An Adventure with Baklava
My first attempt baking a gourmet treat from Turkey
Pecan filling with a Pistachio top drenched in Honey Syrup
Mix 1 cup water with 1 cup White sugar and simmer with 1/2 cup honey and 1Tablespoon Vanilla Extract for approx. 30 minutes until it is a nice syrup.
Hand crush 2-2.5 cups of nuts, Walnut or Pecan, set aside.
Crush a handful of pistachio for your topping, set aside.
1 box of Phyllo dough, separate at the center perforation into two stacks. Use one half of the Phyllo for your layers as they fit perfectly in the dish.
Melt 3/4 cup of non-salted butter.
Butter a 9x13 glass casserole dish
Lay two sheets of phyllo on the bottom and brush a thin layer of melted butter on top. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle top buttered sheet with a thin layer of nuts.
Repeat until you run out of nuts, two sheets, butter, nuts, two sheets, butter, nuts, finish the top with 8 sheets as you did the bottom buttering in between every two sheets.
Dip your fingertips into the melted butter (so your fingers wont stick) and slice the Baklava on the diagonal with a sharp knife, moving from corner to corner. Make 3 slices lengthwise from top to bottom resulting in 4 rows and creating the diamond pieces. Make slices deep but not through to the bottom, this will help the syrup to stay within the layers and not just pool on the bottom beneath the layers.
Bake in an oven set at 350 degrees for approx. 25-30 minutes, watch closely for when it becomes golden brown in color, it's done.
After allowing it to cool for a little while, pour your warm honey syrup into the lines you sliced in the Baklava and over the top. Sprinkle Pistachio topping on top while the glaze is still warm and sticky.
Allow it to set for a few hours and up to overnight to let the syrup seep into the layers of the Baklava.
Use an inverted spatula to remove your diamond pieces and prepare to impress your friends if any last that long : )
If I can do it...So can you!
It takes a little while to make the first time but don't let that deter you as it gets easier and easier each time. Trust me, you'll soon be whipping out fancy Baklava for your friends in under an hour and look like quite the amazing baker! It's delicious!