Hello! For our Moroccan Special I tried a new Baklava Recipe that I modified from Garrett McCord at Simply Recipes (here’s the link: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/baklava/). Baklava is a beautiful indulgence, it is not hard to do, it just takes time. Please find our recipe below. Simply Recipes said that this might be the best recipe for baklava – and it’s pretty good. I made some modifications, but you could follow his recipe exactly and come out with a very yummy treat.
For the baklava:
- 1 lb of phyllo dough
- 1 cup of margarine, melted
- 24 ounces fine walnuts
2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
For the syrup:
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup orange blossom water (this is optional, if you do not have it, use another 1/2 cup of water)
- 1 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of honey (if you like honey, you could up this to half a cup and decrease the sugar to 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
First, I did not roast my walnuts – I think though, roasting would provide a nuttier flavor and would recommend it if you have time. Lightly roast them, and try not to burn them. Defrost the phyllo dough according to package instructions (some phyllo doughs recommend you defrost them overnight in the refrigerator).
Combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, set aside.
Take a 9×13 pan and brush margarine on the bottom of the pan. Roll out your phyllo dough and cut the phyllo dough to fit your pan and cover the phyllo dough when you are not using it with a moist cloth (I use paper towels that I moisten with water and squeeze out so there is not so much extra moisture (any extra water will make the phyllo dough soggy and difficult to work with). Take one sheet at a time and brush with margarine (if you do not have a brush you can use your fingers, just be slow and careful to try not to rip the phyllo dough). Do 8 layers like this. Why, you ask, do I put margarine in between the phyllo dough layers? Because this adds crunch for the phyllo dough – the extra “fat” helps keep the crunch between the layers.
Then add a thin layer of the nut mixture on top of the phyllo dough (that was already brushed with margarine) – I used about 2 handfuls per nut layer. Then cover with one sheet of phyllo dough and margarine and then another sheet of phyllo dough and margarine (so it’s a 2 sheet layer – this helps the nuts stay in place when you serve the dessert and adds to the crunchiness).
Continue doing this until you run out of nut mixture, then finish the baklava with 8 layers of phyllo dough and margarine (finishing with margarine). If you would like you can finish the dessert with an egg wash. Then cut the baklava into 24 pieces – it’s easier to cut prior to cooking. Then put in a 350 degree oven (preheated) for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
While the baklava is cooking, put all the ingredients for the syrup together in a small sauce pan. Bring to boiling and simmer for about 7 minutes. The liquid should be thickish and definitely syrup-y. Then after the baklava comes out of the oven, while it is still warm – pour the syrup over the whole baklava. The majority of the syrup will congregate at the bottom of the pan – so try to make sure as you’re pouring you cover the whole top so every piece gets the syrup. Then let cool completely and put in fridge. Then eat. Yum.
The picture is the last piece of the baklava. Again, I forgot to take pictures at the beginning, I’m going to have to write myself a note or some such thing.