Turkish Pastry Dessert / Baklava

Cooking_Class_Baklava

Baklava has a special place among the Turkish desserts. Once you taste it, it is invetable to want more. There is nothing like a good baklava. Although there are many shops all around Turkey, the ones in Gaziantep, in South East Turkey are the most famous ones. Many countries claim to own the baklava; proofs show that the origins are Middle Asian Turks.

In Gaziantep it is said that a good baklava should appeal to all senses. Is should look good; golden on top and on bottom, clear cut, to equal sized pieces. It should taste good; this is obvious. The touch sense is left to the stomach 🙂 You should be able to hear a crispy sound when you pour the butter on top, when you cut it and when you take the first bite. This is so bad; now writing all this, made me want some.

Baklava is so much favored by the Turks it is also prepared at homes, especially during festivities. Elders prepare the pastry themselves. My granda – who is 93 right now – used to prepare 44 sheets of hand made pastry sheets. Speechless. I am – I have to confess – lazy. I buy ready baklava sheets, it is so practical, quick and easy to prepare our baklava at home.

These baklava sheets are sold in almost any market at the freezer section. The sheets are like vellum paper so they should be covered with a damp, clean kitchen towel at all times, as they get dry very quickly, and start crumbling.

Baklava_sheets

The butter that is to be spread among the sheets should be warm at all times, you may need to warm it up during the spreading.

Baklava_buttering

Baklava’s may be prepared with several different ingredients. You may have walnuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts or a mixture of these.

Baklava_nuts

We made this baklava in my last lesson. It was definitely the star of the day. Hope you enjoy.

 

Turkish Pastry Dessert / Baklava
Print Recipe
One of the most popular Turkish desserts. This one is a home-made version. Surprisingly easy to prepare.
Servings Prep Time
12 Pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Turkish Pastry Dessert / Baklava
Print Recipe
One of the most popular Turkish desserts. This one is a home-made version. Surprisingly easy to prepare.
Servings Prep Time
12 Pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Pieces 30 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Ingredients
For the Syrup
Servings: Pieces
Instructions
The Syrup
  1. First prepare the syrup to have time to cool. Put the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and and have the sugar melt strirring.
  1. Once the sugar melts add the other ingredients; cinnamon, cardamon, lemon juice and half an orange peel of the orange parts.
  2. Cook no more than 20 minutes. The trick to understand the thickness of the syrup is; you take a table spoon and put a drop of the syrup – and see how thick it is.
  3. Set aside to cool down.
To set the layers
  1. Unwrap the phyllo sheets and keep under a damp tea-towel until and while you are ready to use. These sheets are like vellum paper. On the packet it must be written "baklava sheets".
  2. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a rectangular oven tray with butter.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat. The butter needs to be warm. You may want to re-heat it if necessary.
  4. Lay half of the sheets of filo pastry, one at a time, into the tray, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
  5. In a clean bowl, mix together the walnuts, cinnamon and cardamom and spread the mixture over the pastry in the tray. You can also mix or replace the walnuts with nut and/or chesnuts.
  6. Layer up the remaining sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with butter, as before.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern into the top layers of the pastry.
  8. Place baklava in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes. It should be golden on top and bottom. Remove and rest for 2 minutes.
  9. The syrup must have cooled by now. Slowly drizzle filtering the syrup into the cuts in the baklava and leave to cool. When filtered discard the cloves, orange peels, etc.
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