Empire from where it spread to Syria, and other areas in the middle-east and now is known worldwide.
There are differences in how much filo dough layers are used, the kind of nuts used in the filling and the syrup that the baklava is drenched in after it is backed depending on the country and different regions within a country.
To make the baklava you will need:
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of filo dough sheets (found in the frozen food section in supermarkets)
- 1.5 cups of melted butter mixed with ghee
- 0.25 kg (0.55 lbs) of nuts. You can use pistachio and mix almonds or dried coconut shreds. The nuts should all be very small chunks, if you have whole nuts use the food processor to grind them to the desired size.
- Sugar simple syrup (see recipe below)
To make the simple sugar syrup you will need:
- 2.5 cups of sugar
- 1.5 cups of water
- 1 tea spoon of lemon juice
- Optional: rose water
- a. Put the 2.5 cups of sugar to the 1.5 cups of water into a small pot
- b. Put the pot on low heat. Let it boil and stir occasionally to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
- c. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice
- d. Optional: you can flavor the simple sugar syrup with rose water: add one teaspoon of rose water
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F
- Coat a backing sheet with ghee. A square, rectangular or circular backing sheet can be used
- Cut six of the filo dough sheets so they fit in the backing sheet. Spread a little of the butter and ghee mixture on each of the filo dough sheets, then put the sheets in the backing sheet one on top of the other.
- Sprinkle the nuts on top of the six layers of filo dough sheets
- Bring four other filo dough sheets and spread a little of the butter and ghee mixture on each of the sheets and put them on top of the nuts.
- Repeat steps five and six for another four sheets, more sheets can be added at the bottom (before sprinkling the nuts) or o top if you want a thicker layer of the filo dough sheets.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into squares
- Cook 25 – 30 minutes, rotate the backing sheet from time to time to make sure the baklava cooks evenly. It is ready when its color turns golden. Take it out of the oven and pure the cold simple sugar syrup on top of the baklava